More and more of us are working from home than ever before – renting office space can be expensive, and remote work is increasingly common. So, whether you’re self-employed or used to the office lifestyle, you may be adjusting to setting up shop in the house.
The problem with having a home office, however, is the inevitable distractions and difficulty when it comes to motivating yourself. Without a proper work-space, it is likely that your productivity and the quality of what you are producing will be negatively impacted.
There’s no need to worry, however: we’ve put together a guide of the best home office ideas, from how to maximise organisation to where the optimal spots are for an office space.
Regardless of your personal working style or what obstacles you’re having to overcome, we’ll be able to help you figure them out so that you can get on with what you’re good at.
If you want to get some inspiration, or to find out more about our home office ideas and how you can make the most of the room that you have, then keep reading!
The best places to have your home office
A lot of people set up their home office in the living room, primarily out of convenience. Most of us will already have a table in their living room which can be used, and the proximity to a kitchen and bathroom makes this an obvious choice.
However, turning a living room into an office space may be harder than you would think. The living room is often the centre of the household, meaning it can be very busy and cluttered a lot of the time, which is definitely not what you want in a home office.
What’s more, you may struggle with finding enough desk space or office storage. A living room already has a purpose, so to have the best home office you can you may need to seek out a guest room or less-used room in your house.
Without a doubt, a conservatory is the best place to organise your home office.
One of the reasons for this is that a conservatory is distinct from the rest of the house, it is an extension, meaning that you can separate business and home life better. This is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance whilst in the house all day.
Many people leave their conservatory relatively unused, either because they are not sure what to do with the space or because it is reserved for entertaining. There is no need for such an amazing room to be neglected!
Conservatories make great home offices because they are filled with natural light and the view from them tends to be the beautiful greenery of the back garden. There is more than enough space for a desk and desk chair, as well as the potential for office storage.
On top of all this, a conservatory is guaranteed to be the most comfortable spot for an office in your house. Because they are insulated so well, there’s no risk of getting too cold from draughts or too hot from humid summer days. You can use your new home office year-round and never have to worry about being uncomfortable. As far as home office ideas go, this is a pretty good one.
If your house happens to have a guest bedroom, then why not transform it into the perfect home office? Of course, a bed might have to be replaced by a desk, but after a little DIY, you will have your own private work-space ready to go.
A guest bedroom is ideal because there will likely be enough space for any office furniture needed, storage space such as wall shelving or filing cabinets, and enough light to keep you feeling productive.
Using your dining room as a home office may not be for everyone, but for some, it is the perfect place to get on with work.
The benefits of using this room are, of course, close proximity to the kitchen, and having a large table that can be used as a desk. Certain people thrive in slightly more bustling environments and would struggle more with the concept of having to concentrate in a silent room from 9-5. If this sounds like you, then working in a dining or living room may be a much better option.
Common issues with a home office
The idea of a home office is pretty idyllic: unlimited supplies of food and coffee, not having to commute every day, being able to wear whatever you like to the “office”! However, there are quite a few possible issues when it comes to working from home.
One of the biggest problems with having a home office is the constant temptation of distractions. For example, if you are working at your kitchen table, you’re most likely metres away from the television, from other family members, from your phone and magazines and a kitchen. Trying to avoid procrastinating and becoming overly distracted from all this can be really difficult.
Another issue to deal with is figuring out where to have your home office. Not everybody has a dedicated room solely for business purposes, so often it’s important to adapt and find a space in your home that works for you. If you decide to designate your workspace to the living room or the bedroom, you may find it much harder to concentrate than if you had an area dedicated to just work.
A common problem that can be found in both traditional and home offices is feeling uncomfortable. Being too hot or too cold, sitting on a hard chair, and being in a cluttered space can all seriously impact the quality of your work. If you’re setting up a study area in a part of your house which is draughty and poorly insulated, the likelihood is you’re going to become miserable and distracted.
How to overcome these issues
Whilst there may be many potential pitfalls to having a home office, they can all be ironed out with some thought and organisation.
Perhaps the biggest issue for many people is that of how to stay motivated and not get distracted. The best way to do this is by simply removing as many distractions as possible in your workspace. If you have a tendency to flick through your phone, then turn it off and put it in another room. If chatting with the other people in your house is what stops you working, then tell them to not engage with you until the workday is over. Whatever it is, take proactive steps to cut it out and you’ll see how much your work ethic transforms!
If you’re struggling to find a spot for your home office which is conducive to your work, then the advisable thing to do is try out different spots. Generally speaking, you should be sat upright in a comfortable chair at an office desk, close enough to amenities such as the WiFi router and a bathroom, but not too close to temptations like the television. Perhaps there is an unused guest bedroom or living space in your house that could be used as a workspace?
