How to create a home office in a small space

Daniel Walsh

04 Apr 2021

Blog-April-Home-Office-Hero

This year, working from home has become the new normal. But, it seems that this way of working could be here to stay, with many companies offering staff flexible working and the option to work either in the office or remotely. If you haven’t yet managed to set up a perma-home office, now is the time to do it. Whether you have a dedicated room to work in or just a corner, you can absolutely turn any space, big or small, into a productive office zone.

How to set up your home office space

Find a good location

When setting up a home office space, choosing a practical place is your best bet, but this might be harder to find than you think.

Perhaps it’s not such a good idea to try and work in a loud space where there are lots of distractions, such as a kitchen where people frequently pass through. You may be better choosing a quiet corner, such as a room that has a door that can be closed or one that isn’t used as often.

You should also think about the lighting in the room. Working with a window behind you could result in sunshine reflecting off your computer screen, making it difficult to work. Instead, it might be nicer to be positioned with a window in front of you so you can look out and enjoy the view.

Finally, you may want to choose a space where there are enough sockets for you to plug in all of your equipment. It’s all well and good picking the perfect location but it won’t work if you then have to trail extension cables around the room.

Consider what you need

Once you’ve found the perfect work space, you need to consider how you will set your office up. The equipment and furniture that you need will likely depend on what your day-to-day role consists of. If you have a lot of books for reference, for instance, a bookshelf might be a good idea, whereas if you require equipment such as a printer and scanner, you may require a lot of surface space. You may have just one computer monitor or you might prefer to have two, as in a typical office setup.

It’s a good idea to think about these things now instead of later when it may be difficult to fit them in.

An office desk and chair will be a must, but use the location you’ve chosen to determine the shape and size the desk should be. Will a corner-style desk make the most of the space? Perhaps an adjustable design is a good idea, such as a height-adjustable desk, if you don’t want to sit down all day.

You should also think about storage solutions - where can your stationery be kept? What about your important paperwork? Including space for office storage can help keep your home office tidy and organised.

Mikey harris kw0z6 Ryv C0s unsplash

Helps to have a great view when WFH. A good plant, desk and chair are a must!

Get set up

Before you can simply set up your computer and get working, there are some positioning details that you need to be aware of.

Firstly, your desk should be approximately 74cm high. If you’re particularly tall or short, this can be adjusted accordingly, but 74cm is the industry standard. Most desks should already be at this height when purchased, however in the case that it’s adjustable, you should make sure it’s set to this height. You will know that your desk and chair are at the right height if your arms are parallel to the ground and not pointing up or down. Your wrists shouldn’t be bent while you’re typing or using the mouse, as this could cause strain over time.

Next, you don’t want to strain your neck by looking up or down at a computer screen, and so the top of the monitor should be at eye level. This will prevent any neck, shoulder or back injuries and should be the most comfortable position. If your screen is too low, consider investing in a raiser that will lift it up slightly.

When all of the above is correct, you’ll find that you aren’t raising your shoulders unnecessarily, straining your arms or wrists and you should be able to sit comfortably for long periods of time.

How to layout a small home office

Home offices can come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s most common for people to turn the smallest bedroom in their house into a workspace. Therefore, it’s likely that you want to maximise the space, without over-cluttering the room. There are a few key ways you can do this.

It’s a great idea to install shelving on the walls. Not only is this an excellent way to store things if you don’t want the floor space to be taken up with cabinets, but they draw the eye up, making the room feel bigger than it is.

You may also want to avoid large, chunky pieces of furniture. This will make your space feel much more cramped than it is.

Service Office Fit Out 2

This chair might be a bit extravagant for the home office, then again maybe not...

Choose a slimline desk that doesn’t have chunky legs or lots of drawers to give the impression that it’s not taking up that much space. For this reason, you may also want to choose a mesh office chair that’s not as bulky as a large leather one, for example.

Rather than placing the desk in the centre of the room, it would be better to put it against a wall to make the room feel bigger and give you enough space to move around.

If you use our tips and advice, you’ll have a productive home office set up in no time, even if the space is quite small.

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