Just because you don't have a lot of space doesn't mean you have to work bent over your coffee table. Here's how to organize a workspace when the space itself is scarce.
When most people want to introduce themselves at home, they imagine a well-lit, spacious home office. Your fantasy office may have a sleek desk and a high-tech ergonomic chair. Or perhaps an antique oak desk and a soft leather chair are more your style.
But if you look around your studio apartment or small, cluttered house, you quickly come to reality. Is there even enough space for a real desk? How much work can you really get done on your couch? Maybe you should just work while sitting on your bed, like you did your homework in college?
The prospect of cutting a home office out of a small living space may seem impossible. But with some creativity and ingenuity, you can build an office space that allows you to work even more at home. Here's how to do it:
Find natural light
While deciding which area of your living space to use for your work, there is one thing to keep in mind: natural light.
Even in a basement apartment, you probably have a small window that lets in at least a little light. You can use those natural light sources to your advantage. Studies have shown that access to natural light is the most important thing that makes employees feel good in a workspace.
Without natural light, you will quickly become bored, tired, or confined. Your brain will have a hard time tapping into the energy it needs to focus. So no matter where you decide to place your home office, make sure it has a clear view of a window. The bigger and brighter the window, the better, but work with what you have.
Consider Your Needs
Now consider what your home office needs.
For most people sitting a desk and a place will do the trick. But how big should your desk be? Do you regularly work with two large monitors, or do you work from a regular laptop? Do you need a place where you can spread a lot of paper, or can you work with one notebook?
When thinking, make sure you separate the needs from the needs. You may want a large, beautiful monitor to work with, but a laptop works just as well. Also look for creative solutions. Maybe you can hang that big monitor on the wall so it doesn't take up desk space.
Identify the Right Room
With that in mind, it's time to identify the place where you put your home office.
Unless you really need a lot of space, you really don't need more than a meter. Depending on how tight your living situation is, you may need to rearrange some furniture to open up that office space.
Find or create a clearance, a piece of wall or space under a window. Move things around as needed until you have an open space where you can put some kind of desk. If there is no free wall space, you can place a desk against the back of your sofa instead. You could even use an extra closet as an office (but let's face it, how many people in small living spaces have a closet left?).