While some companies have been slow to catch on to the benefits of home working, irrefutable evidence that it can increase productivity along with making a company more attractive to prospective employees means that 79% of global knowledge workers now have the option to at least partially telecommute. If you’re lucky enough to work within an enlightened business and would like to work from home regularly but can’t seem to find the space, this blog post is for you! Don’t sit on the sofa and risk getting distracted by the TV or the lure of the refrigerator. With a little creativity, you can create a great at home office space, even if you don’t have space for a dedicated study. Here’s how.
#1. Clear out the cupboard
Do you have an under stair cupboard? If so, what’s in there? All too often this forgotten space becomes a dumping ground for all kinds of discarded equipment or is overrun with piles of shoes and bags. If you’d like to give your cupboard a new lease of life, you could try opening it up and popping a desk in there. Generally speaking, even the smallest set of stairs can accommodate a single desk that fits a laptop with space for a lamp and maybe a plant to brighten things up a little too.
An office under the stairs can make a really quirky small study and put to use space in the home that is under-used. And of course, there’s a minimal commute to your workspace too.
You’ll need to factor suitable lighting into your conversion plan and consider how potential footfall may impede your concentration. If other people are going to be home during the day while you work – where will they be likely to congregate? Are they likely to distract you or would a simple solution like wearing headphones help you stay focused?
#2. Get a garden office
Could you set up your office in a quiet spot in the bottom of your garden? Converting a summerhouse or specially adapted shed could give you the perfect spot for working away from the hustle and bustle of the house. There’s no need to give up your home comforts either, search for generators for sale and you could power lighting, electrical equipment and even install a fancy coffee machine, just ensure your space is properly ventilated. If you’re the proud owner of a manicured garden full of plants and flowers, a contemporary garden office could give you a stylish room with a view and help you make the most of your outside space.
If you’re concerned home working could lead you into a more sedentary lifestyle, working outdoors could prove a smart choice. With your garden behind your office door, it’s super easy to take a short walk and enjoy some fresh air or to enjoy a lunchtime yoga session – on the lawn. Working in a space that’s physically separate to your home can also help you mentally clock off at the end of the working day.
Noisy neighbors could make working at the bottom of the garden a less than relaxing affair, and cold weather could prove problematic if you don’t incorporate some kind of heating system. That said, insulating a small brick building could provide a suitable solution to both of these issues.
#3. Explore and network
You don’t necessarily need to work from home in order to benefit from not going into the office. If you fancy the freelance life or would simply like a change from the norm, sometimes a morning spent working from the park, the library or a coffee shop can be like a breath of fresh air. And, while there are many benefits to home working, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. If you’re employed as a remote worker, you might live thousands of miles away from your colleagues, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all aspects of office life. With the number of co-working spaces growing globally, it’s now far easier to enjoy the freedom of homeworking without becoming a hermit.
Co-working spaces can be great for networking and provide peers that you can bounce ideas off or share a coffee with.
If you live in a rural area, you may not have many co-working spaces nearby, though you might consider using one of the new co-working apps to find work buddies. While many co-working solutions are subscription based, there are some pay as you go options emerging.
Do you enjoy working from home on a regular basis? Do you have a dedicated office space or do you like to take the opportunity to get out and about to work from coffee shops and other locations with WiFi?