If you work from home, you know how important it is to have a dedicated office space. Having an area that’s clear from clutter, organized, and calming can help lower stress and boost productivity during the workday. However, some apartment-dwellers find it challenging to find the space to create an office in their unit.
To help you find some apartment office ideas, Redfin put together a list that’ll inspire you to create a stylish and productive workspace – even if you’re low on square footage. Whether you’re renting an apartment in New York or a condo in Seattle, you’re sure to find a way to incorporate an office space into your apartment.
1. Create a dedicated office space
Make sure you have a dedicated space for your office to separate your work mindset from your home mindset. If you start every day with your laptop at your kitchen table, move to your couch, and finish up emails in your bedroom, you won’t have a place to get away from work. We recommend a desk or workspace, no matter how big or small, where you can fully focus on your day job, so you can leave that work behind at the end of your day.
2. Utilize closet space
If you have a small rental home, don’t worry – big home office dreams can still happen in small spaces. “Hook” your next client as you set up shop in your coat closet. Add a drop-down desk, some lighting, and shelves, and hang those coats on hooks by the door.
Closets aren’t just for clothes anymore. Save space and build a desk, shelves, or whatever else your home office needs inside your closet. This way, it’s hidden away when you have guests, but you’d be surprised how much you can build inside a closet. Paint it a fun color and leave the doors open – you’ll get tons of compliments.
3. Keep your space clutter-free
For ultimate productivity, always keep your desk and work area clean and free of dust and clutter. Arrange your work area efficiently by keeping items you use frequently like your printer, phone, inbox, and working files within easy reach. Personalize your home office space by adding a few family photos and plants, but don’t go overboard as your goal is to keep your work area professional, orderly, and clutter-free.
4. Maximize your office storage with a tall bookshelf
Add decorative storage boxes to hold printer paper and supplies, a desktop file box for important papers, and an inbox for incoming papers. This frees up your desk (or dining table) for work and helps create a system for handling paper in your home.
5. Choose simple decor
When designing an office space in your apartment, consider placing your desk in front of or by a window. This maximizes productivity and improves focus. While it might be tempting to fill this space with all manner of mementos and knickknacks, sometimes these items can compete with our attention and create unnecessary clutter. Instead, furnish your office space with a single inspiring quote, air-purifying plants, and an oil diffuser to reduce stress.
6. Invest in ergonomic equipment
Comfort is important and ergonomics is equally as important. Spend a little extra on ergonomics; a good chair that has your back, a combination of an ergonomic keyboard and mouse (even when using your laptop), and a standing desk are all great investments. And as a productivity hack, get a second monitor — it’s worth its cost.
7. Choose multi-functional furniture
It’s rare for people to have enough space to reserve an entire extra room to be an office. The trick? Furniture that transforms or hides what’s inside.
Have you ever thought about pulling a whole workstation out of a bookshelf? Or keeping a whole table inside a standard drawer?
Transformable furniture is an amazing way to grant more versatility to any home environment. They are much more than space-saving: they’re a functional, smart, and elegant way to make our homes more resourceful and able to support our different daily activities.
8. Find the perfect location
When designing a home office in an apartment, consider the location carefully. Will you enjoy sitting in this space all day? Consider how you orient the desk for both comfort and productivity. And last but not least, don’t allow your home office to be the dumping ground for clutter. Clutter negatively affects your focus, making you less productive.
9. Personalize your space
Pick a statement item such as wallpaper, a unique light, or a fun piece of furniture, and build off of it!
Besides Atim, also Porvata, Ohmeohmyblog, Das Keyboard, Office Skills, Smallish Home, Caroline Solomon, Indefinite Loop, Pixies Did It, Simply Enough, Simple Modest Mom, Home Style Harmony, Midwest Commercial Millwork Inc., Artful Agenda contributed to the original article.