The pandemic has changed the way that many of us live. One big part of this change has been the increase in hybrid working. Working from home is now a big part of a lot of people’s lives. For some, working from home has been the norm for years, while for others, it is still a strange concept.
The important thing though, is that your home office is a place where you feel at ease and can work effectively and productively. Work must be completed, whether it’s being built as a dedicated office, or you’re utilizing a spare room.
So, what should you think about when creating your perfect home office?
Firstly, are you looking to separate your professional life from your personal life?
Secondly, what are you using the space for? Is it to make phone calls, write, use the computer, or conduct data analysis?
Both of these questions will be important when creating your home office, so consider where the space is going to be. Is it a corner in the dining room or kitchen, or will it necessitate a total renovation of the spare room, garden shed or integrated garage?
After you’ve made your decision, you can consider what you’ll do with the room. Write down a list of what you need or want in your workspace, and then rank the items in order of importance. You can then start to prioritise the things you’ll need to do or buy first.
1. Refurbish and repurpose
Setting up a home office doesn’t have to be expensive. Is there a desk or table in your garage that just needs repainting? Do you have a few jars collecting dust and cobwebs in your shed? These are easily washable and cleanable and can be used for pencils, pens and other stationary items. Make the most of the resources you already have.
2. Don’t get too caught up on the idea of buying pricey prints
Instead of going to a big shop to buy prints to hang on the wall, print out a favourite photo and get a frame to put it in. This is not only a cost-effective approach to furnish your office, but it also adds a more personal touch to your space. Instead of spending a lot of money on prints of a New York skyline or forest glades, you could have a photo of your favourite family holiday. This will look good and can be inspirational too!
3. Be thrifty
If you’re looking for a new office desk or filing cabinet, it’s easy for the expenses to start building up. But there’s no need to rush to your local office furniture shop. Why spend lots of money on something new when you can get what you need by asking around?
Maybe a local business has relocated or downsized and is giving items away or selling them for cheap. Or trying websites such as Facebook marketplace? Where people sell things on for little or no money when they don’t need them anymore.
You might even be able to borrow something from a friend or a family member. Being smart about how you can create your dream home office for less is important if you’re working on a budget.
4. Use blackboard paint
Want to be more creative? If you need to scribble down ideas or organise your thoughts on a mind map, blackboard paint is for you. You can paint a blackboard onto your wall for around £7 a tin. You can then write your creative ideas or formulae on the wall and wipe it clean afterwards. You’ll save money on equipment and paper, and you’ll be helping the environment too.
5. Double the size with mirrors
Working from home usually involves working in a smaller space than usual, but have you considered using mirrors to make your space appear bigger? A strategically placed floor-standing mirror will instantly expand your room. Wall mounted ones will work too, as long as the frames are thin. It’s a trick that interior designers and retailers utilise, so it’s worth trying out. IKEA sells floor-sending mirrors for roughly £50, and big frameless mirrors for around £15 to £20.
Designing and constructing a home office is a personal project, so get creative. Whether you want your home office to be minimalist or filled with decorations, it doesn’t have to be expensive if you plan ahead.
If you’re looking to buy somewhere with a home office, call our friendly local team at Whitegates or check out our latest properties.