Have you ever thought, “I’d work at home, even if it meant sitting in a closet” after an aggravating day at work. In a recent Gallup poll, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spend at least some time working remotely from home, often for extended periods. Not everyone has the room to commandeer an extra bedroom or transform the dining room into a home office. Fortunately, since technology makes it possible to work with little but a laptop computer and a smartphone, creating a fully functional office doesn’t require a lot of elbow room.
The best news is you can easily do it on a budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of low-cost options for things like shelving, tables, and organizers from Amazon, Target, and Ikea. You can easily pull it off by budgeting $100 or so. Read on to learn more about how you can create a functional office space.
Many homes have underutilized space that does little but provide a place for boxes, old furniture, and knick-knacks you don’t know what to do with. This describes the attic in many homes. If yours is big enough for a table, chair, and lamp, you have the makings of a home office. A room with a peaked roof should provide plenty of head space, though you’ll want to do some cleaning to get the musty, dusty smell under control, and add some insulation if you intend to spend a lot of time up there.
You can create a fully functional home office even in a coat or broom closet. It doesn’t take much converting, just cleaning out what’s in the way, inserting a countertop or small table (and maybe a shelf above that), and a small but comfortable chair. All you really need is a power drill, some screws, and brackets, and you can turn that space into a productive work space. If there’s enough wall space, you might even be able to hang a calendar or small whiteboard for notes, brainstorming, or tracking dates.
Under the stairs
If it was good enough for Harry Potter, you can make it work, too. It’s that space underneath the stairs, the tiny open space in the middle of your house. If you can fit a small table and chair in there with enough leftover room for a coffee mug, you’ve got an instant home office. This may not work if you happen to be over six feet tall or a bit on the hefty side, but if you’re comfortable there, it can be a highly useful and productive place to get away from it all and concentrate on work.
Some people have a lot of wall space. It may not be secluded, but you can fashion a hanging, hideaway desk by attaching a flat, wooden surface to the wall with hinges. You can attach a small chain on either side, and anchor the other end of each chain into the wall above so you can fold your desk up and attach it to the wall. That way you’ll maintain open space when your impromptu hanging office isn’t in use. Use anchored brackets to install a couple of utility shelves above your workspace.
Sometimes there’s just not enough square footage to make a home office work inside your home. Don’t give up if that describes your situation. If you have a garage, you can transform part of it into office space with a desk or flat table, a couple of electrical outlets, and enough lighting to make it work. No garage out back? How about installing a prefab steel garage? They’re affordable, easy to install, and, because they offer better insulation than wood, you can heat and cool them without wasting a lot of money.
Sometimes a fireplace is positioned so that it leaves an odd corner space sticking out like a sore thumb. If you have enough room there, look around for a tiny desk and a chair that’ll let you transform an otherwise lost space into work space that’s out of the way just enough to go unnoticed.
A home office isn’t a difficult thing to set up unless you lack sufficient space for one. But remember that you don’t necessarily need a room to create a home office. Sometimes you just need to get a little creative and find ways to transform an existing space into a comfortable work area.