Any room in the home can be an office space
The shutdowns occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic have left many employees scrambling to find a good place to work from home. In the absence of a dedicated home office or extra room that can be converted to this purpose, it can be difficult to find an area where you can be productive.
Even if you have limited space at your home, it doesn't take much to tuck away a small desk and other amenities to assist with your remote work. Just about any room in a residence can be used for this purpose.
Consider what qualities you'd like your home office space to have. These may depend on the working environment that suits you best. Gretchen Roberts, writing for HGTV, says you might seek out a quiet area or, if you're more productive with a busier background, a high-traffic part of a room.
Look for unused space where you can put a desk, shelving, and other features that will assist with your work. Marlen Komar, writing for the home design site Apartment Therapy, says you could take over a wall, fit things into a corner, or find a nook or alcove. You may need to rearrange some of the existing furniture for the best result.
You'll have more freedom in setting up your home office space, so don't limit yourself to a cramped, dark corner. It's easy to set up by a window to get some natural light and a view, and you can also personalize the space with art, accessories, a comfortable chair, and even a new coat of lively paint.
One of the more popular options for carving out a place for a desk and chair is to establish a workspace in the living room. A downside of this space is that it tends to be packed with distractions, from the TV to playing children. Amanda Lauren, writing for Forbes, says you might establish a room divider if space allows to distinguish the office area from the rest of the room.
Working within the existing décor in the living room can yield a good result. Komar says a desk can be fitted behind a sofa or placed alongside a bookcase. The latter option has the added benefit of giving you some ready-made shelving for your office needs.
If your attic or basement are finished or otherwise usable, they can be a good retreat for your daily work. Rachel Elmkies, writing for the home improvement professional Bob Vila, says warm touches such as recessed lighting help keep a basement from feeling too gloomy. Mekaila Oaks, writing for the real estate company Redfin, says an attic may need some decluttering along with a few renovations if the flooring and electric outlets are not sufficient to support an office.
The kitchen can be a surprisingly suitable place to support a home office. Islands and peninsulas can offer a useful place to set up a temporary workspace, and many kitchens also have small work areas that can be used for your daily work. Lauren says you'll likely need to clean up the kitchen for it to be at its most effective, but you can also benefit from plenty of usable spaces – such as cabinets for storing office supplies.
If you have space in your bedroom, you can easily dedicate a portion of it to your work. Lauren says you can even convert a closet into an office hideaway. Swapping out the dresser for a desk can be a useful step if floor space is limited.
Many places around the house are unsuitable for sizable furniture displays, but large enough to hold a small work area. Oaks says a hallway is often enough for a desk or long table. Elmkies says other options include a stair landing, the space under a staircase, a mudroom, or even a built-in cabinet.
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