In the last few years, more Americans have been working from home than ever before. In 2020 remote-working suddenly became the norm, rising to an enormous 61 percent of people, compared to just 5 percent the previous year. Many of us weren’t prepared for this shift in lifestyle — and still aren’t. With around a third of people still working from home, many still have inconvenient or poorly designed work spaces. Luckily there’s a better way. Read on for our ingenious design tips and tricks that will totally transform your home workspace and make it easier — and more fun — to work from where you live!
1. Build a DIY stand-up desk
A stand-up desk is a winner if you have back pain or posture problems, and experts say using them has health benefits. Luckily, they’re quite easy to make. You can take any small table in your home and convert it into a stand-up desk in 30 minutes flat. You’ll likely just need a small wooden table, a drill, and a nail gun. But you’ll be all the more comfortable for it!
2. Lighten things up
Transforming your home working space doesn’t get much simpler than this. But if you want to perform at your best from your own homely workstation, you should make sure you’re getting plenty of natural light in. Face your desk near a window or French door, but angle it so you aren’t attracting glare. This practical change will both lift your mood and make you more productive.
3. Construct a dry-erase board
Dry-erase boards are harder to come by than you might think. If you don’t want a gigantic office-size one, that is. But fortunately you can make a small, framed one easy enough, and it’ll help you keep track of your daily must-dos. So, grab a picture frame, some scissors, and most crucially some white construction paper. After a bit of careful scissoring, fit the construction paper inside the frame you’ll have your very own wipeable desk board!
4. Perfect PVC pipe holder
When you are sitting on the couch with your laptop, it can be difficult to keep it still and in place. But there’s a brilliant solution to this age old problem: a PVC pipe holder! To craft it you’ll need, of course, some PVC pipe, as well as six elbow joints and two stoppers. Then, with a bit of careful measuring and sawing, you’ll have a new and stylish laptop holder in no time!
5. Reach for the paint
This DIY hack is as simple as it gets. If you’re not inspired by the colors in the room that you work from, then why not do something about it? We’re not suggesting you move house, but instead reach for the paint brush and a pot of fresh color to spruce up the room you’re in. It should put you in a better frame of mind to attack the working day.
6. Plant some greenery near your desk
Another simple way to make your home workspace or office much more tranquil is to bring in some plants. Yes, integrating some foliage within range of your desk is thought by many boffins to bring some kind of serenity to your workspace, lowering stress and lifting moods. It improves the air quality, too, and can increase productivity. This peacefulness will enable you to concentrate on the important tasks of the day.
7. Transform your closet
Have a spare and sizable closet that you don’t use? Why not turn it into an office space? It might seem crazy but it’s possible, and it’ll provide you or your family with a place to concentrate, as well as preventing other rooms from being utilized for work-related things. Get some floating shelves up, a solid desk put in, and you’re good to go.
8. Chic wall organizer
Lacking somewhere to put all your paperwork? Well, one way to deal with that common problem is to build your own wall organizer. Just grab some leather and get hold of a little bit of wood, and get to work on crafting that organizer. It’ll make your life much easier and it’ll look pretty cool as well!
9. Repurposing furniture for storage
Have a large printer and also thinking of getting a desk to plonk it on? Why not save yourself some money and utilize furniture you already have? We reckon that old dresser you have is crying out to be used as a printing station! Better still, you’ll reduce the space that the new desk would have taken up if you’d gone down to IKEA and splashed out.
10. Office chair makeover
If you have an office chair that’s downright basic or has seen better days, instead of throwing it out, why not bring it back to life with a little DIY? Yes, with a little bit of fabric or paint, you can turn that faceless chair into something approaching a fashion statement. So, paint the arms or legs a brighter color or staple that fabric to the seat and back support. It’ll boost your motivation and bring some enjoyment to the home office.
11. Hide cords and cables
When you work from home, you can often find yourself beset by cords and cables around your desk. There are computers, printers, monitors and phones that all need charging or plugging in at some point, and it can become quite an unsightly mess. A cool DIY solution is to hide them as best as you can inside a PVC pipe. Neatly push those cables through the piping and attach the PVC to the wall or perhaps under the desk.
12. Self-made memo board
Often when working from home you need to make notes, and you can wind up placing them all over the desk. But there is a better way — creating a memo board for your wall! A minimalist but eye-catching grid will allow you to hook or stick all your notes on it, and it’ll both look better and ensure you don’t miss a prompt! So, grab some garden mesh, cut it neatly into a rectangle, paint if you wish, and fix it to the wall in front of your desk.
13. Construct a pallet desk
If the prospect of shelling out for an expensive desk is too much for you, then perhaps you’ll consider making one out of a pallet. Yes, a cool DIY hack that’s doing the rounds involves constructing such furniture out of this often discarded wood. With a saw, some wood-sealing lacquer, and a bit of patience, you too could soon have a wallet-saving workstation in your home.
14. Color your cords
Another problem you might run into with cords and wires in your home office space is unplugging the wrong one by mistake. Time after time. A neat hack to prevent you doing this is as simple as it is wonderful. Wrap a bit of colored paper or tape around the end of the cable, and you should be able to remember which is which from then on!
