Setting Up a Small Home Office in an Apartment

A home office set up in a warmly decorated bedroom

As remote work continues to become more common, many people are discovering a need for a functional at-home workspace. Having an organized workspace can increase your job satisfaction and productivity when you work from home — but creating an efficient and comfortable home office doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, especially if you don’t have a lot of space to spare.

If you’re relocating to a new city, moving into your first apartment, or simply moving your work from your office to your home, it can be a great time to take stock of your space and how you can utilize it. Below are some small home office ideas that are a perfect fit, no matter what your available space is.

Small Home Office Ideas

Some apartments may come furnished with basics that can be utilized in a home office, such as a built-in desk or shelving, which can make choosing your office area much easier. When deciding where to build your office, don’t discount using unique or under-used spaces, such as a closet, small entryway, or unoccupied wall space.

Small Entryway Office

Entryway offices are great spaces for compact desks. Secretary desks are an excellent option for entryway workspaces. The desktop on a secretary desk will either be able to fold up to save space, or there will be a desk cover to keep your workspace private from guests entering your home. Buffet tables are another good option that offer a lot of storage in a small space, and can be converted to a workable desk.

Office Under a Staircase

If you live in a split-level loft or apartment, under-the-stairs can provide some utilizable space for a small home office. Rolling furniture is ideal for this type of space, as it allows you to store your furniture neatly and compactly, with room for adjustment so you can work comfortably. If your staircase space isn’t big enough for a desk, you can store other work resources here, such as a filing cabinet or printer.

Repurposed Closet Office

If you’re looking for a place to make a home office in a one-bedroom apartment or studio, repurposing some closet space can be a great solution. By removing your closet doors you can create an extra amount of open space that’s perfect for your desk or office storage. Rolling furniture can also be incredibly useful here, allowing you to adjust for accessibility.

Use Walls with Shelving

If your apartment has built-in wall shelving, this can be a great jumping-off point for an office. Both decorative and functional, utilizing your vertical space is a great way to keep your office organized, appealing to the eye, and not take up any limited floor space. If you don’t have space for a desk or have an interest in desk fitness, you can repurpose a sturdy shelf for your desktop and create a standing desk, using a barstool when you need or want to sit.

Where to Put a Desk in an Apartment

When dealing with limited floor space in an apartment, every inch counts, so you want your desk placement to be as strategic as possible. If you have a small or unconventional space available for your desk, you may want to look at the different types of desks available that could fit your space.

Compact desks are excellent for small spaces, rolling desks that are ideal for frequently trafficked spaces or storage, and L-shaped desks can fit in room corners, maximizing both desk and floor space. These are just a couple of the ways you can get creative with desk placement.

Small Apartment Living Room Office

The living room often has the most floor space in many apartments, so it can make sense to utilize it for your at-home office. However, navigating a shared space can be difficult and there may be unavoidable distractions. Facing your desk away from the TV and keeping headphones nearby is a good start to limiting distractions during work hours. Keeping your office necessities nearby so you don’t have to leave your desk to use them can also help your space feel more enclosed in these shared areas.

Small Home Office Technology

Working from home successfully requires you to have reliable technology. Your technology needs may look different depending on your job, but most remote employees will need the following:

  • A laptop;
  • A mouse;
  • A webcam and microphone;
  • A private Wi-Fi connection.

Remote employees may also benefit from having other office technology in the home, such as multiple monitors, a printer, a scanner, and a copier. If you think you might benefit from this equipment but don’t have the money to buy it all new, buying from second-hand sites like Craigslist can be a great option for supplementing your home office supplies.

Small Home Office Decor Ideas

Office design is an important part of the working environment, as work decor influences your job performance, satisfaction, and your attitude toward your work. This is why making an office you’re happy in is just as important as one that is functional in your space. You can improve the feel of your office space by keeping plants, hanging art or pictures, and personalizing your stationery to your style. Contact paper is an easy and renter-friendly way to add a pop of color to bland walls, and working with proper lighting can improve your mood, so positioning your desk near a window can be a great home office choice.

Whether you’ve just started working from home or you’re looking to give your current office a makeover, these tips can help you create a fun and functional office area that doesn’t take away from your personal living space.