The idea of a home office is increasingly gaining popularity owing to the rising trend of many people working from home. But in an apartment that is pressed for space, one is often left wondering how to incorporate a home office design efficiently. After all, not everyone has a spare room or additional space in their bedroom to fit in an office. The happy reality here is that you don’t need a big space at all. An inspiring and friendly workplace is possibly hidden in your closet (we mean it) or may emerge from a surprising spare corner.
Most people who work from home love the flexibility that comes with the job. But with no face time with colleagues, working lunch breaks, and water cooler gossip, working alone can be a tedious task that requires discipline. So it is only the office space that comes to our rescue – a little corner of creativity that keeps us inspired to do our job day after day.
The small office ideas we have shared below are simplistic in their approach to help you maximize your existing space. For instance, foldable tables, floating shelves and wall mounted cabinets can save on leg space. Vibrant colours in your home office can add to your creativity and a white board can display your to-do list.
The flexibility of a home office comes with baggage and you may end up working extended and odd hours. So make sure there are sufficient provisions to protect your eyes, arms, back and legs to help you stay fit.
In an apartment that is already jostling for space, it may sound like a challenge to empty out a closet, let alone find a spare one. So how exactly do you create a closet office? The trick is to know that you actually need only two or three shelves depending on how wide they are.
Your closet is likely to be filled with off-season clothing. Find boxes for them first and clear out your desk area. As for the top, you can either have a separate door or a creative curtain to mask the contents. If you are lucky and can shift the contents out then you would just about have a perfect office with space for your printer, office stationary, pen stand, books, cards and even a few photo frames.
Not all office desks are made equal. Some spaces can accommodate desks with legs. Others will need them hanging from the wall or fitted into the closet panel. Keep your desk light and preferably made of wood, which allows air to pass through and prevent your laptop from overheating.
Some desks come with storage drawers beneath them and this is a good place to store your paperwork. Others can be fitted in an L shape with the smaller side of the ‘L’ doubling up as your lunch and coffee table. Working from home pretty much means that you’ll be having a working lunch on most days of the week and it is great if your desk is equipped to handle some munchies on the side. Be sure to keep your water bottle away from this desk. It will force you to get up once in a while to walk up to the kitchen and reach out for a glass of water.
A desk in a minimalist home will probably hold only the laptop and maybe one other item. But a more spacious home may be able to introduce a desk which supports stationary, books, artworks and more.
There is nothing like working in a room flooded with sunlight to keep you inspired and fresh. There are several positive health benefits associated with exposure to sunlight, but make sure you are not getting too much of it! Sitting next to a window can work amazingly well on a pleasant spring morning but you can’t say the same for a hot summer noon or a rainy Wednesday when all you want to do is curl up with your favourite book, a cup of coffee and watch the rain. It can also mean more dust by your desk or sometimes pesky mosquitoes.
If you choose to have your desk by the window, incorporate seasonal curtains and window nets. Having a window in front will mean that a laptop screen may get shadowed and so you’ll need to sit at an angle to catch the daylight without making it overly bright. Take a hint from this smart study designed by Arched Design, interior designers and decorators from South Korea.
Having a TV in the same room as your office can work both ways. If you are a freelance journalist, it could be an important tool for you to stay on top of the latest happenings. Otherwise, having a TV will mean that you can catch your favourite show without moving from your desk. That is something a lot of working professionals would describe as a luxury indulgence of working from home.
But the reality is that the flexible regimen demands you to create your own discipline, and you’ll most likely have to stay away from the TV if you want to seriously get any work done. Instead you can use the space to house a work desk and chair, to get going with your home office.
Having a kitchen office is one of the small office ideas that a lot of people don’t try easily. But if your bedrooms hardly have any space, you can make room for a kitchen office. A kitchen bench, separator or corner below the spice racks, or a less used countertop can be potential workspace areas.
This idea can especially work well if you are a food entrepreneur or a food blogger. For others, you’ll need to ensure your kitchen has a chimney or extractor fan, so that your laptop doesn’t attract grime and you can put up with the kitchen heat without your laptop heating up.
A dining table that comes with some storage options below it can serve as a perfect workstation. By day, you can perch your laptop on top of it, and come dinner time, you can tuck it away underneath the table to make room for your family. Or if your table is quite long, use one half of it for work and the other half for relishing hearty meals. The one great advantage of this set up is that you’ll have to shut shop at a designated time making you differentiate between home and office time better.
The ideal home office space can help you maintain work life balance wonderfully. So get started with your home work space and make your office-going counterparts super jealous!
Here is another ideabook to fuel your creativity – 6 Compact study ideas for a small apartment.