One thing we can thank the coronavirus pandemic for is how it’s inspiring professionals to leave the stressful commute to relocate almost permanently to a home office. Indeed, 60% of employees worked remotely during the first lockdown. A whopping 40% carried on working from home in September, even though many offices had introduced social distancing measures within the workplace.
Amid a second lockdown, working long-term from home makes more sense than ever. However, if you’re going to make remote working your permanent position, you need to accommodate a comfortable and functional home office. I know this first hand – I currently work at a desk in the lounge and am hoping to soon take over the kid’s playroom. But I am well aware that making space for a home office in our small British homes can be challenging and that I am lucky to have the kids old room. Here are some handy tips to make it work without the property restrictions.
Transform an unused room
Now’s the best time to turn your spare bedroom into a functional and stylish home office. What are the best rooms that can be transformed into a home office? Typically, your unused guest bedroom makes a perfect spot for your desk and work equipment. Combined with compact features and paperless filing, you can easily keep the space tidy, so you don’t have to worry if you receive guests. Children’s playrooms also make a fantastic choice, as you’re unlikely to need to share the space with guests.
Some properties have two living rooms, which gives you plenty of options to set up your desk.
Make use of the garden
The garden can provide a surprisingly refreshing and helpful spot for a home office setting. More and more homes are considering one-level extension projects that leverage garden space with the help of architects. The extension can be turned into an open-plan home office, that is directly attached at the back of an existing room, whether it is the living room or the dining room.
Alternatively, you can also create a stand-alone home office in the garden, that is fully separate from the home. Garden home offices need to be connected to your electrical and plumbing systems. They can include the typical desk set, but also a small bathroom and kitchenette area. Another idea is a summer house which I had here for a while.
Be smart about hidden nooks
Depending on your room and home structure, you may have unused areas that can be transformed into a streamlined home office. The nook under the stairs can offer a versatile environment for a simple but functional office. British homeowners are familiar with the under-stairs storage area. But you can strip wall partitions and the cupboard door to make room for natural light. It can also be a good idea to add some lighting structure and even a small window! A staircase with steps and no riser can also let plenty of light through, making your nook comfortable.
Another option is to convert living room nooks with a small and self-contained desk. Adding partitions around the desk can keep distractions at bay while helping you create a workplace.
Convert the loft
On average, 4 out of 10 homes are considering a loft conversion. With a roof that measures 2.2 to 2.4 at its highest point, it’s fair to say that you’ve got a limited area. Yet, with the addition of skylights, you can turn your under-roof room into a cosy home office.
Building a permanent home office in a small home is an exciting challenge that can transform your career. Small houses can force you to be more creative. However, there are many options to free up hidden or unused space, whether you use the garden or the loft.
This is a collaborative post