The top home office design hacks

Tips & guides

30 April 2018

Many of us work from home now and again – but not many homes are set up as dedicated work spaces.

Simply finding a place to plug in your laptop is a real trial some mornings, especially in a small space or a busy household, and you may fear that you’ll never find a free corner.

However, a home office actually needn't take up much room. Follow our home-working hacks, and you’ll soon create your own productive work space.

Finding space

Where will your base be? Landings and under-stairs spaces make popular work-nooks, or perhaps you can make space in the living room or spare bedroom. Make sure there’s not too much disrupting passing traffic (like kids for example), and that you can take a phone call in peace.

Is there room for an operator’s chair for ergonomic working? Are there sockets? It feels like a practical solution to put your desk against the wall – but who wants to stare at a wall all day? Natural light is lovely; but if you put your desk in the window, beware of distractions...

Choosing a desk

The smallest desk isn’t necessarily the best use of space, as you lose that useful and unobtrusive under-desk storage. Corner desks are a great way of making the most of a generally underused area – but again, don’t feel shoved in the corner, so make sure it’s a nice little space. You can get fold-away desks, and worktops that pull out of the wall.

A pop-up office

If you’re short of space, you can still work out a solution without having a dedicated desk. Use the dining table as a pop-up office, and simply tidy away your laptop and files when you’ve finished. Multi-purpose furniture is a great help: chests double as extra seats and swallow up a lot of paperwork. Shut the lid, and your minimalist business is closed for the weekend.

Storage solutions

Boxes with lids keep things tidy and look more stylish than a filing cabinet. If you do need a fireproof, lockable cabinet (home-based accountants and HR consultants, take note), look out for wood-effect or stylish coloured models.

Shelves are inexpensive, they don’t take up floor space and that extra height keeps work files away from little hands or muddy paws. Shelves with doors let you forget about work in the evening. Have a simple rule: if you don’t need constant and easy access to an item, does it need to be to hand? Store anything you don't need all the time under the bed or in the loft.

Making it look nice

Unlike most workplaces, you can style your home office to suit your usual look. Vintage tins double as pen holders, or minimalist white cube shelves blend into the walls. Introduce attractive task lighting, and have fun designing your capsule office.

There’s no escaping the fact that printers aren’t pretty. Is there space on a shelf under the desk? If it’s a wireless printer, place it in a different room such as the utility or spare room (provided it can’t overheat or get too dusty). Keep cables to a minimum; and trays and boxes help keep your desk uncluttered.

Keeping it safe

Unlike a commercial office, your premises aren’t protected by a security team – keep your IT equipment somewhere safe and away from the window when you’re out. Have a look at our working from home business insurance, for home-working peace-of-mind.