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When you’re working from home, a home office space has several advantages for increasing productivity and work efficiency. A separate workspace is essential for reducing the distractions that come with a home-based job. The best part: Anyone can set up a home office in the smallest of living spaces — you just have to get a little more creative! Here’s a quick guide for planning, budgeting, and making the most of the space you have available.

Planning Your Space

Start by picking a space in your home to turn into your office. If you’re short on space, consider a corner of your bedroom or a closet. You could even set up your office in the attic or under the stairs. If you’re really strapped for space, however, consider a custom built-in desk that folds out of the wall and hides away when not in use. You may be able to find a handyman in your area to build out your desk. These services usually range from $179 to $546 in Upland (not including materials), but costs will be dependent on the scope of the project. 

You also need to consider storage space when planning your office. In tight areas, vertical storage is a lifesaver. Install some floating shelves or cabinets above your desk area to store office supplies and documents. You can find vertical storage solutions at online retailers such as Amazon for around $14.99 and up depending on what you need.

It’s also possible that you need to do some decluttering to make room for your office. If this task seems overwhelming, consider hiring someone to help you out. Many companies can help you clean and organize your office space. The cost of hiring a home organizer consultant usually runs from $30 to $80 an hour. Once your organizer gives their advice, plan to rent a storage unit to store the furniture and belongings that have to go before your office can come together.

Budgeting for Your Home Office

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your home office. Before you start shopping, create a list of things you really need — this will keep you from overspending on supplies. The Spruce recommends repurposing furniture or accessories that you already have in order to stay under budget. For example, you may be able to use an old table as a desk! If there’s one thing you splurge on, make it a supportive office chair. Your back will thank you.

When at all possible, avoid cluttering your space with knickknacks and office equipment you don’t need. Stick to office supplies that make sense for your business. That said, some other office items you may want to budget for include:

  • A printer
  • Filing cabinets
  • A WiFi range extender
  • A second phone line

Maximizing Productivity

Aside from positioning your home office in a quiet area, there are several other things you can do to maximize your productivity. If your office is in a central area of the home, use a room divider or bookshelf to set your office space apart from immediate distractions. Then, implement organizational systems to minimize clutter in your workspace. Wading through papers and office supplies can make your work tasks take a lot longer than they should.

It’s also a good idea to increase natural lighting and add plants. According to Healthline, being exposed to natural light during the day can improve your sleep and ward off seasonal depression. So, try to place your home office near a window. Likewise, living plants can support your health by keeping your air clean and reducing your stress levels.

Staying Organized

Finally, make sure you incorporate some functional décor into your home office to make your space attractive and welcoming. A cork board is an excellent choice; you can use this to pin up to-do lists and a calendar or adorn it with family photos and motivational quotes. Get a fancy lamp, pen holder, or a fun pot for your desk plant. You’ll find it easier to spend hours working in your office when it’s embellished with a few personal touches.

Although being able to work at home is great, it comes with its fair share of challenges. A home office space can enhance your experience of working from home. Instead of struggling to get work done from a comfy couch or fighting household distractions at the kitchen table, a home office will allow you to stay focused and get your work done faster!

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