How To Create a Productive Workspace At Home

Trista - May 18, 2020

Many people are making a move from office to the home office, given the current climate around the world so far in 2020. This move is made possible by technology and our ability to remain in communication with our colleagues. So obviously, we are going to be trying to get productive in a new type of workspace.

However, it can be tricky to set up your home office and make it into an environment that boosts your productivity and allows you to feel comfortable. You might not have the space to set up a desk, so how are you supposed to make this transition?

Not everyone has a desk waiting for them at home, but there are other options to help you get set up. Shutterstock.

The Traditional Working Space

Some people might not have a traditional desk at home that they can use to make this transition. You really will need a space where you can spread out all your work and not feel like you are limited.

If you don’t have a desk, another option to use could be your dining room table. You should clear this table entirely of all the usual decorations and use this as your work station for the period that you will be working remotely.

Lighting is essential when setting up a home office. You want to feel comfortable and have a well-lit space. Shutterstock.

Consider The Lighting

Another vital thing to consider is the lighting in your chosen work area. Natural light is a great way to make you feel energized, but if this isn’t an option, you should carefully consider which light bulb you purchase for the light in the room.

You need to set a mood in the room that will make you feel comfortable and ready to get to work. You should use a task light that can be moved to shine in a specific area in your workspace so that you maximize how much light you have.

Blue light exposure can be tricky to avoid, so buy a pair of glasses to reduce the impact of this. Shutterstock.

Are You Being Exposed to Blue Light?

You can also get a light that can be hung on a wall that is adjustable if you are short on desk space. It can add a nice decorative feature to a previously empty and blank wall in your new home office.

Blue light exposure is also something to be considered. Understandably, this is not the easiest thing to avoid since your job most likely requires you to be in front of a computer screen all day. Purchase a pair of blue light glasses or adjust your computer screen.

Choose the workspace you need in the house based on what you need to complete your work. Shutterstock.

Select The Right Workspace

When setting up your home office, you also don’t have to have a “traditional” office. You can now customize your workspace to suit your needs and might want to include some things that you wish you could have at the actual office.

The main thing is to select your workspace, and you need to consider how permanent this will be. If you’re setting up just for a temporary office, a dining room table will work just fine. If this is going to be a more permanent fixture, you might have to get more creative.

The best choice would be to use a room that can be closed off so you can work privately. Shutterstock.

Choose A Separate Room

The best option would be a separate room that can be used as your workspace. Having a separate room allows you to keep out the distractions that come with working from home.

If possible, you should also choose a space that is away from the noise in your home. This means the kitchen, laundry room, and perhaps even apart from the TV room, which could have things like game consoles and movies.

Depending on how much space you need, you should try just to use one area of your home. Shutterstock.

What Do You Need For Your Line Of Work

You also need to consider how much space you need to do your line of work. Instead of having some of your office in one room and a bit of it in another, condense it into one space, even if this means shifting around some rooms in your house.

Let’s discuss some of the options you might have when it comes to a workspace in your home. If you’re short on space and rooms, you might have to set up in a spare corner of your house. The bonus of it is that it is the least expensive option.

You won’t be used to the noises in your home during the day, and they might disrupt your workflow.

Beware The Noise Around You

The downside is that if you don’t live by yourself, you could be impacted by the noises around you. You also won’t have a lot of privacy, but you just need to set boundaries with people in the space, so they understand this is your new workspace.

If you can’t afford a brand new fancy desk for your corner office, look at secondhand websites or shops. You could even make this a project to upcycle it, and you’ll find that you enjoy the fruits of your labor and want to work there.

A dining room is an excellent option because of the space it allows, and it is a non-frequented room. Shutterstock.

The Most Popular Option

Of course, a dining room has become a popular option for people who are setting up a home office. The reason for this is because there is already a table set up, and it is generally a room that isn’t frequently used.

A dining room table will also give you lots of space to spread out your work, so this may well be your best option. You will need to consider things like privacy in this space if there aren’t doors in your chosen room.

