Working from home is an exciting prospect for many, but it’s not without its challenges, especially if you have limited space to work with. There’s only so much square footage in your home and it all seems to be in use! It can make setting up your workstation a frustrating task.
Although it may be tempting to just work off your laptop on the couch, this can hinder your productivity and lead to physical side-effects down the road. (Just ask my chiropractor!) Therefore, a proper workspace should be a non-negotiable aspect of your home business.
But if you have a small living space, you’ll need to get creative about your work station setup! Here are some ideas for how to make the most of a small workspace so that you can crush it in your biz!
Choose Your Workspace Wisely
Where is your workspace currently, and is it really the best space to utilize? It’s important to choose somewhere with a window so you can get some natural light; studies show that your psychological well-being is affected by how much natural light you receive during your workday.
Ideally, it should be somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. If this isn’t possible, then try to choose a corner where you can reduce the noise with a sound reducing divider or curtain like this one.
Consider Convertible Furniture
A fixed workspace is preferable but sometimes it’s just not possible, especially if you’re in a condo or apartment with only so many rooms to work with.
The next best thing is a “convertible” office that you can quickly fold out when it’s time to work and tuck away when you need that space for other things.
For example, this fold-away desk closes up into a blackboard that hangs on the wall. It’s a great way to quickly convert your living space into an office!
If you need something a little bigger, you can buy an L-shaped desk that swivels closed so that you can tuck it against the wall when not in use.
Optimize for Ergonomics
If you only make one investment towards your workspace, make it an ergonomic chair.
It might be tempting to make do with your kitchen chair, but having poor posture while you work can have serious consequences over time; not only can it result in back and neck pain, but it’s often the culprit behind a host of other problems, including digestive issues, poor quality sleep, and low mood.
A good chair should be highly customizable to your height and build. The armrests, headrest, lumbar support, and backrest should all be adjustable. Get a task chair with wheels so that you can easily store it elsewhere when not in use.
Another important thing to consider is your computer monitor. Your workspace should be set up in such a way that the computer monitor is eye-level to prevent putting a strain on your neck. A desktop mount like this one can give your computer monitor a boost if needed, plus you can adjust the height so that you can work standing up, which studies show is a lifesaver!
Use Your Vertical Space
You have more space than you think if you include the space between your desk and the ceiling! Shelves and hooks are your friends.
Use a hanging organizer for quick access to files or other resources. You can also use overhead storage as a way to make room for your work station.
A pegboard can be another creative way to customize your vertical space! This one on Amazon is great because you can arrange the tiles and shelves in any way you want, and it looks pretty chic too!
Papers are like rabbits. If left unchecked, they’ll rapidly multiply and take over your whole desk!
And that’s a total productivity killer. (While on the topic of productivity, check out this post with 8 time-management hacks for work-at-home moms!)
In today’s digital world, there is virtually no need to keep killing trees just to have them clutter up your desk and filing cabinets (filing cabinets that you don’t have room for, I might add.) Not to mention going digital will cut your costs on printer paper and ink!
These days everything can be stored online for next to no cost. Even contracts can be signed digitally using programs like DocuSign or DocHub.
Just make sure that you always keep backups of all your documents. I like to keep multiple backups on Google Drive as well as a flash drive.
Create a Productive Vibe
Your workspace should be a place you want to spend time in and that inspires you to do your best work! So personalize your space by decorating it with a few meaningful items.
Frame your favorite inspirational quote and put it on the wall or your desk where you can see it whenever you need a motivation boost. Add some greenery with one or two small plants. (You can place them on your pegboard shelves!) Not only do plants look nice, but a university in the UK found that they actually make you up to 15% more productive!
You can also get lots of great ideas on Pinterest! Visit our Pinterest board, Home Organization Ideas for inspiration.
Lastly, keep your desk clear of clutter (going green really helps with this too!) and clear off your desk at the end of each workday.
Worst case scenario, If you are struggling to make an office space work in your home, you can think about investing in a coworking space, which is becoming a more popular option as the number of full-time freelancers keeps rising. But if it’s in the early stages of your business, it’s better to try and keep costs down by keeping your office at home.
When done right, a small workspace can still be a place where you perform your best work. You just need to be strategic and tweak things until you find what works for you!
How do you make the most of a small workspace? Share your tips and ideas in the comments!