how to set up a temporary office at home

home office set up
 The Spruce / Ali Elshabrawi

Working at home is routine for many adults. Whether you use your home office for paying bills or running a company, there are some basic things that are needed. Get some solutions for setting up your home office so that it works just how you need it. To begin planning, let’s look at the top five needs and solutions for a great home office:

Choosing the Space

If your space is limited, you may need to get creative. By removing the clothes pole and installing electrical connections, you can easily convert a closet of any size into a workspace. You could even install a working desk at the top of some stairs.

If you are spending a lot of time in your home office, you might prefer a better view and more room. Identify space that is infrequently used, such as a guest room or dining area. Using an armoire for papers, a computer, and printer allows the entire workspace to be behind closed doors, for instance. Your working space will be able to extend into a larger area.

Plan What You Need

Plan ahead for all the things that you’ll need to work comfortably and efficiently in your home office and keep your project within budget. Start with proper temperature control and lighting. Have a telephone installed in the space or be sure to have a portable phone available. Your desk chair will be moving around in the space, so flooring should be a hard surface, at least near the desk. If you’re fortunate to have a window nearby, select window coverings that will allow you to control the light in your area. If you don’t have windows then you will need to come up with good lighting sources for your area.

Writing Surface

Probably the most important piece of furniture you’ll have will be your desk or work surface. Whether you select a custom-designed desk or use two file cabinets with a door stretched across them, it should be large enough and the right height to comfortably do your work. If your space is limited, draw out a floor plan on graph paper and move the shapes around until you find a workable space. To make the most of the limited space, have shelving installed behind your desk so books and supplies will be easy to reach.

writing surface in a home office
 The Spruce / Ali Elshabrawi 

Sit in Comfort

Select a chair that is comfortable, the right height, and provides proper back and arm support for the type of work you will be doing. If you like to put your feet up, have a small footstool (about 10 inches high) under your desk. Install a slide-out keyboard holder so that your computer keyboard is the right height for easy and comfortable use. Place your computer mouse in a place that is accessible and provide cushioning for your wrists.

Look for resources and information about ergonomic office furniture before you go shopping—don’t just go out and buy a desk and chair. If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to work comfortably and efficiently and enjoy your work-at-home lifestyle.


It’s extremely important to have proper lighting in a home office. To reduce eye strain, have lighting installed over your reading area, on the computer, and behind you so that there’s no reflection off the computer monitor. Place the computer monitor a comfortable distance from your chair so that you don’t need to squint or use reading glasses to read the screen. By reducing eye strain, you’ll be able to work longer and more safely.

Less Is More

Of course, you want everything you’ll need at hand, but you’d be surprised what you can live without. Clutter is very distracting and reduces efficiency, so sort through your supplies and get rid of anything extra. Get your schedule, your routine, and your workspace organized, and you’ll work better.

If your storage space is limited in your designated home office, find a place in another area of your home for items and supplies that you use less frequently. Include power surge protectors to protect your computer and information from electrical power outages. Make sure you store your backup disks in a different part of the home.

keeping things minimal and organized
 The Spruce / Ali Elshabrawi

Plan for Visitors

If you have clients in your home office, keep things as professional as possible—be sure that they don’t have to walk past a sleeping baby or dirty kitchen to get to you. Consider the privacy of your work. If clients will be waiting for an appointment with you, provide comfortable seating, a reading light, and interesting literature.

Add Color

Add personal touches and color to make the space more inviting. Select a decorating style and add patterns, window treatments, and furniture to express that style. You can even use this space to escape to some style you’d not want for your whole home, but love anyway. Store office supplies in style by using decorative baskets or cover boxes with interesting fabrics. If you have any wall space at all, be sure to include either artwork or photos that you love.

By planning your home office space, getting it organized, and decorating it to express who you are, you’ll enjoy it more. Your work will be better, you’ll appreciate being at home, and you’ll have the perfect place to work: your home.

choosing a color palette for your office

Keeping Safe: 30 Makeshift Home Office Ideas to Keep Working Through Global Crisis

Not anyone among us would have foreseen a day when almost the entire world is scrambling to stay in and avoid contact with one another. The deadly Coronavirus epidemic has altered the course of the world forever and is wrecking havoc with nations and economies along with immeasurable loss on a human scale. Experts suggest that personal hygiene and social distancing are the only ways to combat this deadly virus for now. Having already shared with our readers some vital facts regarding how long Coronavirus survives on various surfaces, now we want to help with what we are really good at – offering design inspiration for your latest makeshift home office!

