COVID-19 has left employers and employees alike struggling to find ways to make work…work. And one of these is by moving the office into the homes of those who have a position that doesn’t require hands-on attention. While going remote has many benefits, including slowing the spread of the disease, it also has its drawbacks, particularly if you are living in an already-cramped home or apartment with roommates or family.
Luckily, creating a home office in a small space is possible, but it might call for a touch of creative thinking. Here are some tips you can use to make the most of your space and create the home office you need to thrive.
Create a Conducive Environment
Office designers often talk about ergonomics. Many people think this term refers to comfort, but it’s actually a lot more specific than that. Ergonomics is the study of one’s relationship to work. Anything that makes it easier (or harder) to get your job done falls under this umbrella. Whether that’s a chair that supports your posture, or lighting that keeps you from getting a headache, all the details matter. Office spaces are designed with these details in mind, but homes aren’t. You’ll need to craft your own ergonomics to recreate the experience.
Focus on how it feels to be in your workspace. Is it too dim? Get a desk lamp. Too bright? Invest in curtains. How’s the temperature? If you’re too warm, a simple fan can do the trick. Too cold, and you can invest in a space heater; although be sure to check reviews to find something safe and effective at your price point. Ultimately, you want your space to help you feel energized, comfortable, and able to focus on the task at hand. Anything distracting will pull you out of your work and make it hard to stay on track.
When working with a small space, multi-functional pieces of furniture are invaluable. When picking out a work-from-home desk, consider something that can either be folded away or can serve a different function when it’s not a desk. For example, something with a lot of drawer space can double as storage. A fold-up desk installed in a wall can reveal wall art when tucked away. Maximizing your space means finding ways to make the most of every item you use.
Consider Your Budget
You don’t want your home office to break the bank. Make sure you’re considering your budget while planning your office. Start by taking a look at your finances and figuring out how much money you have to spend. Set a firm price ceiling and commit to spending less than that to make sure your bottom line doesn’t get out of hand.
There are plenty of ways to save money and stick to your budget while furnishing your small space. Look into secondhand shops or listings on local boards to find good pieces that don’t cost a ton. You can find great deals this way, especially on older items that have a lot of character. You can also look into furniture intended for dorms. These are made for small spaces, and since they’re targeted toward college students, they’re usually pretty affordable. And remember, you may be able to claim furnishing expenses on your taxes if you meet certain requirements.
You’ll be amazed to see how much more productive you can be once you have a dedicated workspace. Home may be the place where you pull off your very best work.
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