Carving out a space for your home office can seem like a daunting undertaking. Most homes and apartments don’t have official office spaces. Instead, residents have to get creative, finding ways to rework rooms or other areas to make working from home comfortable.
Luckily, when it comes to places to put your home office, there may be more options than you’d expect. Here’s a look at the rise of the home office, as well as some amazing home office ideas that might be perfect for you.
The Rise of the Home Office
Before we dig into some amazing home office ideas and designs, it’s important to consider why interest in creating designated work from home spaces is on the rise. Before the pandemic, only 17 percent of the workforce was telecommuting five or more days a week. Once COVID-19 hit, that number jumped to 44 percent. Millions of people suddenly needed a home office, seemingly out of the blue.
While the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant driving force initially, today, vaccine rollouts mean that working remotely might not be a requirement for too much longer. However, this mandated period of social distancing taught professionals and companies that telecommuting can be a great option. It can support productivity, help employees achieve or maintain a better work-life balance, and can often result in cost savings for workers and businesses alike.
During the pandemic, many companies asserted that working from home would be a permanent option for their employees. Even for those who didn’t go that far, telecommuting at least part-time may stay on the table. As a result, professionals need comfortable spaces for handling their tasks, ensuring they have a long-term place to use.
14 Genius Places to Put Your Home Office
Finding that comfortable space can seem like a challenge. To help you choose a spot that’s right for you, here are 14 genius places to put your home office.
1. Home Office Shed in the Backyard
A backyard office can be a great option if you need some privacy while you work. It separates you a bit from your home but keeps you close by, too.
If you already have a shed, you might be able to do a simple conversion to turn it into an outdoor office shed. The concept is similar to the she shed; it just focuses on creating an office space specifically.
However, if you don’t have a shed already, you may still be able to go this route. Prefab sheds or shed kits are readily available, and there is a range of sizes and looks to choose from in many cases.
Just keep in mind that sheds typically don’t come with insulation, so you may need to add some to stay comfortable. Additionally, you may need to run power to the shed if it doesn’t have a working outlet already. But once that’s all handled, you can create a comfortable, private space, putting worries of children, pets, or other household members crashing your Zoom calls behind you.
2. Set up an Attic Home Office
For many people, attics are little more than storage areas. The thing is, if you have a reasonable amount of roof height, it can often be reimagined into a great office space.
One of the benefits of setting up an attic home office is that you don’t have to take over any living space. Plus, it’s usually reasonably separated from the rest of the house, giving you some quiet and privacy.
Just like with sheds, if your attic isn’t fully finished, you might need to add some insulation for comfort. And, while an unfinished attic might have a light, there probably aren’t any power outlets, so you may need to run some power, too.
3. Create a Closet Office
In many cases, a closet office is the simplest choice. In many cases, a walk-in closet is ideal. It gives you the ability to have some privacy, as you can close an actual door. If you have a larger closet, you can create a walk-in closet office combo, just using some of the space for work. If it’s smaller, then you may want to take over the entire area.
While walk-in closet office ideas are usually the most popular, you don’t technically need a walk-in to pull this off. Even small closets with bifold doors tend to be deep enough to offer a reasonable amount of desk space. Plus, with this approach, you can still put your office away when the workday is done, which is a nice bonus.
4. Design a Loft Office Space
Lofts are often excellent options for offices. They tend to have a reasonable amount of floor space and ceiling height, so fitting a desk and other work essentials isn’t typically a problem.
The only issue with choosing a loft tends to be privacy. In most cases, these spaces are open to other areas of the home, so you may get some cross-traffic and noise.
However, with the strategic use of portable screens, you may be able to create some privacy. Plus, if you choose one with a great design, you can end up with a great backdrop for video conference calls.
5. The Bedroom Combo Office
If some privacy is a must and you don’t have another room to use, creating a home office in your bedroom could work. The seating area you find in larger master bedrooms can usually provide enough space for a desk and a filing cabinet or two, and maybe even a few other niceties.
However, even if your bedroom doesn’t have a seating area, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. You might be able to fit a modest armoire desk into a smaller room, giving you a designated work area that you can also close up when you’re done.
6. A Home Office Guest Room Combo
Many people have guest rooms in their homes that only get used occasionally during the year. If that’s you, then creating a home office and guest room combo might be a good bet.
Just like with a master bedroom setup, opting for an armoire desk could be a great choice. It has doors you can close, so your workstation can be out of sight when you have visitors.
However, if you only need a laptop for work – and maybe a few other small, easily removable items – you could potentially go with a more traditional desk. Then, if you have visitors, you can move your stuff into another room temporarily, giving them access to the desk during their stay.
7. Carve Out a Niche for a Living Room Home Office
Sometimes, your living room can provide you with enough space for a home office. It’s one of the home office ideas that work for nearly anyone, as positioning a small desk near a wall or in a corner typically isn’t out of the question. While it may not help on the privacy front, it is convenient, so don’t overlook this approach.
8. Create a Garage Home Office
If your home has a garage, turning all or part of it into a home office could be a great move. Garage office conversions can give you plenty of space to work, and they usually already have power. A finished garage may require very few adjustments to make it comfortable, too, particularly if it’s already heated or cooled.
However, you don’t have to take over your entire garage. If your garage is tall, you could consider adding a loft. If it’s large, you may be able to build a separate room that can work as an office. For those who want to go the extra mile, you might want to add a room above the garage. Really, the options are endless.
9. Try the Formal Dining Room
If your home has multiple eating areas, why not turn your formal dining room into a home office? It will offer you plenty of space and may have doors you can close, giving you an ample, private area for handling your tasks.
In some cases, you may still be able to use the space as a dining room, too. If you don’t need a ton of work area, you might be able to set a small desk near a wall, letting the space pull double duty.
10. Take Over the Breakfast Nook
Another option for homes with multiple dining areas is the breakfast nook. While this one may come up a little short on the privacy front, it usually has enough room to make working comfortable. But it does give you a chance to work from the heart of your home, which may be ideal for parents who are also keeping an eye on children or anyone who appreciates being close to snacks.
11. Re-envision Your Pantry
In reality, a pantry isn’t unlike a walk-in closet. If you have enough food storage options in your kitchen, then re-envisioning your pantry as an office could be a smart move.
One of the benefits is you may have access to shelves, making home office closet organization a breeze. Plus, you’ll probably have a door, which is perfect for some privacy.
Just be aware that a pantry might not have its own power outlets. Take a look around before you move your work equipment in so that you can make sure you have the electricity you need.
12. Make Your Mudroom Home Office-tastic
If you have a decent-sized mudroom, turning it into a home office is an option on the table. Since mudrooms tend to be set off to the side a bit – and many have doors – you might get a reasonable amount of privacy. Plus, you may have access to storage options, depending on how the room is set up, as well as power.
13. Create an Office Under Your Stairs
A staircase might create a great opportunity for a small home office space. Usually, if the area underneath the steps is open, you have a slightly awkward niche that could be just the right size for a small desk and maybe some shelving, which could be perfect for a quick work-from-home setup.
If the area under your stairs isn’t open, but you really want to go in this direction, it could still be an option. It would require a bit of a remodel, and you’d likely want to contact a professional to make sure it’s safe, but it could be worth exploring.
14. Home Office in a Spare Bedroom
In many ways, fully converting a spare bedroom into an office is the most obvious choice if it’s available to you. If you can designate it solely for work, you can completely reimagine the space, turning it into exactly what you need. It will also offer you privacy, you’ll have a closet, and you’ll get a window, too, making it a perfect choice for anyone with an unused bedroom.