With the boom in work from home, more of us than ever are needing to find comfortable spaces to work. And since sitting in bed doesn’t look good in a Teams meeting, you might need to make some effort with your small home office.
But what about if you barely have space to place a table, let alone a desk? Thankfully there are plenty of options to maximise your desk space even when you haven’t got much floor space.
So whether it’s setting up shop in your living room or dining room, or making a corner of your bedroom more like a boardroom – there is a way.
Well, we’ve got your back as we look at our small home office ideas to get you looking like the pro you are.
Get rid of the paper
Working from a small home office might mean that you’re either working with a very limited space, or using the space for other things. This means that you have to be very aware of what you are putting in it because it will get crowded easily, especially if you are dealing with a lot of documents.
Save space by digitising everything that doesn’t need a proper paper trail. Having everything on your computer will make things easier to organise and they won’t take up as much of your physical space.
Use a phone or a tablet to sign documents on them without having to print, then scan things in. This is more environmentally friendly and even saves you printer ink and paper money. Not to mention, it takes a lot of time compared to simply dragging your finger across a screen.
If digitising documents isn’t an option, then you need to be on top of throwing out old papers. Whatever you don’t need and use anymore shouldn’t be in a small office space.
If you’re working with limited space and a full time desk isn’t an option, you’ll find lots of options for foldable desks. Set up after breakfast, take it down when you’ve finished.
A foldable desk also means you avoid the clutter of an office desk and you can maybe even use it for other things. You can even find good foldable desks for well under $100/£100.
Wall mounted/folding desk
Another clever option for desk space in a small space is to use a wall mounted desk that folds away. Although these take a little effort to install, it can be an excellent space saving option for your small home office.
And because they take up minimal space, you can pop them in the smallest corner. Of course, the downside is that they aren’t movable. But if you want a small desk in your own corner, this is an excellent budget home office desk solution.
You might think that having a comfortable office chair at home is frivolous and unneeded. That you will be okay with a regular chair from your kitchen, or with a stool that you have lying around your home.
Unfortunately, that just won’t do. Not only will it look extremely unprofessional if you have to video chat with someone, it’s also bad for your back and posture. There are plenty of affordable ergonomic chair options and you really shouldn’t compromise your own health over a budget.
Office bean bag chair
OK you’ve heard of these rec-rooms in tech giant HQs. Well, if it’s good enough for Apple staff, it’s good enough for you, right?
Bean bags chairs can come in all shapes and sizes and can also be great for working from. Granted, if you’re working on some code all day, you might not want to be slouched in a bean bag all day. But with enough floor space, a bean bag chair can be a comfy place to work on your laptop.
Got regular meetings? Or shooting video from your home office? Home lighting is a good investment if you want to look professional. And it should be a priority if you are in a leading position. After all, who will take their boss seriously if they can’t even look presentable on camera when they have plenty of time to prepare and make themselves look their best?
- Ring light
And when it comes to presentation and lighting, it’s TikTokers who we should be learning from. The influencers on the platform are all using the cheapest lighting option that is still perfect for creating content: a ring light. These are affordable and easy to set up and use. Their only bad part is that they are meant to illuminate the face, so using a ring light for the whole day won’t be doable, as your eyes will eventually grow tired of the light. For one or two meetings or a video it’s perfect, however.
- Desk lamp
A good desk lamp is an old office classic, and perfect for a home office. It can be repurposed as a bedside light, used to shed light on meetings and just used to brighten up your working day.
Aim for a blue or colder light bulb for your work desk as this helps you concentrate.
- Natural light?
If you have a window in your home office you should place your desk right in front of it, so that the natural light hits your face right from the front. This is the cheapest option, although if there are times when your office is quite dark and moody you should still get yourself a good light.
You aren’t working right next to others anymore, so if you wanted to put something up, but couldn’t before, now is your chance. It’s a proven fact that being in an aesthetically pleasing environment can help your mental health and boost productivity. It’s likely that the piece of decoration you wanted can already be found in your home, so you can simply place it within your office.
You can also put up those cheesy motivational quotes if you want. But simple photography or artwork is a great option too.
A pot plant can add a splash of colour to your small home office, and also helps with focus. If you’re really using limited space, a small cactus or bonsai tree could be just the ticket. If you have a bit more room, perhaps a yucca tree or calathea can add a bit of the outside inside.
Flexible work spaces
If you’ve tried working from home and it’s just not happening, you might be wondering what the options are.
This is where flexible work spaces, or coworking spaces, come in. These are offices that are rented out to individuals on a monthly basis. This usually means freelancers and people who only need an office when there is a need to look professional, but otherwise are fine working at home. You can book yourself an office for your meeting, specifying how long you plan to stay and only pay for the time you spend using the room. This way you don’t need to renovate a space in your own home for work.
Coworking spaces will usually have conference rooms, bathrooms, excellent security and sometimes they are even equipped with kitchenettes. This way you can stay in a flexible work space for an entire day if needed, as you can take care of your work needs just the same and you will have your office available whenever you must take a call.
Working from home jobs
If you’re setting up as a freelancer, or looking for remote work, we have lots of tips here to help you get up and running. Read up about how to learn to code, jobs for nerds and more right here on Global Playboy…