Even though the pandemic is fading in many parts of the U.S., the 2020 stay-at-home experiment has forever changed the way many businesses operate. As of the first quarter of 2021, 57 percent of employees across the country were still working from home, according to a recent report by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson, whereas only 7 percent had such job arrangements before COVID-19 struck. Companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter have even modified their policies to allow some of their staff to permanently work remotely.
What all this means is that the home office is quickly becoming a necessary and lasting feature in many households. But since not all dwellings come with built-in workspaces, remote employees are often looking for ways to create small offices within their existing square footage. Here are seven handy space-saving tips for making the most of your cubicle away from the office:
Build Under the Stairs
Many homes have an empty stairwell. Depending on the positioning of yours, this might be the perfect cozy nook to insert a desk and some shelving. Just be sure to choose a chair with a minimal profile so it can be pushed in when not in use, leaving the walkways free of obstacles.
Add a Fold-Up Desk
When you truly have no extra room to spare, build up! Fold-up desks can easily be installed on walls, leaving room above for shelves to hold folders, pencils, or whatever else your daily work needs require. When it’s time to clock out, the desk can be hidden away with no trace in sight.
Turn an Ottoman Into a Hidden Office
This resourceful idea allows you to pop open your office and put it completely out of sight (and hopefully out of mind) when you’re through making a living for the day. With a simple table or nightstand nearby for laptop use, the storage ottoman-turned-office cuts the clutter while saving plenty of space.
Use Pegboard for Infinite Storage Combinations
A simple wooden pegboard with some hooks, shelves, and baskets is all you need to form a functional wall of storage. And since the hooks are removable, your storage options can be endlessly reconfigured to fit your changing business needs.
Convert an Old Hutch Into a Desk
Got an old hutch or china cabinet that’s not being put to good use? It could make for excellent and tidy work spot, with its included room for paper, binders, and miscellaneous office supplies. You can even add a little color or pattern like this one to make it an especially sunny work environment.
Embrace the “Cloffice”
What do you get when you stick your computer in your closet? The “cloffice.” Sometimes these designated storage areas are the best place to add a few permanent shelves and drawers to create a practical workspace. And while built-ins are nice, if you’re going for easy, most closets already have at least one existing shelf for stowing things. All you have to do is add a stand-alone desk below.
Create a Mobile Office Trolley
If you don’t want to commit to any one area for a home office, you could store all your essentials on a transportable trolley. You could check morning emails in the kitchen, log on to a meeting in the living room, and even get some overtime done from the comfort of your bed.
As we do our best to navigate the work-life balance of remote employment, it’s important to remember that creativity is key to finding storage solutions and optimal home office positioning.