Working from home is a trend that’s here to stay. But not everyone is having an easy time adjusting to this new normal. This is why we’ve given expert advice on how to convert an attic to a home office, to help people establish clearer boundaries between their work and home lives.
But let’s face it – not everyone has the luxury of unlimited space. Spare rooms are hard to come by, let alone a huge attic. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up hope on building a workstation in your small apartment. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips on how to set up a home office even when your space is fairly limited.
- Change your layout
Before anything else, rearrange the layout of your home to free up some space. There might be a spot near the window where a desk and a chair can fit nicely. Clear out clutter and maintain order so there is plenty of room to move around. Opt for vertical storage, like stackable shelves or floating consoles to maximize empty walls.
- Find a nook
After rearranging your apartment, you probably have enough room for a small workstation. You can set up shop in a small corner or a tiny alcove that you’ve previously overlooked. Even a small closet can be turned ingeniously into an office. Simply open up the doors when you need to do some work, and close them when you’re finished.
- Let the light in
Place your desk near a window for natural light or install additional light fixtures in your new setup. Stay away from dim lighting and harsh lighting, and opt for more natural sources, even if you have to add a window or even a skylight. The important thing is that there’s enough lighting available, as studies have shown light exposure is key to improving mood and productivity whilst working.
- Choose your furniture wisely
There’s no substitute to well-designed furniture. Smaller spaces need multi-purpose furnishings like pull-out tables. You also want to opt for ergonomic tables, chairs, end even gadgets. Research shows that 80% of Americans experience back pain, which can be caused by poor posture. Slouching constantly can be traced to standard office chairs, which are often ill-fitting. Even if it is a bit of an investment, opt for home office fittings that keep your overall wellness in mind.
- Organize your work station
Because you probably don’t have too much space to work with, keeping your desk organized is crucial. The clutter will be obvious and it can make you feel overwhelmed, a little claustrophobic, and ultimately, unproductive. You don’t have to go big here. Binder clips can keep wires and cords in place, while cork boards and sticky notes help with staying on top of your to-do lists. Productivity expert Penny Zenker recommends utilizing the space under your desk for storage, too, where you can hide pertinent items like paperwork or extra pens in small containers. The main thing to remember is to keep your station tidy at all times to eliminate any distractions.
- Establish boundaries
It’s easy to blur the line between work and other daily activities when working from home. This is why it’s important to establish healthy work from home habits right away, and that includes setting boundaries that separate your work life from your home life. This can be something as simple as putting on your work clothes and noise-canceling headphones to switch on to work mode. You can also put up a room divider if you don’t have the luxury of an extra room and walls. These are not only important for tuning out distractions, but boundaries also make sure that your home is still enjoyable and relaxing at the end of the day.
Is a home office worth it?
Even in a small space, the initial cost of a well-designed home office can be significant — creating a workspace is more than just buying a standard desk and a chair. One way to finance your home office is by applying for a personal loan, with most lenders offering from $3,500 to $40,000. Even the lower range of that bracket can help you make impactful changes in your home office, such as installing windows or breaking down a wall to maximize space.
That’s not a necessary route to take, however, and you might not have to purchase anything at all. You can cut down on costs by choosing to rent furniture instead of buying new ones. CasaOne has home office packages at flexible plans, curated for the modern professional. These even include sit-to-stand desks that can fit into any space in your home. Not to mention that they encourage less sitting and more physical activity, which contributes to the good health of busy professionals. That means you’re not only investing in your home office, but your personal health as well.
Because of the convenience, increased productivity, and overall lower costs, remote working is a trend that’s here to stay. Whether you decide to make huge changes in your small space or not, a home office is definitely worth the investment.
This article was written by Lindsay Halloway.