Replace the stool with a comfortable chair that allows you to work for longer hours as you stay home [From: Dylan Barber Building Design]

Yup, working from home is the way forward for the next few weeks, if not months and we are here to help you with ways in which you can make it far more comfortable and productive. Not all of us have a home workstation or office ready and waiting for us to resume work from home. But creating one is not that hard at all. While we have seen some hilarious temporary workstations being crafted from everything ranging from ironing boards to cardboards, we are here to offer you more conventional, practical, long term ideas and inspirations. Here are 30 best home workstations around –

Finding Space Everywhere

The first thing that you need for your makeshift home office is a space that can serve you well for the next few weeks. This can mean different things for different folk. Since most of us who work from home tend to use nothing beyond the laptop or a desktop, all you need is a bit of desk space and a comfortable chair. Of course, things are a bit trickier than just putting a table and chair together as you need them at the right height to avoid both shoulder and spinal problems down the line. Make sure you look up straight as much as possible and do not bend your head down and the height of the char is such that both your feet touch the ground.

Finding the right work surface is easier than you think if you just look around [From: artELLE-design]
Kitchen offers ample space to create a home workstation by pulling up a chair [From: Granger Remodel & Design]
Making space for the home workstation at the entrance makes plenty of sense

MORE INSPIRATIONWell-Lit and Woodsy Garden Yoga Studio is a Serene Backyard EscapeThis Home in Madrid Unveils a Stunning Suspended Structure in Metal and Glass.mp4

next video thumbnail

1:14Up Next:Space-Savvy Taipei Apartment Shows How to Create a Home without Walls.mp4Keep Watching This Video

Simple floating drawer in the kitchen has been transformed into a work area! [From: Sarah Barnard Design]

Coming to finding space for this workstation, everything from a corner in the kitchen to one in the bedroom can do the trick. If you have kids’ at your place, then you want to create the workspace in an area where you can keep an eye on them. Kitchen islands offer perfect solution here while the bedroom workspace offers more privacy and gives you a ‘quiet niche’.

Small niche next to the kitchen transformed into a midcentury modern home workspace [From: Kristen Elizabeth Design]
Space under the staircase is the perfect little nook for a temporary workstation that is also private
With a wooden plank and simple DIY skills you can turn the bedroom niche into a workspace [From: Megan Georgopoulos]
You do not need a lot of space to work if you happen to just use a laptop all day long! [From: Sawa Design Studio]
A few changes in the bedroom cabinet can transform it into a home workspace
Bar stool can turn that clean kitchen worktop into a home workstation in no time [From: Francis Dzikowski Photography]

Working with What you Have

Beyond the kitchen and the bedroom, it is the mudroom and the space around the staircase that are most popular for a makeshift home workspace. Once again, it all depends on how easily you can find a work surface that has enough space to meet your needs. If you cannot find a place like that then with simple DIY skills, a wooden plank and a small niche, shaping a new home office just takes a few hours. Remember that even though the stacked pile of cardboards looks good for a day or two, it just is not a long term solution. A comfortable bar chair next to the kitchen breakfast bar is also a comfy place to get work down while pulling up a chair to the nightstand at right height also makes plenty of sense.

Beautiful and easy home office idea that also utilizes natural light in the room [From: A. Jennison interiors]
Combine a chair that already sits in your home even with a slim console table for a makeshift workstation
Even a minimal and sleek countertop or shelf can be turned into workspae with the right seat
Finding floating shelves at the right height anywhere in your home can give you a chance to create a home workspace with ease [From: Ruth Duke Interior Design]
Industrial style shelf and table offer ample workspace and also storage area
Modern industrial bedroom with corner workspace that feels light and easy on the eyes
Share you craftsroom with your loved ones and turn it into a home workspace
Space-savvy and ergonomic makeshift home workspace idea that is easy to create [From: Stylishome Interior Design]
Start off with a simple desk and ergonomic chair for the home workstation
Adding a desk and chair to the mudroom can transform it into a home workstation for everyone

Small Home Workspaces

Since many of us would be back at work (hopefully sooner than later) not far from now, your home workspace need not be a room in itself. Look to corners next to the window as they offer a perfect place where you have plenty of natural light all day long. This takes strain off your eyes and also creates a more pleasant home work environment. Balancing work and daily life as you move to a home work environment can be hard initially. But a smart workstation can make the transition much easier in these increasingly difficult times. As you isolate yourself, the home workstation could well be your escape that takes your mind off of more gloomy affairs outside. Stay safe!

Sleek floating shelves turned into home workstation in the bedroom to act as your temporary home office
Slim table next to the bed can be transformed into a smart home workspace with right chair
Tiny corner in the mudroom can be easily turned into a home office without much work
Turn to the corner to find space for the productive and space-savvy home workspace
When the nightstand in the bedroom can be used as a smart makeshift work desk!
White and gray have been combined with beuatiful pops of color in this mudroom that doubles as home workspace
You can add a desk to the mudroom if you do not have a custom built-in desk already in place
Innovative bedroom design combines home office and bedroom into one with ease
Modern sleek table in white can be easily turned into a workspace

Leave a Comment