Tuesday Tip: Create a Personal “Mini-Office” to Work at Home
By Yehudit Garmaise
By casting a savvy eye, even the most cramped home can still work to fulfill the dream of remote worker of having personal spaces when reconsidering spaces available to create productive and stylish “mini-offices.”
The trick is to spot previously looked-over spaces to create “home workstations” that seamlessly and naturally fit in existing rooms.
The workstation should flow with the rest of the decor in the room while leaving a professional enough feel to pull up a chair and get into a business frame of mind.
For less than $100, residents should be able to buy a small desk, a little rug, and a desk lamp to transform office dreams into beautiful realities.
Before shopping for a mini-office, just make sure the colors and styles of the office furniture you buy will easily blend in with your room’s current look.
If the rest of your room looks more traditional, perhaps an inexpensive antique or gently used older desk would fit in better than a more modern, linear style.
To prevent visual clutter, find a desk with a few drawers to stash paper and minimal office supplies so you don’t have to leave anything out.
The following questions can help residents spot unexpected spaces in which to carve out and create productive workstations:
1. Do you have a window with some room under it for a small desk and chair? Nothing is better than taking screen breaks by looking at trees, birds, clouds, and people-watching on the street.
2. Do you have any corners in which you could fit a “corner-shaped” small desk and a light but supportive chair? By matching the color and style of your desk and chair to the paint or wallpaper behind them, you can camouflage your workspace when it is not in use.
If you want to visually separate your office from the rest of the room, you can choose a different contrasting color for your designated corner.
3. Do you have any space behind your couch or in your bedroom for a small desk to work at after the household goes to sleep?
4. Does your floor plan include nooks or alcoves to create a private “mini-office?” Nooks and alcoves, common in many Brooklyn apartments, are great places to feel a bit separated from the rest of a room.
5. Do you have a bookshelf or a wall against which you can tuck a small desk? You can empty a small part of the bookshelf to store things you use for work or hang a floating shelf on a part of a wall that you re-designate as a small workspace.
6. Do you have any walls that jut out to slightly extend and divide rooms? Remote workers can use that extra bit of wall by placing a small desk there to create a more private work area.
7. Do you happen to have extra closet space? Instead of cramming stuff into every closet, clear out one closet, paint or wallpaper the inside wall, and put a small desk inside. You can keep the chair outside the closet when you are not working or use a folding chair stored in a closet.
8. Don’t forget your laundry room, where journalist Yochonon Donn has worked at a desk for the last several years to create articles for several publications in his Boro Park home. For residents who similarly want to use their laundry rooms, Donn advised RocklandDaily, “You need a nice virtual background, such as of a seforim shrank, for Zoom meetings. “And a wife kind enough to turn off the washing machine for when interviews and other phone calls are necessary.”