Try out the kitchen as a temporary workspace because of the great lighting in this room. Shutterstock.

Cooking Up Some Work

Speaking of the kitchen, it is becoming more and more common to work in a kitchen when using your home as an office. If you have an area in your kitchen, you can purchase a foldout desk and utilize that extra space.

The lighting in the kitchen is generally very friendly, which is a bonus when working from home. The environment created in the kitchen is also a comfortable one, which might make this an ideal spot to choose within your house.

There will be a lot of foot traffic in the kitchen, so this is only viable for a temporary setup. Shutterstock.

Will The Kitchen Work For You?

If you live on your own or if people are out of the house during the day, a kitchen can work perfectly well as your at-home office. If this is going to be your full-time office from here on out, you may want to consider another space.

A kitchen can be full of distractions such as snacks and people coming in and out. You’ll also find that the countertops you may become too crowded with things like food, plates, and utensils.

A spare bedroom can be converted entirely into a permanent home office for you. Shutterstock.

The Spare Bedroom

Next to a dining room, the spare bedroom is the most popular choice for a home office. If you don’t have many visitors, you can completely transform this room into what you need.

You will probably need to find another home for the bed, or you can put it in storage. Another option is to turn the bed into a daybed or couch that you can use to enjoy your coffee break.

If you need more space and privacy, the garage is an excellent option for a home office. Shutterstock.

Take It Outside

If the inside of the house just isn’t working for you, go outside to the garage. Garages generally have a separate entrance, which means that you won’t be bothered by people coming in and out of the room.

Garages also have a lot of space, which means that you can set up an area that accommodates all of your needs. If you want to transform this space, it will probably cost you quite a bit, but it might be the investment you need to take your business to the next level.

A basement in a home also offers much space, but be careful of any dampness in this area that might damage paperwork. Shutterstock.

Go Underground For Work

The other negative about using a garage as your workspace is that if you transform it completely, you will need to park outside. Depending on the climate you live in, this could pose a potential problem in terms of snow.

Instead of going outside your home, why not just go underground and into the basement? This area is an often forgotten and underutilized space in a house, but it could be the perfect spot to set up your at-home office.

A basement renovation might cost you a lot, but it could give you a great space to work. Shutterstock.

Basements Are Very Spacious

Basements are sometimes even big enough to still leave space for recreational activities and for you to have your working space. It is also a spot that doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic, and you would have all the privacy and quiet time you need to work.

A basement renovation could cost a lot of money, but it might be worth it to have a reason to use that space finally. A different option is to use the attic space in your home. However, if you have clients coming in, there won’t be a separate entrance.

An attic might be your only option, so make sure you get it fitted with electrical outlets. Shutterstock.

Going Up And Down

You’ll also have to carry many things up and down as you go, which can get quite tiring. You also need to make sure that it is equipped to keep out unwanted creatures such as mice and bugs. You also need to consider the temperature of the room.

Another thing about an attic is that it generally won’t be fitted with electrical outlets that you will need if your business is reliant on technology.

Building your own space will be exciting but costly; it’s up to you if the investment is worth it. Shutterstock.

It Will Cost You A Lot

It is the most costly option of all. The real benefit of this is that you can custom build the space to exactly what you need and want for your at-home office life. This space can either be attached to the home or separate depending on your needs.

You could also look at the potential resale value of additional space for the new tenants. This option could be very beneficial for people who are dentists or therapists who are working from home.

Make sure you have all permits in place before building an additional working space at your residence. Shutterstock.

Are You Allowed To Use That Space?

Now that you’ve considered the space that you want to work in, you need to think about what equipment you need to work from home. If you are someone who has to manufacture or assemble products at home, you need to find out if this is allowed.

You will need to research if your local zoning regulations allow this. You might have to install new mechanical services in the space. You also might need ventilation systems and consider the noise and how it will affect your neighbors.

Storage space is a crucial consideration factor when you begin working from home. Shutterstock.

