Do you know how to organize your home office if you are short on space?
People choose to work from the comfort of they’re home because home offices have numerous advantages over the traditional ones. Mainly, you don’t have to commute and you can always make a break. However, this concept works well only if you have a special room to set your office in, like a study. Today’s apartments are too small for this and you are forced to multipurpose space. An office can therefore double as a living room or even a bedroom. This crates a variety of difficulties that aren’t unsolvable. There are ways to efficiently organize your home office if you are short on space. We offer you the 5 most useful tips to do so.
Setting the boundaries
Even if your home office is as large as a single desk with a computer on it, it should have some outer boundaries. Since you won’t be erecting wall or dividers inside your house, the boundary is more of a mental one. It is important to sit down with your family and explain to them that while you are working there shouldn’t be any distractions. They are likely to ask you how they can tell that you are working. You can arrange a set of signs that will clearly indicate that there is work in progress in your tiny office. You could put up signs such as “busy/do not disturb” or if you communicate online, then the headphones can indicate that you are in the middle of an important conversation. The simplest solution would be to tell them once you sit down at the computer there are to be no interruptions and that you will get up from time to time and that is the perfect opportunity for them to relate their thoughts and needs.
The power of the mind
Since there are no physical barriers dividing you from the outside world, you are likely to experience distracting sounds, images, and smells. They do not have to originate from the inside of your house. Your neighbor could be frying delicious bacon, birds will fly next to the window all the time, and the construction site down the street will produce constant noise. You can talk to your family and ask them not to disturb you, but there is nothing that you can do about these kinds of distractions. To be more correct, there is nothing you can do to stop them or mitigate them, but you have the possibility to mentally block them out. You have to be in the zone and not responsive to these distracting stimuli. One way to achieve this is to wear headphones that play some ambient music without lyrics. You can also train yourself to look straight into the monitor.
A neat trick on how you can turn your home office into a more productive space is furniture. You can “commandeer” a living room table or a kitchen desk, but they simply do not have that business look. Since home offices are growing in popularity, especially in Australia, more and more companies specialize in customized office furniture that doesn’t go into an office, rather into a home. Anybody looking to purchase good quality office furniture in Brisbane, for instance, should not have a hard time finding the right piece of furniture. This is usually the desk, but it can also include bookshelves or lamps.
A work-friendly environment
Having your laptop in bed will not help. Neither will you be able to work, nor will you be able to go to sleep afterwards. The area you choose to work in should resemble as much as possible the office you would have at work. This primarily means getting rid of all distractions or things that belong to a home and not to an office space. If you are in the living room, remove all the children’s toys, magazines or game consoles that might be lying around as they might prove as a major distraction. If you need to video-conference with someone, that you have to rearrange the wall behind you. Put some neutral colors like white or grey and make sure that it is not in anybody’s path. The last thing you need is somebody walking behind you and staring into the camera lens without you knowing it.
Turn a shortage or space into a surplus
So far, we have regarded the shortage of space as a downside to working from home. In reality, it doesn’t have to be so, as this can be your ticket for better productivity. Just think of the things that are redundant at work, like other cubicles, colleague distraction, and irrelevant charts hanging from the wall. There is no room for this in a home office, so your mind will be focused only on the work you need to do.
In the end, even small office spaces are somewhat better than big offices. They allow you to focus on work and at the same time spend quality time with your family during the pauses.