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How to Make the Most of Your Home Office's Limited Space

11 January 2024

Whether you have moved to a smaller place or are struggling to make an office out of a tiny room, creating an adequate home office in a restricted space can be quite the challenge – especially if you are not the only one using that space. However, with a bit of effort, innovation, and out-of-the-box thinking, you can convert your bedroom, living room, or any other space in your house, into a workable home office.

In this blog, we will arm you with a number of tips, suggestions, and hacks that will help you make the best use of this space.

How to Make the Most of Your Home Office's Limited Space:

Pick the Right Space:

Start by deciding the spot where you want to set up your home office. Take a look around the house, and identify the areas where you are least likely to be interrupted, and the likeliest to get things done. If your home has multiple rooms, you should consider converting one of those rooms (or a walk-in) into an office.

For people living in open-floor plan studios, creating a room partition – such as a foldable divider screen – can help separate the office from the rest of the space.

You can even set up your office in the garage, get rid of the doors on one of the cupboards and sneak your office in there.

Use the Guest Bedroom:

It is safe to say that you will not be hosting guests every single day – or even for the most part – of the year. When not occupied, guest rooms are normally used to dry laundry, as walk-in closets, or serve as dumping fields for miscellaneous bobs and bits.

Hence, converting your guest room into a home office should not be a giant leap. The addition of a single sofa bed is enough to transform the purpose and function of this space.

The dual function of the sofa bed means that the same piece of furniture can be used to sit or as a comfortable sleeping spot for when friends and family visit.

Set up as far away from the Kids as Possible:

The last thing you want is for your children to come barging into your office, screaming at the top of their voices while you are in the middle of a conference call. To avoid such distractions and nightmares, we recommend that you set both physical and mental boundaries with your household, during your working hours.

Ideally, that means using a space in the house that is separate from the children and even other family members. In other words, planting your laptop in the middle or dining room, where your family can easily distract you, is not a good idea.

Go All Harry Potter with an Under-the-Stairs Office:

While you might have grown too old for Harry Potter, it does not mean that you cannot tear a (figurative) page from those books. Thankfully, your under-the-stairs office is going to be a lot more comfortable than the home that Harry had in 4 Privet Drive, Surrey.

Use the under-stair area and the adjacent wall, whip out your creative wand, and get your home office ready. You can use a faux-fur rug to soften and break up your wood flooring design while giving your nice little office its separate identity.

Buy the Right Desk:

If you do not have an in-built desk, you will need to buy one for your computer and other office accessories and equipment. Find a desk that maximizes the space in the home office. You can buy:

An L-shaped desk and fit it in the corner of your office room

A writing desk that can be pushed up against the wall

A floating desk that maximizes floor space

Make sure to choose one that will suit your requirements as well as the design and structure of your house.

Befriend the Windows:

Sunlight is an essential requirement for any office. Sunlight boosts your Vitamin D and serotonin levels, both of which are linked to energy, productivity, motivation, and happiness. Sunlight is also crucial for our body's circadian rhythms and sleep quality. If setting your office up by a window is not a possibility, make sure that you use plenty of artificial lighting. You could even consider a therapeutic lamp which is used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as seasonal depression or winter blues).

Also, remember to get a few indoor plants for your office. Not only will these plants help enhance the appearance of the workplace, but also improve the air quality by fending off a number of air pollutants.

Invisible Office:

If you want the home office space to come across as unobtrusive, a glass desk can seemingly disappear when not being used.

You could use patterned or colored contact paper, or even paint your table to give it a distinctive look that is in line with the rest of your décor. Spray paint is another way to ensure that your office elements are in line with the existing house space.

Prioritize Vertical Storage:

When it comes to home offices, it is best to not rely too much on floor storage and pay more attention to vertical storage instead. For instance, rather than install file cabinets, you can set up shelves above the desk and use them to store pens, books, folders, or other office items. If you are not a big fan of nailing the walls, you can always buy a vertical free-standing ladder that comes with vertical shelves. By leaning against the wall, these desks maximize your floor space while also providing a writing desk and sufficient shelving room for several office necessities.

Avoid Using Large or Bulky Chairs:

The key to setting up a home office in a limited space is to keep as much area for your workspace as possible. This means avoiding seating options that take up too much room, and going for something like the Ergonomics Executive Office Chair, which offers the ideal combination of compactness and comfort. You can also easily slide this chair under your desk, which helps you to save even more space.

Alternatively, you could go for a more versatile option that can serve as a desk, dining, and sitting chair.

Do Not Skimp on Ergonomics:

Speaking of ergonomics, it is something that cannot be compromised upon when setting up a home office. Taking shortcuts here can entangle you in short- and long-term health issues. Make sure that you sit in the right posture (no slouching), that your arms are never not supported, the monitor is parallel to or slightly below your eye level, the keyboard and mouse should be within natural reach, your eyes receive periodic breaks (we recommend using the 20-20-20 rule), and that your feet are not dangling above the floor.

Divide Your Space Up:

If a separate room for your home office seems impossible, you can divide up an existing space and use it for multiple purposes. For instance, you can use a section of your living room, bedroom, or kitchen for the office.

If you do walk this route, make sure that your office space faces the rest of the room, as it will make you feel that you are using your own distinct room. Also, like we mentioned, you must make sure that the furniture and other accessories blend in with the color and design of your chosen room.

Get Organized:

Working in an organized manner is always important, but it is absolutely crucial to work-from-home employees for whom space is at a premium. Staying orderly and organized means that clutter will be kept to a minimum. This, in turn, means that you will not lose your sanity while trying to work out of such a confined space. Other than that, the more organized you are, the higher your productivity will be.

Go digital whenever possible; this means avoiding printing papers that you don't have to, and storing your files on a computer instead of physically. Also, try to keep personal items to a minimum: ideally, your desk should not have anything more than a computer, mouse, keyboard, table lamp, and perhaps a framed picture. Too much personal stuff will not just add to the clutter and reduce the amount of workable desk space, but also distract you and keep you from working with maximum concentration.

Final Word:

Setting up a home office, even in a limited amount of space, need not be an exercise in futility and frustration. Sure, a few compromises and adjustments are inevitable, but the truth is that the overall picture is probably better than you think. The key is to be able to seamlessly balance your work requirements with your home needs, and create a space that is purely professional. We hope that the material covered in this blog will help you set up the perfect home office.