Consider Storage Space

Storage space is another critical factor when working from home. Make sure that you have space to file away relevant documents and make sure this is a space that is easily accessible to you. Also, consider dampness and insects when it comes to storage.

If your documents or items that need to be stored are valuable or confidential, make sure that they are very safe and aren’t at risk of being stolen. You might even look at a self-storage facility that is located close to your home for this.

Connectivity leads to productivity, which is why you need to have a reliable wireless provider. Shutterstock.

Are You Connected To Wireless?

Last but not least, do you have the communication connectivity that you need to function as you would in the office? Make sure that your cellphone has full signal in the area you have chosen as your workspace or able to connect to wireless internet.

You also need to make sure that your wireless internet is capable of maintaining a good connection for your work purposes. It needs to be reliable so that you aren’t stressing about not being able to contact clients or colleagues.

Creating a space that works for you and your business is vital to overall success. Shutterstock.

Make A Productive Area

The next step is to plan your workspace. You need to do this to make sure your space is a productive and functional area. If you plan it well, you will also be able to make it cost-effective and avoid making any design errors.

If this is going to become a permanent home office, first decide whether you want any renovations done. It is best to get these done and out of the way first before you have the room painted or bring in furniture that might not fit the room after it is redone.

Starting with a blank canvas will allow you to make the most of the space and utilize everything well. Shutterstock.

Cleaning Out The Space

Next, clean out the area thoroughly. Make sure that you scrub the floors, walls, and even the ceiling. If you have decided that you aren’t going to be renovating, determine if you want to paint your new workspace.

You also should take measurements of the room and plan out the area. This notion includes where the electrical outlets are and any lighting in the room. After you’ve done this, you can move onto the fun part of designing the space.

Avoid buying furniture that is too big or too small by taking precise and accurate measurements of the space. Shutterstock.

Take Measurements

You will need the measurement to make sure that you are purchasing furniture that fits into the area and also suits your needs. Install the new furniture or existing items and see if it is working for you.

You may think that this is a waste of time, but if you do it correctly and carefully the first time around, you will be ready to start working as soon as possible. If you are buying new items, it will also allow you to budget for this.

Use Pinterest for design inspiration for your home workspace if you can’t afford an interior designer. Shutterstock.

Design Your Home Workspace

You can design your home workspace without needing to hire a designer thanks to websites like Pinterest that are filled with fabulous ideas. But if you want to invest in the space and feel like a designer would be necessary, then go ahead and book them.

A designer might have valuable contacts if you are planning on renovating the space, and this could end up saving you money that you would have spent if you took on the project by yourself. Just keep in mind what your budget is and work around that.

Make sure that you have everything you need in terms of equipment in your home office. Shutterstock.

Equip Your Workspace

You need to ensure that your workspace is adequately equipped. This concept includes furniture, technology, and any equipment you may need. You also need to consider other factors like your comfort in the space.

It will all vary depending on what type of work you are doing from home. But mainly, each home worker will need furniture, equipment, technology, communication, and supplies. Something that is most forgotten is comfort.

If you are uncomfortable when you are working, you will be less productive in the area. Shutterstock.

Make Comfort A Priority

You will most likely be putting in long hours when you are working, which means that comfort should be number one on your list. If you aren’t comfortable, likely, you won’t end up being as productive as you should be.

Getting proper furniture and lighting can help with this. Make sure your body is in the correct position when you are working. It will improve your overall health in the long run as well. Making your space ergonomically correct is very important.

Researching ergonomics can lead to you feeling very content and comfortable in your home office. Shutterstock.

Use Online Ergonomic Resources

There are many resources to inform you about ergonomics, such as Ergonomics Online, which will provide you with much information to make sure your body is comfortable while you are working.

Another thing to keep at the forefront of your mind when setting up your home office is your budget. Don’t stress yourself by overdoing it and spending more than you can. There are many ways to minimize your initial setup costs.

Your company might be willing to help cover some of the costs of setting up your at-home office. Shutterstock.

