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7 space-saving office ideas


Working from home suddenly got a lot easier.

Working on the couch with your laptop may seem tempting if you’re suddenly working from home, but chances are you’ll quickly find yourself in a world of pain – thanks to awkward postures that can easily lead to back and neck problems. To truly be productive, you’ll want to create a home office set-up that’s as ergonomic as possible, and works for you and the space you have available.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to devote the entire spare room to your office. Gone is the need for huge filing cabinets and bulky office equipment; many of us can easily make do with a laptop, digital storage and a folder or two. And if you’ve got a small or awkward space in your home that hasn’t really got a purpose, it may just need a bit of tweaking and imagination to turn it into a functional workspace.

Here’s some home office inspiration to get you started.

1. The wardrobe office

If you’ve got a large wardrobe or built in that’s not in use, consider converting it into a home office space. All you really need is a desk, shelving, some drawers, a couple of power outlets and task lighting so you don’t strain your eyes. Add a good chair (preferably one with lumbar support) and you’re all set. The best thing is, you can close the door on your work when you’re done for the day and no one will know your wardrobe is actually your office.

2. The under-the-stairs office

Is that awkward space under your staircase empty, or a dumping ground for the vacuum cleaner and other household items? Consider revamping it to create a clever, functional home office space that’s out of the main thoroughfare, and has everything you need. If it’s a strange shape, you may need custom joinery to create floating shelves and a desk that fits the space – but once finished it’ll look stylish, be nice to work in and it can double as a study nook for kids, too.

3. The hallway office

An unused nook at the end of the hallway or an alcove that has no real purpose in your home can be transformed into a brilliant workspace. If the area has walls on either side, you can simply install a floating desk and shelving and get to work. The beauty of a small ‘nook’ office is that you can’t cram it with stuff – perfect if you’re a minimalist who likes to work surrounded by just the bare essentials.

4. The corner office

The much-coveted corner office with a view could be yours! All you need is a practical corner desk unit from a furniture store, or hire a handyman to build a triangular-shaped floating corner desk that fits neatly into the space you have. Great for tiny apartments or for turning an existing room into something that’s dual-purpose.

5. The wall office

Got a bit of spare wall space that’s out of the way? A slimline bench, some shelves and a chair could turn your empty wall into a handy working ‘bar’ that two people can use at once. Or, invest in an office ‘cabinet’ that comes complete with built-in shelving, a pull-out desk, and doors you can close. Other options include a ‘ladder desk’ where the ladder steps form the desk and shelving. Or look into the clever ‘Murphy desk’ style, a slim, wall-mounted cabinet or box with one side that flips down to serve as the desk.

6. The disappearing office

If you’re in a really small flat or house, you might not have room for a dedicated office space – or even have a dining table to work on. So one option is to invest in a sturdy fold-down desk that you can store flat under the bed or couch when you’re not using it. You’ll need to be organised and have an area or a drawer to store your laptop and paperwork when the desk is folded and hidden out of sight, but it’ll mean you can easily restore your home to something that’s not so office-like during non-working hours.

7. The mobile office

If you still can’t find a designated space in your house for a home office – and find you prefer desk-hopping from the dining room table to the outdoor setting, consider buying a trolley which can be stacked with your work items – pens, folders, notes, chargers, extension leads and so on. It’s easy to drag to wherever you’re working for the day around the home, and enables you to be truly mobile.

Get creative

As you can see, there are so many options for using awkward or small spaces around the house to create a home office. Be sure to hang on to your receipts for any new items that you buy and talk to your accountant about what could be claimed on tax to pocket some extra savings.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication.

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