More than four million people are now working from home in the UK, with home-workers accounting for a sizeable 14% of the total workforce.
And that doesn’t even account for those people who work part of their week from home, often on the basis of freeing up time they would otherwise waste on a daily commute.
So it’s no surprise that many homes now include some kind of office space, often in a spare bedroom, a dedicated garden building or part of the living or dining area of the house.
There’s a definite art to creating the perfect home office, and it boils down to successfully blending your domestic and working spaces so that one doesn’t negatively impact the other.
For instance, if you run a small business from home while keeping an eye on children, you may need your workspace to be near the kitchen or sitting room, perhaps in a little-used dining room. One perfect solution in this case might be a cupboard-type workstation.
If your office is part of an open-plan area, it’s usually a good idea to keep the whole décor to the same colour or design scheme so it blends seamlessly rather than taking over. Having a work station that can be closed off when not in use will also help – as well as encouraging you to keep your office space tidy!
If your work is solitary and requires quiet and privacy, a garden office room, garage conversion or home office in a loft conversion may be the ideal option.
If space in the home is tight and there’s simply nowhere else to work, then a good compromise can be found by using a spare bedroom: even just a corner of the bedroom or the living space can work, so long as it’s well-planned.
And if even that is a stretch, then think creatively, because any small space can produce surprising results. Hallways and landings that are often thought of as being unusable can actually be a perfect place to create a small home office.
Or, if you have a small nook under the stairs or in the living room, it could be the ideal spot to neatly house a small desk and a chair without it encroaching on the space itself.
They keys to success are to avoid clutter, and try to match your office décor and furniture to the rest of the room’s contents, to preserve a neat and tidy space that’s pleasant and easy to work in.