Just because you do not have much space means you do not have to work stooping over your coffee table. To create a workspace when space is tight, follow these steps.
When most people imagine working from home, they imagine a well-lit, spacious study. Your fantasy office may have a sleek desk and an ergonomic high-tech chair. Or maybe an antique oak desk and a comfortable leather chair is more your style.
But when you look around your studio apartment or in a small, crowded house, you can quickly cope with reality. Is there enough space for a real desk? How much work can you really do on your couch? Maybe you should just sit on your bed and work the way you did your homework in college?
The prospect of carving a home office out of a tiny living space can seem impossible. However, with a bit of creativity and ingenuity, you can create office space that will help you get more enjoyment from working at home. That's how it's done.
Look for natural light.
When deciding which part of your living space you want to use for work, first consider one thing: natural light.
Even in a basement apartment you probably have a small window through which at least a little light falls. You can use these natural light sources to your advantage. Studies have shown that access to natural light is the key to making people feel comfortable in a workspace.
Without natural light, you will quickly feel bored, tired or confined. Your brain will have a hard time developing the energy it needs to concentrate. No matter where you choose your home office, make sure you have a clear view of a window. The bigger and brighter the window, the better, but work with what you have.
Consider your needs.
Now think about what your home office needs.
For most people, sitting at a desk and a job will do the trick. But how big does your desk have to be? Do you work regularly with two large monitors or with a regular laptop? Do you need a place where you can distribute a lot of paper, or can you work with a single notebook? You might want a big, pretty monitor, but a laptop works just as well. Also look for creative solutions. Maybe you can hang this big monitor on the wall so it will not take up any space on the desk.
Identify the right place.
In this sense, it is time to identify the place where you set up your home office.
If you do not really need a lot of space, you really do not need more than a few feet. Depending on how crowded your living situation is, you may need to rearrange some furniture to open these offices.
Find or create a free corner, piece of wall or space under a window. Move things around as needed until you have free space to set up a desk. If there is no free space on the wall, you may be able to instead attach a desk to the back of your couch. You could even use an additional cabinet as an office (but let's be honest ̵
When you put your desk into your bedroom, try turning it away from your bed so you do not think about nap or work in bed all day long.
Choose your desk and chair.
Now you have a place for your office. It may only be a few feet wide, but all you need is enough room for yourself and your most important work utensils.
Next, find (or create) a desk that fits this place. Use a tape measure to see what you need to work with. Then think about which type of desk works best.
Most people do not need a full, traditional desk. You can set up shelves or buy standalone organizers to replace the desk drawers. So do not just think about desks, but also about normal tables. Secondhand shops often have old desks and tables in many different sizes at reasonable prices.
You can also put up a shelf that serves as a desk instead. A sturdy shelf that's wide enough for your work tools is just right. This is an excellent way to get the most out of a very small or unusually shaped office space, and supplies are generally cheap. You can even set your shelf desk up so that it can be used as a standing desk and then use a tall chair to sit down.
The chair you use is entirely up to you. You can also help make a small home feel less cluttered by carefully selecting the design of your desk and chair. Styles with thin legs and clean lines or even clear acrylic that blends into the background create little visual noise in a room.
Consider dividing lines.
If you live with other people, you might want to find one A way to separate your office space from the rest of the living space.
Of course, the dream is to have a home office with a door that can close you. But because that's not always realistic, you get creative. Try to hang curtains or a room divider folding wall to separate your office corner from the living space.
While these solutions do not block noise, they at least keep the visual distractions to a minimum. You can use noise canceling headphones to take the noise aspect into account.
Search Storage Solutions
If you have a small living space, you may have difficulty finding a place for your belongings. Thankfully, your home office area can also become a source of new storage.
Look over and under your desk. Can you place shelves directly above the desk or roll-down drawers underneath? Remember that the vertical space in a small living situation is your best friend.
Your storage solutions can accommodate your work equipment. But if you do not have much work, you can also take everything else you need to keep.
If you still have trouble finding a place in your house that is just for work, you can instead create a room for two purposes.
You may just have to rearrange your dining table so it can be easily converted into a work table after breakfast. A few rolling drawers that keep your tools always at hand could help.
Or the new desk you've built can serve a double purpose as a coffee corner. Just make sure you can easily stow your work materials if you want to use the space to relax.
Add Personal Details
Your home office is not just about practicality. It should also have a funny, personal touch that makes it an integral part of your home.
If you do not need to hang shelves for storage on the ceiling, you can hang your favorite pictures over your desk instead. If you look at them, you will be inspired on dull days, and the room will feel less useful.
You can also stack your favorite books in your office shelf, put some cute plants on your desk or buy office supplies in your favorite colors. Do everything to make your home office feel at home.
If you set up a home office in your small living area, you may also be encouraged to find other ways to use your space more efficiently. Most importantly, find a place where you can quickly switch to "work mode" and do your job.
Of course you can do your work in a nearby café if you want a different scenery, too. Next, read our Guide to Doing Public Works.