New to working from home? You're not alone!
Roughly 37% of US workers already telecommute for their job, and now even more of us are finding ourselves working from home in response to the pandemic. While we don't know how long this will last, it may be hard to justify dedicating an entire room in your house for home office space -- or maybe it's just hard to find that space. But that doesn't mean you can't (or that you shouldn't) create a quiet, well-lit space designated for getting work done from home.
Today's home offices must be able to multi-task as efficiently and effectively as the people who work in them -- and that's something you should keep in mind when making renovation plans! With a few smart upgrades, spaces such as attics, basements, spare bedrooms, and other smaller areas can serve as multi-functional spaces for work, play, and even working out and socializing.
Tip #1: Good lighting is essential.
But no one really wants office lighting in their home, right? So, consider increasing the amount of natural light that enters your multi-purpose office space. In addition to helping you see more clearly, natural light in your workspace has been linked to a number of scientifically-proven benefits.
Pro-tip: Vertical windows are good for bringing in natural light, but an even better option that also minimizes glare is skylights!
Tip #2: Divide the room visually to define functional areas.
You can work better when you're focused. Keep the kids' school things and your workout equipment from crowding your office area by setting clear divisions in the room. You can do this several ways, including using a folding screen to partition off the room's work area, or by hanging curtains to conceal lesser-used sections of the room when they're not in use.
Pro-tip: Use the room's layout to create a natural flow. For example, tuck a desk and shelving into an attic dormer area as office space.
Tip #3: Use the guest bedroom.
One of the most common home office set-ups is in the guest bedroom. But if working beside an inviting bed all day makes it difficult to resist the temptation of a nap, consider alternative bed styles. A daybed, for example, can be dressed up with pillows to serve as a sofa where you can comfortably read reports. You could also hide the sleeping area altogether by adding a Murphy bed to available wall space.
Pro-tip: Convert the closet by placing a small desk inside or hanging wide shelving that can function as a workspace for your laptop, printer, and files. When you're not working, just close the doors!
Tip #4: Use coasters for easy rearranging.
If your office is space is more mobile than static, put your desk on coasters just like your office chair. Whenever you need the room to function as a workout space, school space, or home theater, just roll the office furniture out of the way.
Tip #5: Organization is critical.
Your space is serving more than one purpose, so organization is key. But if you don't have the space for filing cabinets, or just don't like the way they look, bookcases and shelving can be a great alternative.
Pro-tip: Don't overlook the possibilities presented by extra wall space! You can layer shelves to maximize storage space above your desk/work area.