Advances in technology have made it possible for many of us to work remotely outside of traditional office settings. Telecommuting has become an increasingly commonplace and popular option. But when we work from home, we might find it challenging to integrate a functional workspace into our living space. Without a proper workspace, work needs can begin to overtake every part of your home, which can lead to the sensation of never leaving the office!
If you are fortunate enough to have an extra room to dedicate as a home office, you can easily set up a productive workspace for yourself by installing a desk, filing cabinets, bookshelves, computer, printer and everything else you need for your work.
If a dedicated room is not available as a home office, existing space can be arranged to perform double-duty to serve both work and home life. However, it is important to keep your work items manageable and organized so that your home does not turn into an office environment!
A spare or guest bedroom might offer an area for an office setup. If space permits, do consider installing filing cabinets to keep papers and other work items neatly tucked away. Keeping papers properly filed not only helps maintain a less cluttered work area but also protects sensitive documents from prying eyes. Bookshelves can be employed to organize books and binders and can also house printers and extra supplies. Supplies can be neatly corralled into labeled bins and boxes to avoid clutter, or you can use a cabinet with doors to discreetly hide away your office accessories whenever you are housing guests.
If a spare room is not available, there are still a number of creative solutions that might work in your space. A small desk can be fitted into an unused hallway alcove. Closets can be converted into productive workspaces with built-in shelving and desk. A corner of the basement can be utilized to serve as an office area. Many odd, small, underused or unusual spaces could potentially be converted into an office area. But in all cases, do allow enough space for your work needs, for any equipment required, and for stowing away necessary supplies and papers.
Wherever you choose to set up your working environment within your home, make sure that space remains distinct and separate from the other areas of your home. You don’t want work materials and concerns overflowing onto your dining room table, bedroom tranquility, or family gathering spaces.
Also remember to make every effort to keep your workspace organized and clutter-free. Although the space is intended to help you do your work, you are still in a home environment. So file your papers, keep supplies organized and labeled, hide away or round up all your equipment cords and keep items off the floor by using shelves and cabinets.
At the end of the day, you want to be able to step out of your virtual office and enter your own welcoming home environment. Whether that journey home is two hours or two steps away, knowing where the office ends and the home begins brings balance and harmony to these two worlds.