Not as many people prioritise this as they should, but the question of comfort is vital. We are at our most creative and productive when our bodies and minds are alert yet relaxed. This is why working whilst slouched in bed or aching in an unsupportive chair is not optimal when it comes to creating your home office.
Similarly, if you are sat in a draughty space and having to wear two jumpers just to keep warm – you may want to think about finding a new room. To overcome this issue, find somewhere in your home which is properly insulated, such as a conservatory, and from there you can build your office up. The office area in which you are working is the most important thing; everything else is portable and can be figured out around your space.
Home office ideas to stay organised
The importance of having somewhere, even if it is only a small space, in your home that is dedicated to your career cannot be overstated.
Of course, not everyone will be able to have an entire room that they can turn into an office, but we can all set aside a small amount of floor space! Regardless of whether you have a small home or not, all you have to do is move around some items until you find space and invest in a chair and desk.
The benefits of doing this are priceless and well worth sacrificing a little area of your home. Having space which exists solely for business purposes will help you to stay organised, as it creates a separation from your personal life. This is really important and in the long-run will make you feel more energised and focused, leaving you free to get to work!
Maximising your space and making the most of your home is a great way to get organised, and in the long run, will do wonders for the quality of your work.
To avoid your new office space encroaching into the home, you may have to come up with some inventive storage solutions. Rather than having folders and boxes piling up on the floor, you could utilise your wall and put up some shelving units. This will not only make your home office feel less cluttered but make any information that you may need to find quickly much more accessible.
Alternatively, you could find an office desk which has storage units incorporated into its design. This saves the trouble of having to buy multiple pieces of furniture and keeps everything within reach. Failing this, make sure that all of your important documents are kept in folders, files, and boxes if possible to keep your office space neat and ready to use.
You may not realise it, but one of the easiest ways to feel organised and inspired at your home office is by making sure that you have good lighting, preferably natural light.
Natural light keeps your body more awake and will leave you feeling motivated. If your study space happens to be in a room with poor light, then it is definitely advisable that you invest in some good-quality lamps and lightbulbs.
A great option is to include a lamp which mimics the sunlight somewhere in your home office, such as on the desk or propped up on the floor. These will give your body the illusion of sunlight, meaning you can stay motivated for longer!
What should I put in my home office?
What you put in your home office is entirely up to you.
Some common design ideas include a framed photo, perhaps of loved ones or of something that you know motivates you. If a photo is not your style, then look for another art piece that makes you gives you inspiration. Some people like to have a small sculpture, an art print, or even a mural on their wall.
An essential for your home office is a good light. Poor lighting will have your eyes straining, which can lead to fatigue and discomfort. If your home office happens to have good natural lighting then a small cool-toned lamp should suffice for when it begins to get dark. If your space does not have this, then you should also think about investing in a high-quality ceiling light.
The only other thing that you should be putting in your office is proper office furniture. This will include a desk, a supportive chair, and shelving or cabinets for storage purposes.
How do I make a cute home office?
There are loads of home office ideas that can make your room look really cute.
A lot of people use office design ideas to make their space stand out and look attractive at the same time. For example, adding a pop of colour to what may be a fairly plain, black and white room is a great way to show more of your personality and make it feel cuter.
Another method is to express your personality and style. Just because it is an office, doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to make it feel homely. Why not put a nice photo or set up a coffee station on your desk, or buy a couple of fluffy cushions to make your chair even comfier?
How do I set up a home office in my bedroom?
Setting up a home office in your bedroom is not ideal, because it can easily blur the lines between relaxing, self-care time, and work time. Not to mention, the temptation to climb back into bed and put off doing things you actually need to do can be strong.
However, if the bedroom is your only option, then there are ways to make it work. Take interior design inspiration from what you have around you: your dressing table could double up as a desk, and empty clothes drawers could be used for important documents.
Designing a home office is all about being innovative and doing what you can with what you have. The more creative you get, the better your new workspace will be!
Where do you put a home office in a small house?
If your house is on the small side, don’t worry. By using interior design, home office goals can still be accomplished.
The best places to put a home office in a smaller home are either in the living room, dining room, or bedroom. Of course, if you have a conservatory or spare room, then utilise this, but otherwise, a communal space will be fine.
You may need to remove some old furniture that never gets used in order to make way for a desk or chair. If this isn’t possible, then perhaps set up a makeshift desk on part of your kitchen or dining table. In terms of storage solutions, there will most likely be loads of free space on the wall for shelving units.