15. Magnificent mirror
Here’s a really nifty hack to transform your home office. Putting a full-length, standing mirror next to your desk. Doing this will magnify your place of work, and make your office appear instantly bigger and more substantial, potentially boosting your productivity! You could get an antique or old style mirror from a thrift store, or head down to IKEA for a more modern or minimalist take on things.
16. Turning the tables
Need a laptop or computer stand? Here’s a clever DIY design tip that will take a bit more time, courtesy of Mike Berner of the website Family Handyman. He knocked together one in about 30 minutes, utilizing a nail gun, drill, table saw, and a bit of knowhow. So get hold of four table legs, some plywood, and a bunch of nails and wood glue, and you’ll soon be using a streamlined and practical computer stand and only be roughly $10 down!
17. Inspiring display
One clever home office hack to keep you motivated after a long, hard day is to place some inspiration right on the wall in front of you, visible above your computer as you type. Now, this could be some photos of your partner or kids, an inspirational quote, or it could be a picture of an exotic location. Whatever works for you. Fix a photo display rack on the wall, and put your inspiration on it. You should find that it helps keep you motivated!
18. DIY document holder
If you work from home, you’ll need somewhere to store all your documents and mail. If you’re loath to buy one, how about a kitchen pot lid stand? Yes, instead of filling one with saucepan lids, you can neatly place all your important paperwork! If you require a more substantial document holder, consider an accordion closet door, which you can spruce up and put on the wall.
19. Utilize staircase space
If you live in a house, you’ve probably got a spare wall next to your staircase that you don’t use for anything in particular. Well, why not turn that staircase wall into a handy workstation? It’ll save you some space in your home, and with a dash of paint and a neat desk and chair it’ll look a million dollars.
20. Wicked wall calendar
Being organized is one of the most important things when working from home. If you don’t have a wall calendar to plan your day, why not make one? Just get hold of some white acrylic, some wall standoffs, and black vinyl tape. Cut the acrylic into a neat square or rectangle, then use the vinyl tape to create the necessary boxes and grids. Write the days of the week down and fasten to the wall, and you’re good to go!
21. Fabulous fold-away desk
Room might be hard to come by in your apartment, bungalow, or house. If this is the case, you might want to consider building or investing in a fold-away desk. They can look very stylish, and crucially, avoid taking up much space when the working day is done and your office becomes a home again.
22. Keep it warm
Making sure your home office is the right temperature is important. So, consider setting up your office near your air conditioning unit, or investing in a heat pump. Many work offices are too cold, and this is no fun and can harm productivity and even accuracy. Indeed, a Cornell University study discovered that merely upping the temperature from 67 to 77 °F meant typing errors declined by 44 percent!
23. Cut out the noise
If you work from home but have noisy kids running around or barking dogs affecting your concentration, then there’s something you can get that should make everything more enjoyable or bearable. Yes, a white noise machine could be a godsend if you aren’t into putting headphones in and cranking music up. So place one on your desk next to you as you work, and you’ll notice the benefits.
24. Inbuilt storage desk
If you have only a small office space at home but lots of documents and clutter, it might pay to get a desk that has inbuilt storage space within it. Failing that, you could use your DIY skills to add some drawers or shelves to an existing one! But doing so will help you feel in control of your workspace and improve productivity.
25. Delightful DIY bookends
Getting annoyed by books and manuals always falling over in your office? Well, why not stitch together some DIY bookends to stop this from happening? Grab some fabric, stuffing from a pillow and dried rice for the weight inside. Then get creative with colors and patterns! You won’t regret it.
26. Removable wallpaper win
A really straightforward way to transform the corner of the room where you’ve set up your home office is to wallpaper it. We favor removable wallpaper, as it can be as easily taken down as it is put up. Your new wallpaper will have the effect of clearly defining the area. Pick an inspiring color or pattern, and you’ll have a renewed sense of purpose in next to no time!
27. Devise a double desk
Working from home is so commonplace nowadays, so perhaps it isn’t just you who needs a home office space. It’s quite likely your spouse or partner does, too? In that case, you might need a double desk. Luckily, there are some neat DIY hacks to achieve this, like the example pictured from YouTuber The Homeblondy. She merged a butcher block countertop with IKEA Alex drawers and file cabinet to create a perfect desk for two!
28. Zoned-off office
When you’re working from home, you often need space to concentrate. If there isn’t a spare room in your dwelling or much space at all, a neat hack to help you do this is to cordon off an area with a screen. Yes, something like a room divider or screen will give that bit of privacy you need to be able to give your best. There’s all kinds of dividers, from woven fiber to steel frames. You could even make one yourself if you’re feeling creative.
29. DIY Zoom call background
If you have regular Zoom calls from your home but work in a small and messy apartment, what should you do to avoid the embarrassment of your boss seeing your unruly abode? Well, one awesome hack is to create a DIY wooden or card room divider. Basically, all you need to do is cut some large pieces of wood or card, decorate it with some fancy contact paper or paint, and place it behind you as you take the call. Your messy kitchen or bedroom won’t be visible to others, and your anxiety levels should drop instantly!
30. Keeping your pups quiet
When you are taking those important Zoom calls from home, it’s probably best that your dog isn’t running around or barking behind you. Luckily, there are a few ways to keep your pup on his or her best behavior whilst you partake in an important meeting. Purchase a snuffle mat and load it with treats, or get your canine a puzzle toy to keep them busy for the length of the call and beyond.