In the past, people used to only work from home when other demands, such as a sick child or a scheduled repair, forced them to do so. The trend has been reversing, however, with more and more people telecommuting for their jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, 13.4 million people reported that they telecommuted at least one time per week. That number was an increase of 35 percent in just 13 years from 1997. The trend has only continued its upward trajectory since then because technology has made telecommuting easier and more effective.
If you are considering a telecommuting or work-from-home job, you are likely wondering how you will be able to fit a home office into your available space. There are several innovative ways that you can carve out space for a home office, including in your kitchen, using an available wall or even under a staircase. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Choose your spot
When you’re trying to choose the place where you will work, you should think about both the work that you do as well as the types of home tasks you will need to also be able to monitor. For people who are planning to simultaneously supervise their children while also working, picking a spot near where your family normally gathers is smart. In many people’s homes, this is the kitchen. You can get creative by installing your spot into a breakfront that is built in or tucked away in an available corner.
Consider the space under your stairs
If you have a staircase in your home, consider the space under the stairs as a possibility. With creativity, you can turn the space into your home office. Another possibility is setting up your home office in your dining room, especially if your dining room doesn’t get used too often. You can use the table for your desk and store office equipment in your hutch.
Use a wall
If you are limited by your square footage, a wall-mounted desk might be a good option. You can purchase one that has a shelf with side storage that is functional and attractive.
Consider your storage options
People who are space-limited may want to choose to store documents in a closet or to store printers and other electronics in custom drawers built for them. Filing cabinets, crates, stackable storage options and blanket chests can all be used to store and hide office items away when you are not working.
Pick your office chair
People who will be working at a desk for multiple hours should purchase ergonomic chairs. You can pick an ergonomic chair that also has a sleek appearance so that it won’t look like an office chair if it is out in plain sight.
Choose your lighting
Don’t make the mistake of only relying on the blue glow from your laptop. Other tasks will require additional lights so you reduce the possible strain on your eyes. Natural light works great, but for darker rooms, using an adjustable lamp that you can move to focus on different tasks.
Make it comfortable
Straining or hunching over while you work will end up hurting you over time. This is why ergonomic designs are so important. You’ll want to pay attention to the height of your keyboard so that you don’t end up developing carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrists.Drawers or platforms that sit right under your desk surface are ideal. Footstools can be used to make certain that your legs are elevated, which helps to prevent lower back pain. Similarly, ergonomic pillows that are designed to fit with the natural curvature of your spine are also helpful.
Using your imagination and a little creativity, you can create space for a home office somewhere in your home. Even if you are limited in the amount of your available space, you can use one of these methods to establish your spot so that you can work comfortably from home.