For many of us, this year has created a vital need for a home office space. Do you need an environment to hold teleconferences or to run your own business? What about a space for kids to focus on schoolwork or hunker down for distance learning? If so, transforming a dedicated area of your home into a comfortable work center may now be a top priority.
Home offices are a must-have for many buyers, too, as they look for flexible space in their first (or next) home. And it must be said… boring home offices are out. Today’s trends get creative with in-home work areas and explore everything from décor that inspires to organization that helps you focus.
Follow these insights to spark productivity and create the perfect home office setup for any space.
20 affordable home office ideas to spark brilliance
1. Organize your cords
Still don't have a fully wireless set-up? Minimize your cord chaos by purchasing a cord organizer for each desk in the house. A clutter-free environment may foster a more efficient work day.
2. Upgrade your chair
Invest in a chair that can be modified for proper ergonomic height. And while you're at it, choose a fun color, cool design or a swivel chair that can deliver the perfect modern vibe to your area.
3. Built-in UV sterilization
A monitor stand with a self-cleaning component? Score! This Flexispot monitor stand has a built-in UV light that cleans your keyboard overnight, so you won’t have to worry about bacteria or buildup over time.
4. Bike or walk as you work
To offset the number of hours spent sitting at work, consider buying an under-the-desk pedal cycle or treadmill loop. Who knows? Maybe getting your blood pumping before that big meeting will put you in the right mindset to crush your sales goals.
5. Get a full desk setup with monitor, keyboard and mouse
To build a fully ergonomic at-home office, purchase a large-screen monitor with an adjustable stand to keep your neck in proper alignment. Upgrade your keyboard and mouse, too. (The smaller-scale, built-in versions from your laptop can cause pain to your hands and wrists.)
6. Get smart about hydration
Whether you purchase an extra-large water bottle with timed markers on the side, an at-home water cooler or a fun carbonated water system, be sure that you’re taking in adequate fluid throughout the day.
7. Pick up a phone or tablet stand
Consider buying a phone or tablet stand to transform your mobile device into a backup option when needed. (Nothing says unprofessional like someone holding their iPhone unsteadily during that 3 p.m. Zoom meeting.)
8. Visualize your way to increased productivity
Need to boost productivity? Ditch the phone timer and try out a visual option like these hourglass timers, which come in 10, 20 and 30-minute increments. Challenge yourself to not check your email (or Instagram) until your timer is up.
9. Add a subtle whiteboard alternative
Need a whiteboard, but hate the look of them? Consider one that has the appearance of frosted glass, instead. Wipe the surface down at the end of the day and it’ll fade into the background.
10. Build a Kraft paper dispenser
A Kraft paper dispenser is the perfect solution for those of us who can’t move away from hand-written to-do lists. Pre-made options are available for purchase, or you can follow this easy tutorial to make your own.
11. Maximize a small space with shelving and wall storage
If you're making do with a small office nook, position shelves and extra storage above your desk. This setup provides an added bonus for parents; your files and paperwork will be out of reach from little hands.
12. Add a fold-down desk to nearly any room
A fold-down desk can be perfect for a kids’ room that needs to double as a classroom for distance learning. Adult versions exist too, if you need to add a floating desk option to a room that’s tight on space.
13. Delineate your office space with a rug
When you plop a new desk in a corner, it’s easy for it to feel out of place. Make your work area look more intentional by adding a small rug underneath your desk or work table.
14. Pick your audio vibe
Buy a speaker for your office and plan some productivity playlists that help you make it through each day. As the sole home office DJ, you can play Joan Jett and Johann Sebastian Bach back-to-back… and no one can stop you.
15. Invest in a pair of headphones
Of course, if your home is crowded with distance learners and fellow work-from-home comrades, it would be wise to invest in a pair of high-quality, noise cancelling headphones.
16. Create a magnetic visual display
Decorate your kids’ desk area with an easy-to-assemble gallery wall thanks to GoodHangups, a magnetic display system that was featured on Shark Tank. It’s a unique way to make at-home artwork feel special or to reward a good grade on an essay.
17. Save space with side-by-side desks
Consider a side-by-side desk to save space and maintain symmetry. If you have an extra-long wall, create your own dual setup by building a custom option. Select an extra-long tabletop and the legs of your choice, then delineate the two spaces with chairs or cabinets.
18. Create a mobile printer station
If several family members are sharing a printer this year, buy a mobile printer cart and place the printer in a communal area during the workday or schoolday. At the end of the work week, roll the cart into a closet and enjoy the weekend without thinking about work.
19. Foster good energy through bold color
Create a colorful office space that energizes you the moment you walk in each morning. Consider painting your desk a bright shade of red or pink, or add peel-and-stick wallpaper for an instant but temporary boost.
20. Buy an easy-to-stow storage solution
A rolling cabinet can be the perfect catch-all for paperwork you can't throw away or extra office supplies. At the end of the day, you can roll the cart underneath your desk — making it the perfect storage solution for a pop-up micro-office in the corner of a bedroom.
Need a more inspiring home office?
Whether you're a frequent work-from-home warrior or simply need an in-home office for check-ins and internet surfing, this type of dedicated space is in high demand. Homeowners and homebuyers alike are prioritizing residential office space as they redesign their homes and reconsider their long-term housing needs.
If your home feels a bit too small now, reach out any time to discuss your changing needs — today and in the long-term.