Setting up a home office in a small space can feel challenging. How can you turn a cramped nook in your home into a home office you’d actually feel happy to spend hours at a time?
Daunting as it may first seem, creating a designated workspace at home is a must if you want to stay productive, comfortable, and healthy.
Let’s explore why creating a home office is vital. Plus, some simple, actionable tips on how to set up a comfortable home office in a small space that’ll feel cozy, not cramped.
Why is a designated home office so important?
One study reports that alarmingly, nearly half of people who work with computers suffer from repetitive strain injury (RSI) symptoms. This is from sitting in a fixed position for a long period of time, often with badly positioned equipment.
Working in makeshift places on the couch or bed might seem like the easiest solution, right?
Creating your own home office, even in a tight space, is your ticket to getting more (and better) work done.
Where to set up your home office
You don’t have to have a spare room available to make a fantastic home office. You can transform even the smallest space into a functional workspace.
Choose your designated office area based on how much space you currently have and see if you can free up more room.
Look for spaces that are currently filled with junk or clutter—could you clear out your under-stairs nook or better organize an alcove? You only need a couple of square feet to fit a desk and chair.
When space is tight, consider converting your closet or wardrobe into a foldaway home office. When it’s closed, you’ll never know it’s there!
With space at a premium in a small home, you may need to get creative with where you set up your home office area and create a multifunctional space that converts when you’re done working.
Choose comfortable lighting
Next up, you’ll want to have your home office area lit perfectly to encourage great work. What does that mean?
Good office lighting is that which is not too dim that you’re squinting or want to doze off, but not so harsh that you get a headache and eye strain.
If it’s possible, opt for natural lighting. A space next to a window or underneath a skylight is an ideal choice.
If you’re opting for a closet office space or a nook away from natural light, pick a desk lamp, clip light, or even self-adhesive spotlights to create pools of light in your home office.
If you can, choose a daylight bulb to mimic the sun’s natural rays.
Flexible storage options
Office storage for files, stationery, and books doesn’t have to be cumbersome. When space is limited, think of creative ways to store your equipment.
Portable storage such as drawers on wheels or stackable boxes makes the most of cramped or irregular-shaped areas. While there might not be enough room for bookshelves or bureaus, take advantage of the unused wall or ceiling space. We often overlook vertical spaces to store or hang belongings!
You can even use hanging organizers on the backs of doorways or closet doors to stash office accessories.
Consider your privacy
Home and work life can become blurred when you work from home. You may also share that same space with loved ones. If you have a partner who also works from home or kids hanging out when you’re trying to get projects done, it’s important to create privacy.
If your home office is in a separate room, great! Keep the door shut when you’ve finished for the day to maintain those boundaries.
If your small home office is situated in another main room of the house like the kitchen or living room, you can try using a foldable room divider to separate the spaces.
Shut out distractions
Another helpful method to divide work and home is to shut out distractions in other ways.
If you’re trying to hit a looming deadline but the traffic outside is distracting you, invest in some noise-canceling headphones. Teamed with music to help you focus, you’ll find it easier to concentrate.
If your work requires a certain level of quiet, for example, if you create audio or video content, then you could treat your small home office with acoustic foam or soundproofing.
Position equipment correctly
Remember we mentioned that nearly half of people working from home suffer from back, shoulder, and wrist pain? That’s called repetitive strain injury (RSI).
At home, you haven’t got an employer regulating how your work area is set up. Bad habits like slouching and using incorrect equipment could lead to long-term pain.
To make your home office area more comfortable so you can do your best work, position your equipment correctly. This means:
● Choosing a desk that positions your keyboard and mouse so your elbows are at 90º when typing
● Adjusting your display so your eyes are level with the top of your monitor with a monitor arm
● Supporting your wrists with gel mouse pads and wrist rests
● Choosing a height-adjustable chair that offers posture support
Invest in ergonomic accessories
Making a home office space look inviting is only half the battle. What about when you have to work there? You’ll want it to be comfortable, especially if it’s where you work full time.
To combat any risk of repetitive strain injuries, eye strain, and the problems that come with poor posture, it’s wise to invest in ergonomic accessories.
Well-designed keyboards, mice, and accessories make a stylish home office fully functional and help you perform at your best.
Choosing an ergonomic keyboard that you can adjust horizontally and vertically can help mimic the way you hold your hands naturally, reducing the risk of injury.
With long periods in front of your computer, your wrists can become strained. Holding your mouse wrist flat on your desk could eventually lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
An ergonomic mouse can help prevent that by providing large buttons, a more comfortable shape, and minimal wrist movement when scrolling and browsing to lessen the risk of strain.
Create an ergonomic home office
Transforming a small space in your home into a comfortable home office is achievable with the right steps! Using multi-purpose storage, great lighting, and comfortable equipment will help boost your productivity and keep your body safe from injury.
Visit the Goldtouch website for more ergonomic office equipment and accessories to give the finishing touches to your home workspace.