With so many jobs transitioning to work from home deals, it’s high time you had an office space. Here’s how to incorporate one into your living room.
Working remotely is becoming commonplace. With advances in technology, more and more professionals that can work on laptops are skipping the daily commute and staying home.
And we love it!
Working from home offers greater flexibility than reporting to a desk in an office on a specific day and time. It also saves money on gas and saves time sitting in traffic. But if you don’t have a designated home office, finding a space in your home to do your work can be a challenge.
If you live in an apartment or don’t have a spare room that you can turn into an office, here’s how to incorporate an office into your living room.
Carve Out a Work Nook
No matter how small your living room may be, you can turn a tiny nook into a functioning office space. To do so, all you need is a desk or tabletop large enough to hold your laptop, a comfortable chair to sit in, and outlets to charge your computer and phone.
The smaller your desk, the less space you need, so with a streamlined work table, you can create an office in an empty corner or a recessed alcove.
Do you enjoy watching television while you work?
Float your couch away from the wall, and you can set up an office behind your sofa. This is a great way to conceal a desk and give you a great view of your TV.
You can even create an office with just a few bare feet of wall space by hanging a wall-mounted fold-down desk. Fold it down when you’re ready to work, and fold it up when your workday is over. No one will ever know that you have a concealed office right in your living room!
Add a Room Divider
The bigger your living room, the easier it is to create a living room office space.
If you have a portion of the room that’s not already filled with furniture, add a divider, and you can turn one space into two in a matter of seconds. You can do this in a room of any size, as long as the desk and chair fit in the space behind your divider.
A slim folding room divider or a sliding curtain panel suspended from the ceiling is all you need in a small space. If you have more room to play with, a bookshelf makes for a great dividing line.
With a bookshelf dividing your room, your workspace will feel even more like an office. You can use the shelving to store books, reference materials, office supplies, a small printer, or any other things you need to make it feel like an office.
Create a Standing Workstation
We’ve all heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” Let’s be clear — smoking is still high on the list of the worst things you can do for your body. But being sedentary for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your body as well.
Instead of taking up space with a traditional desk and chair setup, consider mounting a slender shelf to the wall and standing while you work.
If your work is paperless and you don’t need a printer or a file cabinet, a desk isn’t necessary. All you really need is a simple floating shelf that’s sturdy enough to hold your laptop.
Don’t enjoy the idea of standing all the time?
Mount a wall shelf at counter height and add a tall bar stool beneath it so you’ll have an option to sit when you want to.
Turn Your Existing Bookcase Into a Desk
While having a desk and chair can make your office feel more official, it’s not a necessity. If you have a short bookcase with a flat shelf on top, you can turn that into your instant office space.
To turn a bookcase into a desk, clear off the top and declutter a middle shelf or a center cubby so that you have space for your legs and knees. Pull up a chair, place your laptop on top, and you’ll have an instant desk!
BONUS: it won’t cost you any money, cause you to build new furniture, or rearrange your existing furniture.
Invest in a Ghost Chair
The smaller your apartment, the more critical it is to invest in furniture that maximizes the space rather than makes it look cluttered. A ghost chair is a perfect way to do that.
If you have a table or desk set up as your living room workspace, consider buying a translucent ghost chair rather than a bulky office chair. A ghost chair won’t make your room look cluttered or scream “office!” when you’re lounging on the couch trying to relax.
No matter what type of desk chair you decide to buy, reserve it expressly for those times that you’re working. The best way to maintain a home office in a living room is to keep your living space and workspace separate and only use them for their specific purposes.
In other words, don’t work from your couch in front of the television. (Or eat dinner at your desk.)
Create a Setup That Works for Video Calls
Once you figure out where and how you’re going to set up your living room office, take a few moments to beautify the space behind your chair.
If your job requires you to attend Zoom meetings or jump on video calls, you’ll want your environment to look professional. Your coworkers and clients don’t need to see a pile of laundry stacked on your couch or a messy kitchen counter in the background.
When you work from home, having a specific workspace is key to being productive.
Take the time to create a productive space that you can retreat to every day for work. Whether it’s a few feet of empty wall space or a small nook in the corner, you can add an office into any living room, no matter how big or how small.
Just know this:
Once you have an official living room office, you’ll never want to commute again!
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at The Eleanor with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making The Eleanor the place to call home.