Having a home office is always a great way to guarantee more productivity and comfort, but what can you do if you don’t have an extra room to use as an office? These small home office ideas will show you how you can change any nook or cranny in your home into a clean and productive space you’ll use daily.
What Room Should Your Office Be In?
The answer to this question lies in how many rooms you have available to work with. If you’ve got an extra storage room that you don’t use, you can turn it into a small and functional office with just a little elbow grease.
Go through your stuff, see what you actually need, and find other places around the apartment to store the things you want to keep. Alternatively, you can purchase a closet or a set of drawers that will double as your office and spare storage.
If you’ve only got a living room and the bedroom, see which room is bigger. Those who share their living space with other people should also focus on which room has less traffic during the day—for most households, that’s the bedroom.
The problem is that most modern bedrooms can’t fit much else but a closet and bed. One of the most creative small home office ideas in this case is to splurge on a collapsible desk. That way, you can simply put your office away at the end of every shift and convert the bedroom back into a place of rest.
Finally, those who live in studio apartments will have to look at the unused space. A collapsible desk works in this case, too— but so does your dining table if you set it up right. If you live with other people, communication is key to establishing a functional home office. One good idea is to determine your working hours with your household members and make a deal not to be bothered during your shift.
Ways To Section Rooms
In the scenario where you don’t have a whole separate room to use as an office, sectioning off the room where you want to work is a great idea. This can be done in a few different ways.
While modern homes make use of hardwood floors, small carpets can be an ideal solution to creating some structure in an open space home. For instance, you could get two small carpets in different but complementing colors, or with different patterns for your living room.
One of the most useful small home office layout ideas is to place one of those carpets in front of the couch and put a coffee table over it. This is now the zone of the room where you’ll rest and have your coffee. The other carpet should go in the place where you intend to put your office desk.
That way, your work and home life will be visually separate, making it easy to get into the working mindset as soon as you step in the right zone. As well as that, your home office will feel like a separate part of the room even when you’re resting.
If you have kids, you can add a third carpet for playing. This will make it easier for them to understand that they shouldn’t bother you while you’re in your work zone. You can even make a fun game out of it that helps your kids practice how to respect boundaries. The best part is that you still have a way to keep an eye on them without them being in your workspace.
If you prefer having a more physical boundary between your work and personal life, you can always opt for a room divider. They’re great for both creating a small home office and adding more zest to your apartment in general.
This is because room dividers come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs. They can easily double as a piece of decor that you don’t have to move once the work hours are done.
Having a room divider would function like working in a cubicle in a traditional office. Sure, the space is still open, but you have your little chunk of privacy where you get to focus only on work.
Every space is different, and some allow for a little maneuvering and strategic placing. For instance, you could rearrange your furniture so that you can place your work desk against a wall or window.
This way, you’d have your back to the rest of the house, which means you’d have minimal distractions. If you manage to face your desk against a window, you’ll be able to get natural sunlight more easily, which is great for both your mental health and focus.
Facing the desk against a wall also works, but make sure to place some decorations in line with your eyes so as to create a more pleasant atmosphere.
The best part about this method is that you won’t have to buy any additional decor or furniture to make the space functional.
Small Home Office Desk Ideas
The desk is the most important part of the home office, so you’ll have to pay special attention to it. After all, this is the surface you’ll use for the majority of your work.
The legs of the desk may not seem like they take up too much space, but they can often make the whole work area seem bulkier than it actually is. If you’re working with limited space, it’s better to invest in a floating desk.
These kinds of desks only need to be nailed to the wall to be fully functional. Add a chair and you’re done. While you can put them against any wall, they work best when they’re placed just below a window because the natural light gives the illusion of more space.
The best part of these types of desks is that you can make them collapsible. This is perfect for studio apartments and very small rooms, as the desk doesn’t have to take up any space when you’re not using it.
Tiny Built-in Desks
One of the best home office ideas for small rooms is to fill in any empty alcove with a small desk. Stick a bulletin board above it, and you’ve got your office space. This works great for bedrooms, as it gives you the privacy you need to work without imposing on the space you already have.
In this case, it’s better to get a small office chair that you can store under the desk when you’re done with work. Of course, you can always bring in a dining chair and put it back at the end of the work day.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your office desk could be invisible so it didn’t take up so much space? Well, with lucite desks, this is entirely possible. These desks are small and see through, meaning that you can place them virtually anywhere.
They won’t appear bulky or oppressive as normal desks would, and they’ll give the illusion of the room being larger than it actually is.
Small Home Office Decor Ideas
Aside from functionality, you also need to think about personality when designing your home office. You want this to be a pleasant and well-designed space to increase your productivity and take care of your mental health.
Plants are great additions to any home office. There are a lot of indoor plants that don’t require constant attention available today. Whether you place them on the furniture surrounding your office, your desk, window, or hang them off the wall, they’re bound to make every work day better.
