Going to work in your pajamas may be your favorite part of working from home, but most experts agree your workspace should be separated from the rest of your house in some way. Clutter, disorganization and a general lack of inspiration do little for the productive brain. Whether you have a separate room or you're working from your kitchen table, there are plenty of ways to create the space you need to succeed. Boost creativity and productivity with a home office designed for you to get work done and enjoy your time.
You can be simple without sacrificing style when it comes to your home office space. Simply put, clear the clutter and you clear your mind. First, think about what you expect to accomplish in your home office. Is it dedicated to work? Does it also serve as a place to sort out the family finances? Anything that is not conducive to the activities you expect to be doing should be moved elsewhere. Next, store your work electronically as much as you can to reduce the need for paper filing and storage. Keep only current work on your desk and clear off everything else so you can focus. Speaking of focus, you may want to remove any extra decor or memorabilia that could prove to be distracting.
Short on space? You can do work just as efficiently in a shared space. If your guest room has a closet, try converting it into a little home office. Just add a shelf at desk height, a chair and you're set. Remove the door, or slide it closed when the workday is over. Got kids? Consider transforming part of their playroom into an office. Use a toy storage shelf as a room divider and create zones for work and play. Bins and baskets are a cost-effective way to stow away both office items and toys. In your living room, create desk space by pushing an existing sofa table up against a wall or window and adding a chair.
It's not necessary to invest in bulky and expensive desks when designing your home office. Remove the mirror from a vanity table and it makes a great desk. The little drawers can store office supplies instead of makeup. Purchase an inexpensive shelf with brackets and mount it on the wall at desk height. Then, add a chair you already own to save both money and space. If your kitchen has unused counter space or a little breakfast nook, consider setting up shop there. If nothing else, create desk space on your dresser and work right from your bedroom; just note that many experts suggest keeping the bedroom for sleep.
Adding plants to your workspace is a simple and stylish way to reduce stress and increase mental acuity. Not only can office plants remove toxins from the air, some also improve concentration and memory! For areas with low light, a ZZ plant thrives with little water. Add a pop of color with an African violet, which has fuzzy leaves and purple flowers. Miniature versions grow fewer than six inches in diameter which means they can accommodate even the smallest spaces.
For some, working from home is infrequent, which means looking at temporary home office solutions. Roll in a bar cart to serve as all-inclusive office storage. The seldom-used guest bedroom night table can double as a filing cabinet. For the extra frugal, an ironing board can easily become a work surface. It's long enough to handle office necessities and can be adjusted to standing or sitting height. The best part? Easily stow it away when you no longer need it.
If your home office tends to be colorful and cluttered, it can feel busy before you even begin to work. Create a low-stress work environment by keeping the decor simple and the colors neutral. Paint your walls white or light grey and add cool blue textiles, such as a throw pillow. Opt for light wood furniture with clean lines to add warmth. Conceal less than perfectly organized wall shelves by hanging a curtain in a neutral shade.
Designing your home office doesn't have to break the bank. An old sewing box can hold small office essentials such as paperclips and elastics. Repurpose a napkin holder as a laptop stand or pull out your dish caddy to organize files. Glassware makes a great pen holder — use ornate or colorful glasses to reflect your personal style. Keep your desk clear by using adhesive hooks as a tablet mount; hang an extra one for your earbuds.
Be honest; does your guest bedroom serve as a dumping ground for old clothes and holiday decorations? With lots of light and ample closet space, it's worth clearing it out to make room for serious work. As an added bonus, you'll likely have space to add a lounging area or reading nook for your well-deserved breaks.
Changing the layout can make all the difference in your home office design. Utilize your desk space by positioning it in the middle of the room. Perfect for shared office space, this setup allows for seating on both sides of the desk. It also keeps the exterior walls free for bookshelves and lounge seating. In a small space, position your desk facing a window to feel less constricted.
No matter the working space, make the most of the surrounding walls. If your desk faces a wall, consider wallpaper to add interest or hang a mirror to feel less compressed. Mix, match, and mount cube shelves and open shelves to hold books and files. Hang wall decor that also has a purpose, such as clipboards to hold task lists. Decorate with prints that mirror your other designs and colors. Stay positive by hanging an inspirational quote or warm up the space with textiles, such as macramé.