Working from home has become the new normal for many working professionals and can be a challenging transition for those used to commuting to a dedicated office space. The truth is, many homes are not equipped for working from home and often there is not a specific room to serve as a full time office, especially if there are two of you working from home, taking calls and conducting regular meetings. So, here are a few tips on how to introduce a multifunctional work space into your home without compromising on your living space.
If you do not have a study or space for a desk and need to incorporate your work space into an existing room, you could utilise an existing piece of furniture. A side table in your sitting room or dining room could easily become a desk during the day and it doesn’t need to be huge if you are only using a laptop.
One of the main downfalls of working from home is that paperwork, notepads and files can stack up fast. There has never been a better time to make that long-standing resolution of investing in cloud-based storage and going paperless a reality.
If going paperless isn’t an option, buy some nice storage boxes for all your paperwork and office supplies and match them to your colour scheme for an intentionally coordinated aesthetic. Equally, a plastic storage box could contain your items and can be stored away in a cupboard somewhere so that your side table can be transformed back to normal at the end of the day.
The same works if you would rather work at the dining room table or a kitchen island. Organisation and storage are key to avoiding an office look on a permanent basis, especially if your home has to be multifunctional.
Investing in a desk
If you really want a dedicated desk, but need it to go in one of your reception rooms, try and buy one that goes with the rest of the furniture in the room, so that it looks like a fairly seamless addition. Before purchasing a desk, ensure it’s the right height and size for your computer to fit easily and for you to comfortable sit all day.
Again, make sure it has lots of storage so that when you are not working, it still looks stylish. Be selective about what stays on show and choose an attractive lamp that fits well with the existing scheme in the room. Adding a funky chair, that is also good for your posture, could add some style to your interior scheme as well.
Temporarily converting a guest bedroom
Bedrooms can work really well as studies, especially if it’s a guest room. A dressing table can double up as a desk and extra storage boxes will fit into a wardrobe. Perhaps your children have a playroom which you could use utilise as a study during the daytime when they’re at school. Maybe you have transformed a room into a gym but hardly ever use it. You could move the equipment around to accommodate a desk – or put the gym equipment in the garage if you habitually leave the car on the drive.
Utilising additional space
If budget isn’t tight, perhaps a loft space or an outbuilding could be converted into an office whilst becoming useful for another function at the same time. An office in an outbuilding, if it is big enough, could become a cinema room in the evenings and at weekends. Alternatively, you could convert a loft space into your office but also furnish it with a sofa bed so that it can be used as a guest room when needed.
Make sure you have the right planning permissions in place to do this sort of work but once done they can also add value to your property. Be careful if the outside building is only used as an office, it may be liable for capital gains tax when you sell.
Built-in office space
And if you really want to go to town, have your office space built in. For example, some people don’t like to be shut away in an office or study and want to be in the heart of the home, which is usually the kitchen. Building a desk as part of your kitchen cabinetry can look really smart. It can be hidden away behind doors or can be open for all to see. You could do the same in other rooms, for instance having built-in cupboards and a desk under the staircase. It is a great use of space and can be closed off in the evening to hide office supplies.
You could build in a desk within your wardrobes, on a landing, in the dining room or wherever there’s a little nook or cranny that could be filled in to give it a better use.
Working from home is likely to become the long-term norm for a vast number of people and so creating a multifunctional space is going to be necessary for many. Regardless of your budget, it is important to ensure you have good lighting, an electricity supply and something really comfortable to sit on.
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