Not only are plants pleasant to look at, but they also create more oxygen. Since you’re stuck working inside, your brain likely won’t get as much oxygen it needs for optimal functioning. With the addition of plants, this issue is solved. More oxygen means quicker thinking and longer focus, so your little plants may even help you end the workday sooner.
Let’s not forget that a lot of indoor plants have beautiful and colorful flowers, so you can add a bit of spice to your apartment in general or match the flowers to the color scheme of your office.
While the image of a cat hanging off a tree with the inscription “hang in there” usually comes first to mind in the context of inspirational pictures, it doesn’t necessarily have to be hanging on your wall.
Different people find different small home office design ideas inspirational, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Motivational posters work for some, while others prefer looking at stunning landscapes while they work. Whatever gets your gears going, remember to buy nice frames that complement the images you hang on your wall.
These pictures can help round up your office and make it feel more like a complete place.
While the ultimate goal is to separate your work and private life when you have to work from home, there’s nothing wrong with having some personal items in your office to motivate you further.
This can be anything from little trinkets that remind you of the people you love to pictures of your family.
If you want to make it more special, you can ask the important people in your life to get you something small for your new office. Place these items in your field of vision so you can always have an eye on them while you work.
It may seem insignificant, but don’t underestimate the power of a good support system. These items remind you that you have a full life even in the most monotone parts of your day. On top of that, they remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Those who aren’t fans of intricate home office ideas for small spaces should definitely consider the minimalistic approach. The core of minimalistic philosophy lies in furniture being just functional, without any bells and whistles attached to it.
For some people, having a clean and minimalistic office can contribute to having a clear mind while you work. Even the simplest decor items can be considered clutter, so going with just a desk and chair is enough to get you in the mood to work.
This doesn’t mean that your office has to be sterile or boring, though. The color scheme and design of the furniture itself can make or break your home office. Choose light, pastel colors that can go well with any sort of apartment design and your office will complement the rest of your apartment, even if it’s the only thing decorated with minimalism in mind.
Home Office Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
The biggest challenge of having a small home office is the storage. People who need just a laptop to work are lucky, but most also have documents and office supplies they need to neatly store away.
Wicker baskets are both beautiful and practical. You can add as many of them as you want and place them wherever you have space for them. They don’t even necessarily have to stay in the vicinity of your desk, at least if you don’t need to use the items you store in them frequently.
Simply find some empty space in your apartment and display your wicker baskets. One good idea is to label them and only place one type of item in one wicker basket. That way, you’ll stay organized and won’t have to look for your things when you need them right away. It doesn’t waste any time or interrupt your workflow.
If you’ve placed your desk against a wall, it’s safe to assume that the wall is at least half empty. Make use of this space by adding shelves where you can place your office supplies. Whether you combine the shelves with the aforementioned wicker baskets or simply place your items on the shelves directly is up to you.
One of the best small home office design layout ideas when it comes to shelves is to make them double as decor. You can create a beautiful design simply by installing the shelves in an interesting order. Whether you choose a more intricate or minimalistic design is entirely up to you.
Furniture Doubling As Storage
If you don’t have a lot of things that you need to put away, you can always go for a bulkier desk. While it might take up a bit more space in an already small room, it will double as your office storage so it’s worth it in the long run.
Desks with multiple drawers are available, and they’re not too expensive, either. As well as that, you can find a desk that has little built-in shelves and drawers on top of the work surface. You’ll still have enough space for your laptop, with the bonus of storage.
Additionally, high shelves that can be placed over your desk are available, too. They’re one of the most awesome ideas for a small home office as they don’t feel bulky or like they take up too much space. On top of that, they allow you to play a little bit more with the design of your office and don’t limit your choice of desks to only those with built-in shelving.
Is A Home Office Really That Useful?
Some people believe that home offices are just another way to bring work into your home life and overburden yourself with responsibilities. Others think that you can simply work in your pjs from your bed, so why spend all that time and money on a home office?
There are two counterpoints to these arguments. First of all, a home office can help you separate your work and private life. If you have to work from home temporarily or permanently, you’ll appreciate having a designated area for work, as well as rest. Having even a small home office layout can help you shift your mental focus and allow you to get back to your private life more easily after your shift is done.
Secondly, working in your bed may be practical and appealing in the beginning, but it will soon foster laziness and procrastination. Comfy clothes and lounging around the apartment are there for mental and physical rest. The more you try to implement them into your work schedule, the harder it will be to get motivated to actually work.
By starting every day like you’re going to a physically different building to work, you mentally prepare yourself for your shift, be it consciously or subconsciously. Having a home office fosters this mindset and allows you to more easily get started, regardless of the fact that you’re just sitting in a different part of your living room.
With these small home office ideas by your side, you’ll finally be able to get all the work done. Having an environment that promotes focus and separating your work and private life will definitely improve your mental health, as well as your productivity.