The progression of technology, along with the price of technology reducing, has made it possible for more people to become self-employed, to work for themselves from home. It has also made it easier for people to take work home with them, to extend their working hours and help them to get more done. For these reasons the home office is quickly becoming a necessity, something most people now make room for in their homes, even if these houses aren’t very big.
With the cost of technology nowhere near what it used to be, creating your own little office doesn’t have to cost much, in fact it can barely cost anything at all if you already have the equipment you need (such as a computer/printer etc) and you can source everything else (such as filing cabinets and office chairs) second-hand. What’s more is, you don’t need a massive space either, a home office can be created in homes with limited space. The trick here, is to utilise the available space that you have to its fullest.
If you have a small house but would like to, or need to, integrate an office into the space somewhere, here are some ideas:
∙ Space under the stairs: pretty much everyone has some kind of space under their stairs, usually it is turned into a small storage room given its unusual shape. However, this is a perfect place to turn into an office. Instead of buying a desk and placing it into this space, you could make one, making sure to add drawers and storage wherever possible along with shelving.
∙ Fold-up desk: if your space is really limited you could install a fold-up desk, something you can pull down to use when you need it, or can store up and out the way when you don’t. Or you could use other suitable pieces of furniture as a desk alternative, such as an armoire.
∙ Corner office: you don’t need an entire room for your office, you can take a corner of the room and transform it into a suitable office. For example, use a corner of your living room, add a desk and some other office equipment (try to get any furniture you add to the room to match with the existing furniture).
But before you start planning your home office and start spending money on creating something fantastic, first stop and think. What are you going to be using your office for? How often will you be using it? Do you have the room available to add to your office space in the future? Thinking about these types of questions helps you to understand what technology, furniture and storage you need for your office. If, for example, you have lots of paperwork, you might want a filing cabinet and a good shredder, if pretty much everything you do is electronic, you may have no need for either of these. Equally, if you have little need for a printer, then there is even less need to go out and buy a 3D printer and a scanner.
Be sensible when you buy things for your office, especially if you have limited space. Here are some of the main things you will need for your office, regardless of what it is you do:
∙ A workspace/desk
∙ A chair
∙ Good lighting
∙ Computer/basic printer
∙ Internet connection
As long as you have these basic elements in your office, you will be able to work effectively, you don’t have to go crazy and you certainly don’t need a big space.