Creative places in your home to set up an office

With long-distance learning and remote working a reality for many more months, if not years to come, you’re probably competing with family members for precious work and study space in your home. But there are some creative ways that you can get work done at home when space is at a premium. Here are some suggestions.

Closet

The space where you keep your clothing can actually double as an effective workspace. If you can find an alternate space to house your bedding, linens and clothes, an office in a closet, or a ‘cloffice’, could help you maximize the space in your home. While walk-in closets are easy to transform, smaller, shallow closets may require some creativity in order to turn it into a workspace. Consider adding shelving overhead to maximize space and filing cabinets underneath the desk. You might replace existing closet doors with a curtain that can be opened during work, then closed after your punch out for the day.

Backyard office shed

If you’re running out of space inside your home for an office, then look outdoors! Homeowners with spacious backyards might consider installing an office shed. It’s a pretty big project that requires building permits, insulation and extending utility lines from your home for electricity. But creating a quiet, isolated space for solo work is a worthwhile reward for the effort.

The kitchen table

If you enjoy working in a wide-open space and sprawling out your files and paperwork, a kitchen table office might work for you. But there are a few tweaks you should do to ensure the space is more ergonomic for desk work. Ensure that you are at the right height to type with your elbows at 90-degree angles. This could require sitting on pillows or folded towels to elevate your body. Then place a shoebox or a stack of books under your feet so they are not dangling off the chair. Finally, elevate your computer screen on boxes or books so that it is level with your eyes. It’s also a good idea to change your work position at least every half-hour. Stand up and type on your kitchen countertop, or walk around while you’re on a call.

The makeshift phone booth

If your family can work together quietly in one space, then perhaps what you need is a ‘phone booth’ area for taking calls. An existing closet or even a bathroom can work for these needs. Closets are especially useful for calls since the clothing inside helps to muffle the sound of your voice for other members of the household. If you need to participate in video chats, you may need to rejig the space to find a neutral background. Have a chair handy and a small table nearby to place your laptop during calls.