Before the pandemic, working from home wasn’t always the first choice for professionals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). But since lockdowns and social distancing measures forced businesses to implement the remote work setup, employees can’t seem to get enough of it.
If you prefer to keep an area in the house where you can work, consider the available space you can use. After all, not everyone has the luxury of living in spacious villas in the suburbs of Dubai.
Fortunately, you can still establish a productivity-boosting home office even if you barely have enough space for an office desk. All you need to do is think outside the box.
From utilizing vertical space to customizing office furniture for awkwardly shaped corners, here are five small home office ideas you can try:
Cupboards and pantries aren’t just for storing food. Closets and dressers aren’t just for clothes and shoes either.
If you have any of these that you’re no longer using, consider transforming them into a mini office – a closet-con-cubicle, if you may.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Install an easy-to-hide work desk. You’ll need a sturdy plank or wooden board and a pair of folding shelf brackets. Make sure the latter is long enough to support the depth of the desk when it’s attached to the inside of the closet or pantry.
- Use existing closet shelving as equipment storage. After checking the size and integrity of the shelves, you can use them to keep your printer, other office equipment, and supplies within arm’s reach.
- Confine odds and ends with paper trays. This will keep your mini home office organized and clutter-free.
- Attach a corkboard to the inner walling of the closet to maximize the vertical space.
- Install a pendant light for task lighting. This also gives off an elegant vibe that will bring your work area together, no matter how small it may be.
If you don’t already have a closet, cupboard, or dresser for this project, you can check out recycling centers near you to see if they have surplus pieces that you can upcycle. Either way, this idea not only helps you save space in your home but is also eco-friendly.
2. Workspace by the Window
Being able to control the environment around you is one of the best perks of working from home.
In an office, workers tend to feel closed off from the world to the point that they go through their days in a daze. Staring at a blank wall all day, every day, can do that to you.
Fortunately, your boss has already approved your remote work setup. This is now your chance to create the most comfortable and productive workspace you can ever have.
Even if you live in an average-sized house, you can still achieve that by placing a small desk beside a window. Below are a few things you can try to make the space more appealing to work in:
- Let natural light in. If possible, place your desk near a south-facing window so you won’t have any trouble with the lighting.
- Decorate based on your personality. Choose a curtain or wallpaper that speaks to your style. You can even add functional décor, like a unique paper organizer or an elegant desk lamp.
3. Stair Landing Home Office
For those who live in houses with two or more stories, your stair landing can be a viable choice for your home office.
Turn it into a usable alcove with the following nifty tricks:
- Add shelves to create a small-scale library. You can keep both work and personal reads close by for when you need a quick refresher for your tasks.
- Install low-hanging task lights. A pendant light can also help separate the space from the stairs.
4. Chic Living Room Work Area
The living room can be many things: a family area, an entertainment center, and even a home office.
Here’s how you can carve out a small area from a corner of the living room to create a breezy workspace:
- Create a zone using color. This can come in the form of a feature wall or an area rug. Experts recommend a stimulating hue, like the refreshing aqua blue or the bright and sunny pastel yellow.
- Brighten up the area with task lighting. Again, pendant lights can be your home office lighting. You can also use a cove light if you’re working near a wall.
- Match your home office furniture with your living interior. If you have an older property, you can opt for a bureau (a writing desk with an angled surface for more comfortable writing).
- Don’t skip the decoration. Don’t remove decorations even if you’re working in the living room. Keep them as a reminder that you’re working from home.
5. L-shaped Productivity Corner
Does your house have an unused corner along a narrow hallway? Perhaps there’s an awkward corner between your living room and dining area?
Use these spaces to your advantage by transforming them into a home office.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Furnish with custom furniture. Commission a piece of bespoke furniture in Dubai that’s literally made for the area you’re redesigning. This way, you can maximize the available space and maintain its beauty at the same time.
- Add a casual daybed. There’s no rule saying you can’t have a bed where you work. Some offices even have a dedicated break area for their employees, so why can’t you have one in your home office?
- Incorporate built-in wall shelves for display and storage. This will allow you to maximize the vertical space in your work area.
Work Productively and Comfortably
Being productive and comfortable are two major perks of working from home.
Create an area in your house that achieves both with these nifty small home office ideas.