Whether you work from home occasionally or full-time, it’s important to have a dedicated space in your house where you can get away from distractions and really focus. But finding space for a home office can be a challenge! If you’re struggling to carve out some office space from your available square footage, we might be able to offer some suggestions to help you out. From planning to decorating, check out the following tips to squeeze a functional and inviting office into your cramped quarters.
Natty Gal Note: Today’s post was written by guest author Amy Collet of Bizwell.org! Check out her bio at the end of this post.
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Choose the Right Location
The location of your home office will have a significant impact on your ability to focus during the workday. If you live with other people, setting up a desk in the corner of your living room might be too distracting. While a closet office sounds like a cozy idea for a private space, the lack of natural light could become a problem if you work long hours. Choose a space where you will feel comfortable and motivated. For example, a spot in your bedroom near a bright window might work well.
Invest in a Few Key Essentials
Even if you’re on a tight budget, it pays to spend a little more money on certain office supplies. Sitting causes a lot of stress and strain on the body, which is why a good desk chair is one of the most important items in your home office. A spare kitchen chair or stool will not suffice! According to Veritas Health, the right desk chair will promote good posture and help you avoid back pain, so look for a model with good lumbar support and enough padding to keep you comfortable for hours.
Natty Gal Note: We recently updated our home office chairs and went with the iconic Herman Miller Aeron. They are very pricey but we were able to find used ones in like-new condition at a greatly reduced cost. Love knowing we now have ones that won’t need to be replaced in a year or two.
Another important element of your home office setup is high-speed internet access. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for websites to load when you’re working on a deadline, so save some room in your budget to upgrade your internet plan. A solid internet connection is also important for effective communication during video calls with coworkers or clients.
Natty Gal Note: Investigate a business internet connection. Some employers are now offering corporate rates to employees that match consumer rates but offer much greater speed and better reliability.
Don’t Skimp on Lighting
Lighting can have a surprising impact on your mood and energy levels. Dim lighting, glare from a desk lamp, or blinding sunlight streaming through the window can all impact your ability to work productively at home. To optimize your home office lighting, YLighting recommends a combination of task lighting for focused work, like writing and reading, ambient light to soften sharp contrasts and reduce strain on your eyes, and overhead lighting to fill in the gaps.
Make Use of Multifunctional Décor
When it comes to decorating your small office space, focus on decorations that can double as storage solutions and functional tools. For example, a corkboard is a great place to pin up ideas and to-do lists, but also to display pictures of loved ones. If you’re short on storage space, go vertical! Floating shelves and bookcases will keep clutter off your floor and desk where it can impede your productivity. Wicker baskets and clear bins make fantastic storage devices for loose papers, notebooks, and small office supplies like pens, highlighters, scissors, and staplers. It’s much more enjoyable to work in a clean and organized office space, so find creative ways to store your stuff!
Natty Gal Note: Check out my personal office remodel from 2018 HERE. I’ve also linked a few of my home office favorites below. Just click to shop!
For some people, working from home is a blessing. For others, it’s a curse. Wherever you land on this debate, the importance of a dedicated office space cannot be understated. You’ll enjoy your workday so much more in a personal space with the right lighting, a good chair, and all the supplies you need neatly organized into attractive storage systems. You’ll be surprised by how much more productive you can be in the right home office space!
Amy Collet is the creator of Bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. When she’s not busy with helping her clients, she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and is training to become a yoga instructor.
Until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish and satisfying life!