Having an efficient home office opens up possibilities for business owners, entrepreneurs and teleworkers alike. You’ll feel more productive, more creative and work much more profitably when your space works with you rather than against.
Creating A Dedicated Office
A spare room at home is the best of all offices. If you’re running a business from home, or you do much telecommuting from your job, turning the spare room into an office has many benefits:
- Create a psychological home/leisure shift
- Ensure privacy
- Improve concentration
- Remove domestic distractions
- Enhance productivity
Spare beds, free standing wardrobes and other guest room items of furniture are likely things you want to keep hold of, despite not using them at home any more. Self storage is the ideal solution, both for convenience and cost:
- Short term rentals for flexible storage periods
- Convenient locations for easy access to stored items when needed
- Long opening hours
- Choice of rooms, both large and small. Up- or downgrade as necessary.
- Open seven days a week
- PIN code access gives added security
Creating an Efficient ‘Cubicle’
If you don’t have a spare room, there are other ways to create office spaces that are efficient and reasonably private. Ideally, choose a room that’s relatively quiet – maybe the dining room or even the kitchen if it’s not a favourite gathering place for the family.
Cordon off a section of the room with room dividers, perpendicular bookcases or even wall units/cocktail cabinets. Those pieces of furniture would also provide useful storage areas for stationery, files and folders or reference books as well as a handy surface for the printer or other equipment.
Organized Home Storage
When you’re working from home, clutter is the enemy. The key, while it sounds boring, is having a place for everything.
Open shelving in your desk area is good for storage of many items, including those small bits and bobs that often go missing, such as staplers or highlight markers. Don’t be afraid to layer the shelving, taking up as much vertical space as necessary. We often overlook the space overhead, but using that instead of floor space helps keep the room looking spacious.
Modern homes are often very small, presenting particular storage problems that simple solutions such as overhead shelving don’t solve. When you’ve exhausted the obvious places to install additional storage, it’s time to get even more creative. We can learn lessons from the tiny homes movement, in which some of the most creative DIY and building experts excel.
Have you, for instance, considered the space beneath kitchen cupboards? We usually hide these spaces away with kick-boards, but take those off (or fix them with hinges to maintain the aesthetics of the room) and you can reclaim lots of storage space.
Awkward areas, such as those odd triangular shapes created beneath stairways, are often general dumping grounds for vacuum cleaners, spare wellington boots, or Christmas decorations. Take charge of this space by lining the walls with shelves or hooks. You may not change what you put in there, but if you organize odds and ends in transparent boxes so you can see what you’ve got, you may find you have more space there than you thought.
Another area with hidden space is the bedroom. Utilizing alcoves with built in storage is one idea, with another being storage furniture in the shape of ottoman beds. With lift up mattresses, this bed style provides space for a multitude of items, and is especially useful for those things you don’t use on a daily basis.
If you can, use dedicated office furniture. Desks, rather than tables, provide additional storage in the form of drawers or shelves beneath the desktop. Height adjusting office chairs improve your posture and comfort, necessary for efficient productivity and concentration.
Telecommute workers often find the need to share files with colleagues, and if your company doesn’t provide shared access, setting up your own cloud solution would be the next best thing. There are several providers of collaborative working platforms, including:
Alternatives include personal cloud storage options such as Dropbox or Google, both of which allow you to set permissions so others can up- or download files for shared working.
Working with teams in the cloud through such project management apps saves on storage since you don’t need to carry, print or store numerous document copies. It also eliminates duplicates that might be out of date, since everyone who works on a document can save it back to the same place for reference by others in the team.
Home Office Rules
Setting rules and boundaries for family members will help keep your home office organized. No matter how good your storage, casual borrows by family members undermines your system. Make sure everyone knows the rules and abides by them. You may need to reinstate them a few times to start with, but persistence will pay off.
Working from home is a challenge. Organizing your office space and storage not only makes working hours more pleasant, it sends a professional message to others at home, asking them to respect your work.
Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage.