Working from home has a lot of benefits, from saving time on the commute to saving money on the space. As we enter the summer holidays, there’s also quite a few of us who might need to be at home more on kid-watch.
It’s no surprise that many of us opt to work from the comfort of our own home, but it is a surprise that most don’t bother to get the home office set up properly. Camping out on the dining room table or taking over a corner of the living room is a quick way to get unorganised and stressed out.
To avoid getting sticky fingerprints all over that report that’s already late and maybe make life just a little bit easier, here’s our quick strategy on setting up your home office this summer.
Get savvy with your space
How regular and permanent your new home office set up is will affect how much space you need to get started. If you’re just looking to spend a couple extra days at home during the week to help at home, then carving out your own corner of a room might suffice. If, however, you’re looking for more long-term home office solution, then it’s probably best to think bigger.
If you do need something a bit more substantial but are already panicking about the lack of space in your home, don’t worry. You can get savvy with your space and look for solutions in the unexpected. Here’s some of our top ideas for some surprisingly spacious home office solutions if you don’t have a spare room.
A summer house or shed
This is obviously dependant on your garden space, but if you have a bit to spare then you can pick up a relatively cheap shed or even a slightly swankier summer house from your local DIY store or garden centre. You can easily convert this space later if you no longer need your home office to create extra storage, a kids play house or even a fancy chill out spot.
Under the stairs
If you have any space under the stairs, then you might be surprised by how much you can fit in here. Even if it’s not quite tall enough to fit in a complete office, you can always set up a desk in the hallway and use the space under the stairs for filing and organising. With some clever organisers a bit of creativity, you might be able to fit everything you need into this convenient space.
Get the right furniture
Just because you’re working doesn’t mean you can’t be comfy while you do it. In fact, it’s important that you get all the right essentials to ensure you stay productive and stress-free. Instead of skimping on your office furniture, take the time and invest a little in a decent office chair and desk to avoid any pesky back aches. You should also look for an adjustable monitor or laptop stand so you can adjust your screen height to avoid straining or slouching while you work.
And what about the accessories? A computer mouse, mouse mat and keyboard can also make a significant impact on how comfy you are whilst working. Again, take the time to shop around for ones that are designed to keep you happy and healthy if you plan on working for long stretches at a time.
Get clever with clutter
A tidy home makes for a tidy mind, and a tidy home office makes for a tidy work-life balance. If everything is unorganised and messy you’ll quickly find yourself stressed with work, and this will quickly begin to affect your home life as well. While there are many benefits to working from home, the potential for it to wreak havoc on your social life and mental wellbeing is easily its biggest danger.
Instead, get clever with all your work clutter and start organising like a pro. You can invest in some fancy storage units like some of the handy modular ones available at Ikea and many other retailers or save your money and instead invest your time in hunting around the internet for some DIY solutions. There’s literally hundreds, if not thousands, of life hacks out there to help you organise everything from your cables to your stationary. Why be stressed with something someone else has already done and found the solution for you?
Here’s a few of our favourite home office storage hacks to get your started or take a look at our top declutter hacks here.
- Wall organisers – pin up pots, racks and more to your wall to organise stationary, notes and so on. You can do this with a cork board and pins, good old-fashioned nails or even get creative with magnetic paint.
- Drawer organisers – buy a cutlery divider or any old drawer divider to keep all your stationary separate and organised.
- Shoe box storage – use shoe boxes to store and organise books, files and papers. You can even stack them for a DIY book shelf unit.
- Bull clips – use bull clips at the end of your desk to keep all your wires and cables separate. You can label them with post its or just by coloured tags for extra organisation.
Remember, you’re in your own home! If your home office is organised you shouldn’t have many problems staying productive, but you also need to feel comfortable. Aside from your office furniture, this means adding some personal touches to make your office feel a bit more… well, homely. Unlike a more corporate office set-up, you can be as fun and creative as you like. This is the perfect opportunity to customise everything to suit you.
House plants are a great way to liven up your space and make even cramped areas seem brighter, plus they’ve been shown to actually boost productivity and reduce stress levels. You can also add colourful pin boards and post-its to your wall, serving as practical reminders and ideas as well as making the whole place feel more personal.