While moves to working from home have increase convenience for many employees across numerous industries, there are some for whom this transition isn't as simple. One group to highlight here: People who live in apartments or other small spaces that may have limited room for the kinds of furniture needed to create a home office.
At Urban 9-5, we're here to help. We stock a huge range of industrial office furniture, from tables and chairs to storage items, rugs and many others -- and we've assisted many clients with setting up a home or apartment office despite limited space available. What are some of the top themes to consider for creating a smaller office space that's still comfortable and efficient? Here are several.
Narrow or Smaller Desk
Especially if you work a non-traditional job, there's no rule saying you have to bring a massive desk into your home office setup. Rather, your desk just needs to have enough room for a laptop, ergonomic mouse pad and other essentials. Narrow desks can be just as effective in creating the work space you need without taking up too much room in your apartment or home office.
On top of purchasing a slimmer desk to begin with, there are simple ways to design your office area to maximize desk and countertop space. Desks can be placed in the corner of a room, or pushed against the wall to make more area for other pieces of furniture, such as chairs and tables. You can also consider placing your desk atop a rolling credenza so that you have even more leeway in terms of placement.
Desk in Entryway
For some who have extremely limited space in their apartment or a smaller home, affixing the desk to an entryway wall has become a popular alternative. This affords you the chance to keep the majority of your home office in a corner of your living space, freeing up much more room for the rest of apartment or home.
There are even some desk models meant to fold up flat against the wall when they aren't being used. This will save a lot of space in your home or apartment, without sacrificing the functionality you need to communicate, work on projects and more.
Reduce Paper Needs
Going paperless in your home office is beneficial for several reasons, and one is the space you'll be saving. While it's important to have a few files and folders for certain documents, you may not need as much space as you think.
Consider digitizing some of your filing needs by scanning old papers into a computer or even online storage, such that everything is stored electronically with a hard copy on hand at all times. This will free up tons of space in your home office.
Use Chairs that Tuck In
You want a comfortable office chair, of course, but you can take some basic steps to obtain one that doesn't take up too much space. Make sure your chair will tuck in beneath your desk. If it does, you can place it in a corner of the room or simply just slide it under your desk. Some chairs even come with wheels that retract for such purposes.
Limit and Organize Cables
Cables and wires can create some surprisingly significant issues with space for smaller home office setups, but you may not need them all. Consider limiting the number of devices you have plugged in -- if you're working from home, there's no need for an entertainment center setup with a TV and gaming console, for instance.
When using cables to connect electronics to your computer, try using power strips that can save on space, as well as make it easier to shut off or unplug devices at a glance.
Another option is to use USB cords to connect your mouse, keyboard and other essentials rather than bulky, larger computer wires. Such a setup can save a lot of space in your home office area, especially if you have limited cable length options in the first place.
Lighting is vital for any home office space, and there are several ways you can light up your office without taking up too much space. If you have a window in your office, first and foremost, consider using the natural light to illuminate the room. You won't need as many overhead lights if it's possible for you to work by a window during daylight hours.
Another way to add lighting without taking up too much space is through track lighting along wall surfaces. These can be used along the edge of a desk or table and will cast lighting on your workspace without taking up too much room.
Finally, consider installing standing lamps that can be tucked away in small corners of the office when not needed. These types of lamps are meant to go under tables or desks with no free space above them. They'll provide great illumination without taking up a lot of space.
Avoid Furniture Clutter
When decorating your home office, consider the ways you can limit and organize furniture in order to avoid clutter. Limit the number of desks or tables you have by using one main desk for your computer setup, with another used as a workstation for reading materials and other things that may not require as much space.
Tuck in chairs that can be rolled beneath the desk, put bookshelves in tight corners to store extra supplies or decorations and keep things as simple as possible when selecting furniture pieces. This will ensure you're not using a lot of space in your office without the benefit of having a whole home for this purpose.
For more on designing a home office in an apartment or smaller area, or to learn about any of our rustic office furniture, speak to the staff at Urban 9-5 today.