How do I maximise space in a small home office?

The rise in people successfully managing to work from home during the lockdown months will undoubtedly see more employers offering some increased flexibility with home working going forward.  If you are planning to work from home on a regular basis and are not blessed with masses of space to dedicate an entire room to the cause, fear not.  Here are our tips on how you can maximise the space you have to create a productive home office space…

First off, you will need to decide where you are going to set up your office, which for the majority of us that don’t have an empty box room or garage to transform, will probably be an empty alcove, or a corner of the dining room that we can squeeze a desk into.  Try and make sure you are away from the hub of the house where there is likely to be chaos and distraction.  Once you know where you plan to work, you can consider the following elements:

Get the colour right

It’s no surprise that we would mention paint colour first!  But choosing the right colour is actually an important aspect for helping you be productive while working.  If you have a creative job for example, orange tones will serve you well as will evoke vibes of enthusiasm and energy.  Yellow is uplifting so it would be good to give you a lift during afternoon energy slumps.  Blue is said to stimulate the mind which would be a great choice if your work is quite repetitive, while softer blues and pastel shades will have a calming effect if you are required to really concentrate – writing for example.  Earthy greens are great for promoting balance and reassurance so would be a great choice for accountants or those in financial industries.  You get the picture…!

Colour can also be used to help maximise the physical space of your home office.  Light, bright colours are well known to create the illusion of a much bigger space, so keep your main colour simple and neutral.  If you are working in a section of room, such as a corner of the dining room, you can use colour to visually section of and differentiate the space where your office area resides.

Declutter and utilise storage space

Clear your workspace as much as possibleto minimise clutter. Having a clear space around you will help you to focus your mind and attend to the job in hand.  If you are working in a shared space (like the corner of the living room or kitchen for example) where it is difficult to keep clear and tidy, make sure you position yourself so you have your back to the rest of the room – out of sight, out of mind.

If you need to create some storage space for equipment, paperwork, stationary, books etc, utilise the space you have.  A made-to-measure shelving system for example, will ensure you do not waste an inch of space and will work well if you are working in an alcove or with a sloping ceiling.  With a little bit of creativity, you can really make the space as efficient as possible whilst keeping things minimal.  Think about installing shelves and draws that go up rather than across, use the space below the desk to hang pots for pens etc, tuck cables behind your desk using cable organisers to keep them from tangling up and safeguarding them from other people in the house.  The more organised the space is, the more organised and productive you will be and by keeping everything you need out of sight, the area will appear bigger than it really is.

Let the light in

If possible, make sure your workspace has a window and fill your view with plants, a water feature, anything that is calming to look at and not distracting in anyway.  Flooding sunlight into your home office to keep things bright and airy will help create the illusion of space.  Natural light is best to boost the body’s vitamin D levels (known to relate to our happiness levels) plus,  being near a window also gives you access to some fresh air which will allow you to improve the air quality around you while you work, keeping you alert and focused.  However, if it is not possible to locate yourself near to a window, some good lighting to create a well-lit area combined with an air-purifying houseplant is a great alternative.

So, there you have it, maximising your home office space requires giving a little thought to the best space to work, how much light is available, getting creative with storage to minimise the area and create the illusion of lots of space, and choosing the perfect colour to put you in the best frame of mind for the work you do.  If you need any help with any of the painting aspects of your new home office, our team of friendly domestic painters would live to help.  Just give us a call.