In 2019, 9 million people worked from home, but this number tripled in 2021, reaching 27.6 million people. COVID-19 might have been the catalyst, but the increase might be that we all realized how wonderful working from home truly is. Not only is working from home flexible, economical, and kid-friendly, but we can get away with pajama bottoms during Zoom meetings. Even our productivity increases, with 77 percent of at-home workers displaying an increase in productivity.
Though working from home has many pros, it can be hard to stay focused when your toddler spills orange juice on the computer, the chihuahuas are yapping in the background, or the couch beckons to us for a mid-afternoon nap. The key to staying focused is having a home office space, and the first step involves finding the space at home to create one. Let’s walk through five spaces that could be carved out for a home office.
The bedroom is one of the easiest places to set up a home office. A desk and chair can be placed at the end of the bed, complementing the color or wood of the bed frame, or pressed against the lip of a window. If there’s an empty corner in the bedroom, a corner desk can hug the walls and fit the decor of the room.
No matter where the desk or chair is placed, the bedroom can become a designated space to focus and get work done. Plus, the bed is always a great alternative if the chair gets too uncomfortable.
Though less obvious, closets can become a great home office. A walk-in closet can be fitted with a modern desk, bright globe lights, and shelving. Smaller closets can simply include a desk and shelves, painted with contrasting colors to help the shelves pop. To create more space in a smaller closet, a fold-out desk can even be added.
Depending on your preferences, the closet doors can be removed or kept. Without the doors, your home office will feel more airy, while keeping the doors prevents children or others from getting in. A closet is a splendid way to carve out an office in your home.
Family Command Center
A family command center is normally situated in the kitchen with a desk/countertop and computer and minimal decorations to prevent clutter in your kitchen. This can become a great office if there’s a schedule in place. You can complete your work while the children are at school or an activity or while everyone has quiet time for a couple of hours during the day.
Often underused and overlooked, attics have the greatest potential for a long-term home office. You can leave the space unfinished, string hanging lights along the exposed beams, or fit the slanted walls with short bookshelves. Lay the floors with rugs or even thick carpeting to keep it warm in the winter.
Place a desk in front of any walls and paint the walls bright colors to reflect any natural light. If the space is large, a couch, larger bookshelves, coffee tables, etc. can be added. This space can also be permanently renovated for long-term use. The attic is a great place for those who plan on working from home and want to remain focused on their work.
A car is another extension of the home, and while an unexpected place to have to hold meetings, it can become a great option for a quick home office. Many of us are constantly on the go—chauffeuring family members to destinations, like school, work, etc.—and working in between pick-ups can help save time and stay focused.
To avoid back pain, a tray can be attached to the steering wheel or behind the front seat or passenger seat. The inside of the car can be made presentable for Zoom meetings by removing trash and organizing what’s in the side doors or pockets.
Another unique advantage to using your car for a temporary home office is the vicinity to the great outdoors. Park next to a lake or field and take your calls while walking around. On nice days, roll down the windows for a fresh breeze and the sights and smells of the local neighborhood.
All five of these spaces can easily become a home office with a few special tweaks. Setting up a home office can help us remain focused during work hours yet keep you close to the action and needs of family members. Try carving out a space in your house today for a home office and see what you can accomplish!