Innovative Ways to Double-Up Space When There's No Room for a Dedicated Home Office
By Gregory Grabowski, PE, LEED AP
According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, of the 13.7 million wage and salary workers who usually did some work at home in 2004, about 3.3 million, or 1 in 4, had a formal arrangement with their employer to be paid for the time they put in at home. Whether you have your own business and work from home or work outside the home, or both, almost everyone can benefit by having a home office.
In a perfect world, you would have an extra, unused room in your home that you could use as your work oasis. It would have plenty of space, a breathtaking view, exceptional lighting, and a door that could shut out any distractions. If you have that kind of space, that’s great — read on to find out how you can make it even better, and if you don’t have that kind of space, there are ways to work with what you have to create an environment that will work for you. It just takes planning and a little creativity.
When starting something new, try to remember Alan Lakein’s famous quote, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” It’s simple, and yet widely applicable. Planning for your space will help to ensure that you are maximizing the pros, while minimizing the cons. The first part of planning for your space is in knowing what you need versus what you want. It may be helpful to take a few minutes to write down what you absolutely must have,and then make a separate list of things that you would like to have. Just knowing the difference between the two can help make the most of the space you choose. If you need a desk, a computer, and a reading light, look for spaces that can accommodate those things, regardless of whether or not you initially see that space as an office. You may be surprised at what you find.
Considering Your Options
As you walk around your home, start with the main rooms and think critically about the way you are using the space you have. Does it make sense to have an entire room set aside for guests that visit you once or twice a year, when you could be using that space more regularly as an office? Does your family spends most of their time in the den instead of the living room, and if so, is there extra space that goes unused as a formality? Do you have a dining room that no one uses because there everyone likes to sit at the small table or island in the kitchen? Can you move the china cabinet that no one ever uses and replace it with a desk? Do you really need all that empty floor space in the den, or could you move the furniture in a little to make room for a workspace along the wall?
Just asking yourself these questions can help you to assess the space you have that you may not have initially thought of as available.
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Thinking Outside the Box
If you don’t find a space in any of the main rooms that will work for you as a home office, consider an alternate space such as the lau...<><#