When we entered the Chinese New Year at the end of January, we were expecting it to be the Year of the Rat, but as things have turned out you could say it has been the Year of the Homeworker. However, there are some interesting traits for those of born in one of the many Years of the Rat – quick-witted, resourceful, versatile and kind. 2020 has definitely been a year for demonstrating these traits.

And as we prepare to enter 2021, we expect that working from home is here to stay. For some it is because government guidance is encouraging us to do so, but for many, it will be because we have realised that we can work effectively whilst being remote, reduce our daily commutes and increase time spent with our families.

There can be a drawback though to working from home. How do you create a work environment and space that doesn’t conflict with your home space? How do you stop the lines between work and non-work becoming confused?

How you can create a working space to suit your needs

Share space – Look at areas around your home where you can make a room multi-purpose, with the addition of a desk and chair in your spare room, kitchen, living room or dining room.

This will not only use up wasted floor space but offers a practical solution. It is also a great way to prioritise your home décor pieces.

For example, if you are lucky enough to have a spare room, a large double bed that is rarely used can be replaced with a sofa bed.

Re-purpose furniture – If you have an unused piece of furniture, such as a dressing table, you can re-purpose them into a sizeable desk space.

This option is not only eco-friendly and cost effective, but super easy, as you can simply transform the current location of the furniture into your office zone.

Our top tips for creating a cosy yet productive home office space is to position yourself away from any distractions like windows and use plants and candles for a more homely feel.

Staircase solutions – The area under the stairs is often overlooked, so this can be a great solution to needing a home office.

Ideally, an open staircase without risers is best for this hack, but this can be adapted depending on the space you have to work with. The area under the stairs is notoriously dark, so good lighting is key here – this can be yellow or white light, depending on the vibe you wish to create.

If you want to go all out, bespoke built-in office spaces are a great way to utilise the entire area.

Cupboard office – This revolutionary workspace solution, nicknamed a ‘cloffice’, is a great alternative to a clunky desk in the middle of a room.

To create this, use a spare wardrobe or large cupboard – this works even better with built-in furniture.

Use shelving to create an area to hold your computer and files and decorate to your taste. The best part about this hack, is that you can close the doors on your home office after your work is done for the day. Perfect to help maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Utilise outdoor space – If you’re lucky enough to have a summer house or garage, these can be transformed into a dedicated home office.

Summer house solutions are great for the winter. Just add a heater and invest in a secure locking system to keep your items safe, and you’re good to go!

For a garage, this may be slightly more expensive, but will work all year round. To start, cover the concrete floor with rugs or a fitted carpet to warm up the space and pay attention to the walls, as these may need insulation.

Move home – This might seem slightly radical, but think about it, maybe the change in how you are working might allow you the scope to think about where you live. This might be your opportunity to move further away from work now that you don't have a daily commute. At Rettie we bring some of the finest properties to market and we could certainly help you find your perfect 'working from home' home.

To find out what we have available to buy or rent, or to get a market valuation for your current property email us at [email protected]