Easy Ways to Hack a Home Workspace

No home office? No problem.

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Welcome to Working from Home

If you’re working, you are most likely doing so from the comfort of your home (unless you are a frontline worker–and we thank you!) With a sudden shift to the home office, many people are scrambling to design a workspace–even if it’s not in an office. We consulted Drew Harris, a lifestyle consultant who often helps people organize and maximize their space, on the best ways to set up a home workspace.

Find a Comfortable Space

First and foremost, Harris suggests finding a place that is comfortable, but not lounging around comfortable.

“Find a quiet, comfortable place conducive to productivity,” he said. “It should never be the coffee table in the living room or your bed. It should be a place with limited distractions.”

Make Sure it’s Also a Functionable Space

Comfort is key, but function is important. So, if possible, find an area that mimics a traditional workspace. You need to think about things like access to outlets, lighting, limited clutter and somewhere that you’ll actually be able to take phone calls or Zoom meetings with limited interruption.

Try to Create Some Privacy

We know this is easier said than done but if you are able to, try to carve out some privacy. If you have something to use as a partition, that’s great. If not, “go into your pantry or closet–assuming it’s walk-in size–and remove a shelf. Position it at a desk level and pull up a chair,” Harris said.

No Desk? No Problem

If you don’t have a home office, you likely don’t have an extra desk just lying around. No problem. If you have a kitchen bar or a bar in general, it’s generally a good place to work.

Harris also suggests pushing two taller nightstands together to make a desk or, if your dining room isn’t heavily trafficked, portion off part of it as your workspace.

If you absolutely have to use a coffee table, “create a riser with larger books or any sort of flat surface to stack things on top of each other so [they] are more eye level.”

You Can Even Create a Standing Desk

Don’t want to sit all day? We don’t blame you. Create a standing desk with what you have available. Harris tried out an ironing board and was successful. If you have a deeper shelf at the right height, that may work as well.

Good Lighting Is Key

Good lighting is super important. “If you are facing a wall, get a table lamp that [will] sit behind the computer or at the edge for the best lighting,” Harris said.

As an added bonus, it’s not only the best kind of lighting for reading, but it’s also the best lighting for being on camera, which we are all doing a lot of these days.

Find a Way to Organize

We are all working in the midst of chaos, but that doesn’t mean you need to work in clutter. Having a clean workspace is key to productivity. In an ideal world you’d have drawers or file folders to put your stuff away, but that’s not always possible with a makeshift desk.

“Use a lidded serving tray to keep your phone, chargers, etc.,” Harris said. “It’ll be simple to lift it off the table if you need to convert it back to its original use.”

These mesh stackers are also good, lightweight and easy to move.

Use Your Wall

Looking for an easy way to get clutter off your desk? Utilize your wall. If your desk is up against a wall, it serves as the perfect canvas to help you organize. If you have a white or bulletin board, use it for notes and reminders. If you have shelves above your workspace, consider moving some of your storage up high.

Add Something Personal

Just like you would on your office desk, add something personal to your workspace. It can be anything from a framed family photo–even if your family is lurking in the next room–to a plant or inspirational quote. Just because we are home doesn’t mean we can’t make this be a nice space, even if it’s temporary.

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