Discuss Costs With Your Company

If you are working for a company, find out if they will cover some of your at-home setup costs. They may be willing to reimburse you for any necessary items that you need to be able to do the office work they require from your home.

It could include things like internet connections being installed, computer screens, and sometimes even supplies such as paper for printers or the ink that is needed. Have a conversation with the people in charge to find out.

Find out if friends or family have any items you need lying around that you can borrow from them. Shutterstock.

Beg, Borrow, But Don’t Steal

They may require you to pay for some of these items upfront and then will reimburse you when you hand in the receipts. Make sure you keep an organized folder that contains all of these costs so that you don’t end up losing out on the money that you’ve spent.

If you don’t have much money to set up an office to start with, try seeing if you can borrow items from friends or family. Start by making a list of everything you will need in the space and then give the file to your friends and family.

Office factories might sell you items that will cost you 25 percent less than in the store. Shutterstock.

Call Office Outfitters

People often have things or items of furniture lying around that could be used by someone else. You could even be doing them a favor by opening up some storage in their houses that were occupied by bulky items like desks or chairs.

You could also call office outfitters in your area and find out if their factories have any floor models available that you could buy for a much lower price than what they sell for in the store. It can save you as much as 25 percent on some items.

Try renting office equipment if you don’t have capital upfront, and it comes with warranties. Shutterstock.

Rent Office Equipment

You might find that some of these items have scratches or marks, but these will serve you fine until you have the funds to buy something better. You could also lease office furniture and equipment if you are struggling to find or afford these items.

You will need to pay for them each month, but you won’t have to outlay a considerable amount to start. You can also use these lease payments for tax purposes. The great thing about this option is that the equipment comes with full warranties in most cases.

Choose a piece of furniture that is multi-functional if it won’t just be your workspace. Shutterstock.

Be Flexible With Your Desk

If you are going to be setting up an office in a room that won’t be solely dedicated to your work, you could choose an option that isn’t just a desk. You could create a desk from a piece of furniture that has storage space so things can be tucked away when not in use.

Try to find a desk that has a sliding computer keyboard that can be tucked away neatly. You might even find a cabinet that has doors that can hide away your computer screen when you aren’t using it so that it blends better into the space and isn’t an eyesore.

Test out a chair before buying it and make sure that it is comfortable and can be adjusted. Shutterstock.

Your Chair Is A Throne

People often forget about chairs. You will be spending most of your day sitting in one, so make sure it is comfortable. If there is one item of furniture that you should spend a bit more money on, it should be your office chair.

A high-quality chair for your office will make a world of difference. You don’t want to be in physical pain from doing your job. What are some of the things you need to check for when you are purchasing an office chair?

You might need a chair with wheels to be able to move around easily in your workspace. Shutterstock.

Consider Your Movement Needs

Check out the distance from the seat to the floor and if it is adjustable. The chair might also have adjustable armrests and seating position. These are great to have on a chair because you can then customize the chair to your needs.

You also need to sit in chairs and feel out which one is the most comfortable for you. Next, you need to decide whether you need a chair that is on wheels or not.

Bookshelves are a great storage space when you are working from home as they can be used for many things. Shutterstock.

Clear Out The Bookshelves

Bookshelves for your home office are vital. There might already be a shelf in the room you use for a workspace. It might be cluttered with other items, however. Make a box and put all of these things in there if your space is just temporary.

If you are making it a more permanent spot, try and find a home for those items elsewhere or do a spring clean if the objects on the shelf are mainly clutter and unnecessary. You can use shelving for files, supplies, and anything you need to access quickly.

Enjoy setting up your home office by making it a fun project on the weekends. Shutterstock.

Make The Most Of It

Given the current situation, discovering an area for a home office is something that you should make the most of. Creating a productive workspace is vital to help you enjoy this process.

Discuss ideas for a home workspace with your family or partner or look to Pinterest for inspiration. It is a great DIY project to fill your weekends with when you aren’t working, and who knows, you might make it a more permanent part of your career.