With the new year coming soon, it’s time to start thinking about your career goals. If you work from a home office, now is the perfect time to assess your workspace and find ways to make it more efficient and productive. These are my tips for turning any space into a work area that makes you want to dig right into your to-do list!
Carve Out Space for Work – and Nothing Else
It may be difficult if you have a small home, but clearing a space that is used for nothing but work is essential. This ensures that all of your work items are stored in a designated spot (saves lots of stress at tax time!) and doesn’t allow them to spill over into other rooms of the house. A designated work space also means you have a place to get away from the distractions that keep you from being productive.
I’ve seen everything from closets to basements to attics that have been turned into lovely home offices. Wherever you can find space, do take into account the variables and habits necessary to do your job. For instance, if you enjoy gazing out a window, turning that old storage closet into an office probably isn’t ideal. Instead, try setting aside a corner of your bright family room or kitchen. If you need peace and quiet, then a dedicated room with a door is a must. For those who are frequently on the phone with clients, it’s best to move into a basement or even an outdoor shed – anywhere that the background noise of normal everyday life won’t interfere. Don’t forget to consider rooms that were meant for one purpose but aren’t being utilized; typically this includes a formal living room, dining room or even a broad hallway or large laundry room.
What Furniture Do You Need?
Chances are you already have a desk – or something that functions as a desk – and a chair, perhaps some storage space in the form of bookshelves or filing cabinets. But do the pieces really work for your needs? Particularly if you have a small space to work with, it can be challenging to include all the professional furnishings you need while staying within the constraints.
If you are simply making do with what you have, it may be time to invest in some good pieces. We’ve got several solutions for home offices that do double duty and the pieces can be combined in a custom configuration that fits perfectly. The Telemaco Work Wall Bed Desk is an excellent example of a single piece that combines work functionality with a comfortable bed for guests. An Uno ottoman provides a small space for storage but also doubles as a footrest or a seat for guests.
Then again, furnishings that are designed for a particular purpose, such as a buffet, china hutch, nightstand or chest of drawers, can often be repurposed. It just requires you think outside the box a bit. If you only entertain occasionally in your formal dining room, it can serve dual purposes when you take over the table as a desk and use the buffet to store files and computer equipment. The same thing holds true in the bedroom, where a nightstand and armoire become filing cabinet and desk. This Henry console table is meant for a dining or living room, but there’s no reason it can’t house paperwork; the same holds true for this Legend buffet table.
The key is to be able to stow your work items neatly away when the space needs to function as it was intended. Baskets and utility carts – or even a bar cart (check out this Diamond accent table) – are great for organizing and look good in any room while being mobile.
Need more ideas or inspiration to redo your home office? Just come in to either of our showrooms. Any of our designers are happy to work with you to find great, nontraditional office furnishings that fit perfectly into your space – no matter how large or how small.