Working from home is great, you can keep your slippers on, the coffee is probably better, and you can attend virtual meetings in your gym clothes. However, “blending” the workday with the rest of the day can either mean that you’re hardly working, or always working. Apart from being disciplined with your time, having a defined workspace at home can increase your productivity and improve your work-life balance.
But where do we find the space in our already full homes?
- Look up
Sneaking out onto the roof might sound like a teenage habit, but certain roofs can be prime candidates for additions or at least attractive outdoor spaces with a decent internet signal. Start by taking some time to find some quality rooftop fall protection for any building, and then start making your office. While it might begin as a plastic table and chairs with a gazebo, it can eventually dwarf into a glass room with a view or a patio that your family and friends can enjoy in the evening. Designate a filing cabinet or closet near your roof access for all your office supplies and get used to setting up every day.
- Living Room
While the kitchen table might sound like a tantalizing option for some of us, the living room is a much better candidate for a “work corner” than the kitchen, one of the busiest spaces in the house. Invest in some office furniture that corresponds well with the rest of your living room aesthetic and allow it to blend seamlessly with the room. Look for opportunities to neatly store your materials so that they don’t tempt your visitors or get tangled in with your family’s stuff.
- Guest Room
Do you really need a guest room? While many families like having one, the truth is that they are often underused, whereas an office would be used very regularly. Think about it logically and consider turning one of your couches into a futon and clearing out one of the hallway closets for potential future visitors to keep their belongings in. This is also a bonus if you have your own business and would like to write off some of your utilities and mortgage or rent as an expense at the end of the year. You need a “dedicated room with a door” to be legally allowed to do that.
- Hallway Closet
This might sound a little Harry-Potteresque, but there are plenty of amazing closet conversions resulting in perfectly functional, not to mention seriously attractive, home offices. These nooks don’t have to be big, but they fit everything you need and are not technically part of any other room. Bonus for designs that let you slide the office close for when you have company over or are not using it. There’s no use to having worked taunt you when you are spending quality time with others!
Many basements are seriously underutilized. While many think the lack of light is depressing, remember that most offices don’t have that much natural light anyway! Plus, it’s a great way to be able to spread out all your supplies and paperwork without worrying about it getting in the way of your family’s life. If you want to invest a little more into it, build a wall, furnish it professionally, and put your nametag on the door- now we’re serious business!
Home offices can get tricky, as you try to best benefit from working at home without intertwining the two dimensions too much. Finding a good space to do designated work might take some trial and error but test the boundaries of your home from building an office on top, to taking over the guest room.