How to transform any room into a home office?
Stuck working at home without a proper study? Whether it is camping in your kitchen or identifying a productive corner in your bedroom, there are ample ways to creatively crave out space to work from home. We have assembled some clever tips to help you set up a conducive home office with whatever accessible space you have in any room in your house.
One of the more popular home office spots, especially amongst individuals living with friends or family who need private space in order to concentrate on their work. With some tweaks, you can easily transform the dressing table into a desk: simply empty the surface, and pull out a nice comfortable chair. There you go!
The bed could be a tempting distraction, one best to be avoided, as you might end up associating your bed with work instead of rest. This may disrupt your sleep pattern. However, working under the covers on the odd afternoon wouldn’t inflict any harm as long as this doesn’t turn into your permanent workspace.
The treasure trove where all the important tea and coffee breaks are situated. One of the go-to places where you can easily set up a work station. This is easily achieved if you have a kitchen table; or even better an island top. You could simply set up your laptop, pull up a stool chair and work away!.
Moreover, kitchens are mostly located on the brighter side of your house, so you’ll likely enjoy more natural lighting. Additionally, you would be up for better productivity since it is usually not a resting place at home.
3. Dining room
This could be an ideal location to set up your home office if you’re fortunate enough to have a separate dining room. The dining table can easily act as a desk, and there is ample space to spread your notes as you work or even set up a second screen while working. Chris Marriott, APAC Board Director and CEO for Savills South East Asia shares his tips:
"With five adults at home, four of whom required quiet work areas, it was not only desk space that was at a premium, bandwidth on our Singtel internet connection needed to be robust along with our home Wi-Fi. The off-the-shelf Singtel router would not cut it, so after some research, I purchased an Asus Zen Wi-Fi 6 Zen Mesh system which seemed to do the job and cope with family FaceTime calls, streaming Netflix, online gaming and, of course, the all-important connections to our offices. We also made our first purchase from Teak and Mahogany – a perfectly sized desk to fit behind a relocated bookshelf in the lounge/TV room, for privacy. I also saved my back by taking my office chair home, knowing that it would make life more comfortable for the endless Microsoft Teams meetings and Zoom webinars I attend.”
-Chris Marriott, APAC Board Director and CEO South East Asia
Additionally, it’s pretty worthwhile to turn off your working laptop and put any papers away you’re your workday finishes, so that your dining table can return to a place for eating. Striking a work-life balance can be difficult when working from home. Having clearly defined boundaries like the above will help you relax and enjoy your evening meal.
4. Living room
“Working from home has been a refreshing experience since I no longer need to be concerned about time commuting to work. Now, I can simply turn on my laptop and start working. With the lockdown implemented in March, I had tidied my study table to set up the home office. It was relatively new territory for me having to work between my living room and study room. Four months have passed and I have kind of adapted to this new lifestyle.”
-Edward Ho, Marketing Executive, Workthere Singapore
As Edward mentioned, the living room is one of the most versatile rooms in your house, usually used as a place for rest and entertainment, but which can be easily switched into a work space. However, working on the sofa could obscure the line between work and personal life. It would be advisable to use a separate table and chair in the living room for work purposes. Apart from that, you can utilise the coffee table as additional space for any paperwork or books you need easy access to.
Different people have differing preferences when it comes to noise levels. Some need a quiet environment to stay focused, while others prefer some background music when working. The living room provides extra convenience as you can have your TV on or have music playing in the background throughout the day.
An outdoor space, like a garden or balcony in your house, would make for an excellent choice of work space – weather permitting. You will benefit from the intake of vitamin D and fresh air, which are both mood and productivity enhancers.
You could create a makeshift office environment using your garden furniture – however, if the weather isn’t conducive to working outdoors, you might consider converting your shed, if you have one, into a mini home office, provided you have a good WI-FI connection in there.