In doing our best to keep our friends and neighbours safe, we’ve all had to hunker down at home much more than anyone could have anticipated. While we may have learned to liven up life indoors and figure out physically distanced ways to socialize, no task seems as insurmountable as setting up a home office for what feels like an endless amount of conference calls (which we all know could have been emails!). If you’re coming up blank on home office ideas, we’ve got you covered for how to spruce up any room to keep you productive in our new normal.
Clear out the space that people typically use for storage and take your fifth Zoom call of the day. Keep in mind that hot air rises – so staying comfortable in the attic all day requires a fan or air conditioning, in addition to a nice desk and comfortable seating.
Space permitting, the bedroom can be once of the easiest home office design projects. Grabbing a nice desk from a furniture store and putting it in a position that doesn’t capture your bed or any other personal details in your webcam view can make for as good an office as any. If your bed makes it into the frame for your meetings, make sure it’s well made with a nice comforter set for texture and colour in the background!
The key to taking meetings with your team out on the balcony or deck is some good patio furniture: you’ll need a sturdy table, some lawn chairs and – most importantly – a patio parasol to manage glare and keep your computer cool in the midday sun. Make sure you have a good extension cord set up so you’re not stranded outside with a low-battery laptop.
Basements are great home office alternatives because they’re cordoned off from the rest of the house and typically quiet and well-insulated. If your basement is below ground, it’s a good idea to install some LED lighting to ease the strain of being away from natural light all day. Find a corner for a home office desk, throw in an ergonomic chair and you’re good to go.
Setting up your home base in the dining room can be as easy as sitting at the table. There are a few extra tips and tricks that can really help transition your dining room from an eating area to an office: consider clearing the table of any place mats, candelabras or fruit bowls, as well as opting for a nice lamp to keep the lighting level strong throughout the day as you work.
Any kitchen-turned-office space has one key feature: a good table to park up at. This can be a raised countertop, a kitchen island or a traditional dining table. Whatever your preference (or whatever your space and layout permits), set yourself up for success at your favourite kitchen surface. While it might be tempting to stick to a bar stool or other backless seating common in kitchens, it’s best to spring for a backed chair with decent ergonomic functionality to keep you from slouching through the work day.
If you have young ones at home who fancy themselves your new office secretary, converting the living room into a home office can be a bit of a challenge – parents all over the country are grappling with strewn toys all over the living room. Turning this space into a place that is productive enough for you to work and for your little ones to exert their energy takes some creativity with storage. Try getting an ottoman that doubles as a play chest and get kids into a routine where they tidy the room so that it’s organized and conducive for you to work as well. Setting up on the couch to work is easy with an armchair or C-end table.
is a new home trend, and now is a great time to add in a small table that can serve as a makeshift standing desk. If you have the space, you can pick up a stool to fit under the tiny table. This becomes a great nook for work, and the new setup doubles as surface to place keys or as seating for when you want to put on or take off your shoes.
Converting a closet into a home office takes a bit of handy work, but it’s a small office idea that’s worth it in the long run if you’re pressed for space. If you have a place to neatly store the closet’s contents – totes, chests, pantries or cabinets – you can remove the shelving and take the door off its hinges to open up the space as a little alcove you can tuck away in to do work. Coupled with a standing desk and a lamp for light, you’re set to up to power through the work day.
Doing business and… “doing business” can go hand in hand (but please wash your hands first!). If you’re working on the go, nothing beats keeping a bathtub tray handy to hold your non-electronic and waterproof items like papers and morning tea. Having a caddy or small table in the space is also a useful resource for those of us so strapped for time that we take our work to the washroom – but be sure to keep electronics far away from water!