Your workspace can be full of style, but your style doesn’t have to be full of work. Get inspired by these design trends – from industrial details to outdoor scenery – for a functional, chic and totally refreshed home office.
Living Room Office Ideas
How to stay sane when you’re suddenly working from home? Your living room will need a little rebranding, starting with a new name; how does ‘living room office’ sound?
1. Place a desk behind a sofa. It’s the space traditionally dedicated for console/sofa tables; but times are changing – and so are your furniture needs. Consider clearing the area behind your sofa for an office desk; if you have kids, it’s also a great place to keep an eye on them as they watch TV or play games in front of the sofa.
2. Get creative with ‘standing room only.’ If you find you’re missing your standing desk back at the corporate office, get creative with what you have at home. Repurpose a kitchen bar, counter-height table or pub table to accommodate your work-from-home essentials (computers, paperwork, etc.). Then, remove the chairs and get to standing!
3. Consider a ‘mini table’ for a desk. Maybe you don’t have the space to place a desk behind a sofa, or maybe you just don’t really feel the need to work at a desk in the first place. Either way, a mini table – even an accent table! – works as a great alternative. Simply pull up a chair and get to work – as you enjoy all the space you’ve saved!
Working From Home With Kids
When you’re asked to work from home without much preparation – while simultaneously caring for children who are also home when you are – you’re going to need to do a little improvising. Here are a few tips to create an ideal work from home space – when you’ve got kids to care for as well!
- Use the living room as an office.
When you’ve got kids, space is, to put it mildly, limited. Chances are, you don’t have a home office – and even if you do, what use is it if you can’t keep an eye on the kids while you’re in there?
The easiest approach to staying at home to work when you’re caring for little ones is to move your ‘home office’ to your living room. And while you’re at it, set a defined space – and stick to it. This will train your brain to get used to the idea that this space is for work, and that space is for relaxing. For example, don’t just work from the couch on Monday and kitchen table on Tuesday; instead, try to discipline yourself to working in the exact same spot every single day, just as you would in a regular office.
- Turn a counter-height table into a standing desk.
Not sure where to ‘set up office?’ Consider the kitchen bar or other counter-height surface – as a standing desk! Ideally, this will allow you to easily maintain supervision of wandering toddlers in your peripheral without distracting yourself from your to-do list.
- Set routine schedules.
If you know anything about kids, you know that there’s nothing like keeping them cooped up all day to make them feel antsy! For this reason, explaining to them on their level why everyone is suddenly at home will help them to empathize more with the situation. Additionally, creating a schedule for the week for the kids (and you) and sticking to it will give their days some much-needed structure.
More Home Workspace Tips
Your ideal work from home setup is calling!
- If possible, work in a space without a TV. (If you can’t, or if you must have one playing in the background, resist the temptation to stream your favorite shows!)
- Hang up a daily calendar. When your to-do list is always in your line of vision, you’re more likely to want to cross things off of it.
- Communicate with your family members about ‘do not disturb’ signs. Hang them up when you’re on calls! If you’re working from the living room and don’t have the luxury of privacy, communicate with your partner/kids about your schedule. If you’re caring for a baby, set up as many meetings as you can when you know your baby will be napping. Of course, no matter how many precautions you take, kids/babies/toddlers are unpredictable. But when you explain to your supervisors/colleagues the situation you’re in, they will almost certainly understand (and even be prepared for!) those kid-related interruptions that are bound to occur.
- Don’t forget the file cabinets. It’s amazing what a little bit of organization can do. If your work involves referencing books/notebooks/paperwork, a file cabinet can work wonders to keep the workflow easy.