More and more people are working from home with each passing day. Whether it’s entrepreneurs working hard on their or employees looking to avoid rush hour headaches, many prefer a home office over the normal office.
Not just because they’re lazy, either. Studies have reported that many employees feel more productive at home — while many managers have actually noticed productivity increases when they give their employees work-from-home privileges.
Of course, when you work from home, the burden of creating a space where you can be productive falls on you. An unorganized workspace can increase stress and make it harder to get work done.
But this challenge is compounded if you live in a small home or apartment. You may not think you have enough space for an entire home office.
However, you can still carve out a little space to get work done. Here are some tips to organize your home office for optimal space.
1.Design Your Home Office Layout
In order to create a space-maximizing home office as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to determine how much space you have available.
Start by measuring the room’s dimensions, then sketch those dimensions on a piece of graph paper. Measure windows, doors, and similar items and factor those in too.
While you’re at it, make note of outlets and other built-in parts of the room.
Then, you can determine what furniture you want in the room. Once you decide on which pieces you’re keeping in your home office, draw them to scale on a different piece of graph paper.
Now, you can cut out the furniture sketches and rearrange them on your room sketch as desired. This will prevent you from having to rearrange the room if you’re dissatisfied with your first layout.
2. Start With Your Desk
At the heart of your office space sits your desk. Desks come in all shapes, sizes, and styles — providing you with plenty of options to fit any room shape or size, as well as to fit your type of work and work style.
For example, you may need a lot of workspaces (perhaps you have dual monitors or a lot of paperwork). Putting an L-shaped desk in a corner creates a cozy work area that provides you the space you need.
Consider a desk with shelves or cabinets, as these increase the amount of storage you have available without hogging extra space.
Lastly, you may be able to do with a wall desk. These maximize the use of vertical space while still serving as a work desk when there isn’t much room in your home office.
3. Build Up, Not Out
One of the most important tenets in maximizing any small space is to make your storage as vertical as possible. By using shelving, you can store a myriad of items without using too much of your home office’s overall space.
Your shelving isn’t limited to flat walls, though. Make use of your office’s corners with corner shelving. This is a great way to store items you have a lot of — such as books — without taking up a ton of shelf space.
As for file storage, consider vertical wall files. These can free up space in your other file storage on the floor without taking away floor space from other parts of your office.
You can also use bulletin boards to store important notes and messages and prevent clutter on your desk.
4. Lighting and Technology
Your office’s furniture and storage may be organized for optimal space, but your lighting and your technology could be creating unnecessary clutter — you can swap these out for slim and sleek replacements, though.
Take your lighting, for example. Lamps on the ground take up space, but you can replace them with all sorts of hanging lighting. Chandeliers, pendant lights, and wall sconces can all provide sufficient lighting for your office.
Track lights will also make an excellent addition to your office. They can be angled wherever you want them too, making them a versatile lighting option.
Make use of wireless technology wherever possible to clean up cord clutter on your desk and around your office. Instead of relying on your phone to make and receive calls, get a wireless phone headset. You’ll be able to multi-task while you’re on the phone — plus, you’ll have both hands free in case you need to search for something relevant to the phone call.