As we’ve moved into a time where more and more people are working from home, it’s never been so important to carve out your own little workspace. Keeping your home and work life separate can be difficult when they are so intertwined within the same environment. Let us show you how to create a home office no matter what space or budget you're dealing with.
What is the best way to set up a home office?
The three main factors of your workspace will be:
- Sitting or Standing?
Firstly you’ll need an area to work on, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a desk. I’ll explain more about that later. You’ll also need your computer, laptop, tablet or phone from which you plan to work from. To create a home office with the perfect ergonomic environment, use the ergotron workspace planner to set up your desk and screen height.
Lastly, you should decide if you want a standing or seated desk area, it’s also possible to create a home office that’s versatile enough for both. Studies have shown that sitting down for long periods of time is bad for our health.
On the flip side of that, so is being on your feet all day long. There are pros and cons to sitting or standing all day, so having a versatile workspace that allows either is the best choice. Height adjustable desks are a great option.
If you are looking for something more budget-friendly you could have a stool close by to change it up between standing and sitting. If you want to read more about this, check out this piece on Should You Buy A Standing Desk.
These are some great options for desks:
- SIXtematic BELLE - 2:1 make up stand & writing desk - This is a beautiful dual purpose desk that won’t crowd your space and has compartments in all the right places.
- Ikea - Great affordable options for a manual sit stand desk.
- Standsome Desktop adaptor - a very small, versatile and mobile piece that you could easily place on your dining table.
How do I set up a home office without a desk?
If you just need somewhere to plonk your laptop there are plenty of options without having to invest in a desk. If you already have a side table that can be cleared for work use it. Maybe you have a kitchen table you could work at.
If your TV is sitting on a unit or floating shelves, could you make some space for your laptop? Desktop adaptors come in affordable and versatile options, look at investing in one like this from Standsome.
Create a home office with great lighting
One of the downsides of being sat down all day or working with a screen is that it can make you feel tired. One of the best ways to combat this is to have great lighting. If you have a space that gets plenty of natural light, this is where you should create a home office.
But don’t forget about lamps. Even if you have a space with lots of natural light, there may be grey days and working hours past daylight, you’ll need a lamp or over head lighting to keep you focused.
Place your screen away from direct sunlight, you’ll want the light to keep you motivated but glare can be too distracting. You can also put up blinds to control the amount of light that is allowed in.
Here are two of our favourite desk lamps:
- Muuto Leaf Table Lamp - This is a beautifully designed and functional desk lamp.
- Ikea Riggad- A sexy little lamp that also offers wireless charging.
Get creative with your storage space.
Using shelves, bookcases, bags and baskets that you already have can be a great way to assist your home office. Adding things like a desk tidy or a rolling cart can keep things neat and tidy. If you really want to keep your office space hidden you could transform a wardrobe or cupboard to store your office supplies.
Create a home office with a touch of nature
Being surrounded by nature has a tonne of health benefits. When you create a home office add a touch of nature too. This is a space you will spend a lot of time in, so you want it to invoke the right vibe.
How many plants you add will depend on your personal style, one small plant on your desk or a room filled with plants, the more the merrier! If you aren’t green-fingered and are worried about the upkeep of a plant you can trick your brain slightly by just adding the colour green.
As we associate green with nature, using the colour green in your environment can be another way to create a home office with a touch of nature without the responsibility of keeping plants alive.
Don’t forget a personal touch
This is your workspace and you’re likely to spend a lot of time here, make it personal. Fill it with pieces that bring you joy but that won’t distract you from your work. Rotate family photos, add some greenery, add a pop of colour or your favourite print.
If you would like to find more inspiration on how to decorate your space, check out our favourite resources.
Create a home office with a comfy space
There may be times when you aren’t sitting at your computer and may need to read or think for a moment. If you have the extra space and don’t always want to be at your desk you can create a comfy space.
A comfy space could be a nice chair, a beanbag or a reading nook away from your desk for when you need that moment of peace and tranquillity, but also need to be focussed.
How do you create a home office in a small space?
When you don’t have a lot of space to work with it is still possible to create a home office. The trick is to work with what you have.
- Make it efficient for work and life
- Decide on a sit or stand workspace (depending on space available)
- Alter room layouts to fit a small workspace
- Utilise floating shelves or TV units
- Make the office a feature of a bedroom
- Put a secret office in a cupboard or wardrobe
- Use the space underneath the staircase
- Make other spaces more versatile (kitchen, hallway)
- Use vertical storage solutions
- Use your outhouse if there’s no space in your house
- Alcoves or dividing walls can be transformed into small office spaces
- Convert your creepy attic into a fabulous office
How much does it cost to set up a home office?
The cost of setting up a home office will differ greatly. If you don’t require much space and already have a laptop this could potentially be a free project. But if you’re planning to transform an entire room, then the sky’s the limit depending on your budget.
Setting up a home office on a budget
If you want to create a home office on a small budget, here are a few tips:
- Make the most of what you’ve got
- Upcycle items that could be useful
- If you don’t have an actual desk, make one, or makeshift one
- Make good use of small shelves or tables
- Keep your office space small
- Mugs, cups, tin cans, bags and baskets can be used as desk storage
Work from home tips
Working from home can be a challenge, here are our tips to help with your productivity.
Start your day right
I know it’s totally cliche, but getting up early, doing a little exercise, stretching, meditating and showering before a healthy breakfast really sets me up for the day. I know these things aren’t for everyone but if you can create a good morning routine it helps creativity flow.
This may seem silly but beleive me when you work from home it’s really easy to wake up one day and decide ‘nah, I can work in my pijamas today’. But this can become a bad habit and can also be bad for productivity. I find I’m far more productive when I’ve actually made the effort to get properly dressed, it just makes me feel better about myself and those positive vibes flow throughout the day.
Separate your work life from home life
Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean there’s more time to do chores around the house. Schedule your day like a work day, if you want to do chores factor it into your day as a break from your desk. Make sure anyone else at home is aware of your working hours and that it’s not ok to disturb you (unless in the case of an emergency).
Turn off distractions
Social media and emails can be really distracting when you need to focus. To get the most out of your working hours turn off notifications. You could even put your phone on silent or in airplane mode if this works for you.
It can be really easy to spend hours upon hours in front of the screen. Even when you find you are in a flow, sometimes it’s best to take a break. Regular breaks taken the right way can help you be more productive.
The Wrap Up: How to Create a Home Office That Inspires Creativity
When you create a home office, just like any other area of your home, it’s going to be personal to you, your environment and your budget. We hope this has helped you get started with your new project.
Here’s a simple check list to keep you on track while planning out your perfect home office.
- Plug Sockets
- Adapters or extender chords (if needed)
- Worktop / Desk
- Office Equipment
- A personal touch
Author - Teri-Anne of An Aimless Walk an outdoor adventure, travel and snowsports site.