You may have a home business, telecommute from time to time, or simply need a designated space to manage your life. Whatever the reason, a home office is something that nearly all of us need.
However, not all of us have a spare room to use as a home office. This is when it’s time to get a little creative, and transform an otherwise unused space into a home office nook.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Where will your nook be located? You’ll be surprised to find that even the smallest homes have office nook possibilities.
Take a tour of your house with a fresh perspective and consider some of these spaces: an unused closet, a sitting area in the master suite, an alcove on the upstairs landing, a recess under the stairs. Even a dedicated corner of the family room can be transformed into a functioning home office nook.
Without the luxury of closing a door to the rest of the house, you need to set the space apart from its surrounds. This can be achieved with artwork, or with the use of a privacy screen or piece of furniture.
It’s time to design your home office nook. What furniture and storage do you need? If you run a full time business from home, you may need a filing cabinet.
Many of us have a home printer and of course, a desk. Your desk may have in-built drawers, otherwise you could place a filing cabinet beside your desk to create a surface for your printer. And don’t forget to think vertically – installing a few shelves on the walls can really help you get the most out of your space.
Try not to fill every inch of space with furniture; remember that you can buy more if needed.
Make your home office one that you want to come to. You may want to consider the style of the rest of your home, especially the broader space your nook is located within. Could you paint a feature wall to help delineate your workspace?
Decorating is another way to make your office feel homely. If you like travelling, you could pin a world map to a pin board, turning a purely functional item (the pin board) into an artwork with purpose. You could also frame a few of your favourite landscapes and hang them above your desk, and place a beloved souvenir on one of your shelves.
One of the swiftest ways to make your office space look messy and unorganised is to have tangled cables snaking their way across your carefully chosen desk. Think about where your power outlets are placed in relation to your desk, printer, and any other electrical items you need. Consider whether you need easy access to regularly unplug and go, such as with a laptop.
There are a few neat ideas for labelling your cables so that you can easily identify which-goes-with-what. Bread bag ties, different coloured tape and bulldog clips with labels are a few. Before you set up your workstation, label each item, at both ends of the cable.
Conduit from the hardware store can disguise cables running along skirting boards. Stores like IKEA have under-desk cable trays.
We know that stepping away from the screen every hour for a walk and stretch is good for you (tip: set alarms at the beginning of the day to remind you), but have you considered investing in a sit-stand desk?
They allow you to position your desk to be most ergonomic, whether you’re sitting or standing. Pair your desk with an ergonomic chair.
Good airflow is also important for health. If you if you aren’t able to get fresh air by opening a nearby window, you should consider your home’s air conditioning, and if needed, add a fan to your space (and step outside during breaks for a dose of vitamin D).
Get the most out of your time spent in your new home office nook. Some ideas include setting a “do not disturb” function on your computer to avoid social media notifications, and making sure you have everything you need within reach, before sitting down.
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