By Sam Iontton -19/03/2021
Due to the current pandemic, more of us are working from home than ever before. While many of us will return to the office this summer, it’s thought that 1 in 4 of us will continue to work from home permanently. Working from home has opened our eyes to what we can achieve out of the office. And zoom fatigue aside, working from home can make us happier. With a better work/life balance and a shorter commute, it’s hard to argue the benefits of office working.
But how many of us are prepared for a future of working from home? Over the past year, social media has been awash with photos of makeshift desks and temporary home office setups. Perhaps partly due to the denial that WFH is the new normal, or maybe due to a lack of space. Having a dedicated workspace is essential to improve focus and ensure you can separate work from social and family time.
One option for those living in smaller apartments or houses without an office or study room is to create a zone or office nook in your living room. So, if you haven’t quite mastered the working from home set up yet, we’ve explored our top tips for creating an office space in your living room:
The key to an organised workspace is versatile storage. But often, storage can be bulky and not in keeping with the relaxed style of a living room. Portable storage is ideal for smaller and open plan living spaces, ensuring you can quickly move office items out of sight. Investing in moveable storage such as a storage trolley on wheels is an affordable option to keep office equipment tidy and organised. Simply wheel it out of your living room after a long workday to forget about work and free up your valuable living space.
To ensure your living room doesn’t turn into an office 24/7, zone off an area specifically for your workstation. Setting up a desk in a corner, away from the rest of your living space, will prevent your office from invading your ‘home life’. Consider placing shelving or bookshelves at a right angle to the end of your desk to take it one step further. This will create a physical divide between work and home. Besides hiding your desk out of sight, freestanding cube shelving or bookcases offer extra storage to house office equipment. Or help you to add some individuality to your office area.
Before choosing where to place your office, assess your current set up and all available space. Do you have room at the side of your sofa or a nook under your stairs? You can even transform a cupboard into an office space with a little creativity. If space is at a premium, some small adjustments to your existing living room décor can create more room. For example, look at replacing freestanding cabinets and shelves with wall-mounted cabinets and corner shelving units. This will free up valuable floor space and make use of awkward spaces.
It can be challenging to switch off after a long day at your office desk. Especially if you’re relaxing in the same space and work is within sight. Consider where you place your workstation to help your mental wellbeing. If space allows, placing your desk behind your sofa will almost guarantee you don’t spend the evening looking at it. Your work can then be tucked away out of sight from 5 ‘til 9. After all, out of sight, out of mind, right?
An office area can dominate a small living room. Avoid your workspace from taking over by choosing office furniture that blends seamlessly with your existing décor. Opt for furniture of a similar style and create the illusion of space with sleek furnishings and shelving that draws the eye outwards. Scandinavian and industrial furniture is great at tricking the eye with its elegant wood and metal. Ladder shelves give the illusion of space, while a Perspex chair will almost disappear amongst your existing living room furniture.
We hope we’ve inspired you to create a permanent office area in your living room. Visit our home inspiration section for more advice and inspiration about storage, shelving and home offices. To explore our extensive range of affordable storage and shelving, view our dedicated storage and shelving collection.