Whether you start your own business or can do your job without needing to be in the office, working from home is a popular choice for parents.
But this presents a problem in many modern houses. We Brits live on a small island and housing is expensive. That means houses are on the small side and often those with a family living at home don’t have a spare room to use as a study. So we need to get creative and design a space that works well both as a place to work and a family home.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
Make your house a home
When thinking home decoration, you’ll almost certainly want to aim for a family home rather than an office. Your storage requirements will depend on your work – if you make a handmade product you’ll need more space than a business that can be run from a laptop alone, for example. So when planning, make sure you include the storage space you need or your home may end up looking like a warehouse.
Creative places to put desks
Your desk doesn’t have to be obvious. If you look around your home, you may find a corner where you can tuck a desk so it doesn’t intrude. Look for alcoves, on landings and under the stairs. You could even add some curtains so you can hide the area away when you’re not working.
If you home doesn’t come with a corner that works for you, you could get a desk with doors on the front so you can tuck your files and computer inside and shut the doors at the end of the working day.
Work to suit your kids’ ages
Your proximity to your children will depending on their ages, so it’s best to plan this when designing your workspace. When children are small it may be hard to work around them, but if you can it’s likely to be quick jobs like replying to emails while they play on the floor beside you. So a desk near a play space is likely to work best, even if that’s a laptop on the kitchen table.
If your kids are older, you and they may want some more space. Here’s where tucking yourself away from the family hustle and bustle could make you a lot more productive, especially in evenings and school holidays! You may even like to consider being able to work from a mobile device so you can work while out and about.
If you really need an extra room
If you’re really desperate for a space of your own, you could consider a garden office. These aren’t cheap options as they need to be well-insulated and have electricity supply if you use them year-round. But it could still be much less expensive than moving house.