We might have spent much of the last year working from home, but that doesn’t mean they’ve magically grown excess space to accommodate this.
As home-working looks set to be (at least, in part) a new way of life moving forward, hopefully, you’ve managed to find a more permanent - and better - alternative to taking over the kitchen or coffee table. Whether you’ve commandeered a corner of the lounge or are setting up shop in your bedroom, there are steps you can take to maximise your small home office space so that when you sit down to your everyday tasks, you feel like you’re stepping into a proper working environment.
Below are curtad.’s tips for making the most of any space - no matter how small it might be.
Start with the desk
Of course, the most important piece of furniture in any home office space is the desk - get this right and the rest will be much easier to implement. Desks with built-in storage, such as the Allermuir Crate or Ercol Trevesio are excellent space savers that keep essentials within arm’s reach or, if you’re really pushed for space, Spacestor has just introduced the KIT Desk specifically for this instance - a compact, foldable workstation that can be assembled without tools.
With a 30 second set-up time and built-in carry handle, you can carry it from room to room - ideal if you or your housemates have to take meetings or if you like a change of scenery. When done for the day, it can be folded and stored, so when you’re not working you’ll gain back the extra space you lose during the day.
“Over the past few months, we’ve undertaken a revolutionary global experiment in remote working, and many people have been living with makeshift workstations all the while,” said Esther Jay, one of Spacestor’s workspace concept strategists.
“Our goal with KIT was to improve the work-from-home experience by helping remote workers shift from ‘coping,’ to actually choosing and creating a more productive environment for themselves. We’ve designed a solution that empowers the user to choose their preferred work setting at any given moment, whether it’s in a living room or on the terrace.”
Working whilst making the most of a sunny day? Now, that really is productive.
Get the position right
Good natural light is essential for concentration and you’re far more likely to stay sitting at your desk if you feel focused. For maximum effect, position yours so that the window is in front of you or, if this isn’t possible, turn it to face directly north or south. This will minimise the sun’s ability to throw shadows across it at any time of day.
If your office space is part of a larger living area, ensure you pack away your work belongings at the end of the day. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind - you’ll find it much easier to maintain a separation between work and home life if you’re not constantly reminded of the former when you’re trying to relax. Desktop organisers can really help with this.
Don’t forget your walls
Not much surface area to play with? Then make the most of your walls. Clutter in an already tight space is a no-no, making it harder to stay focused and organised and adding to any feelings of stress and overwhelm you might already have. Shelving units are one of the most effective ways to maximise space, offering storage for things that might otherwise be taking up room on your desk. Plus, if you style them - plants, art and vases all work well - it gives you something to look at throughout the day.
Set some boundaries
It might be hard if you’re in a house share or working from home with your partner but try to set some boundaries around your work time and space, keeping separate from others working in the house. If this isn’t possible - if you’re working in the same room, for example - treat it much like you would a co-working space during the day. Set downtime for coffee and catch-ups but avoid chatting and other distractions such as chores during focused work time.
Tidy your electronics
Working with a load of electronics? You’ll likely also have a lot of cables lying around, then. One of the easiest ways to maximise space is to neaten them all in a single cable tidy or zip wire - preferably feeding them through the desk (there are plenty of models that allow for this). An even better space-saving solution is to go wireless. Wireless printers, keyboards, mice and speakers will all help tidy and organise your space for improved productivity.
Want to know more about how curatd. can help with your working from home needs? Take a look here.