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January 6th, 2017 at 11:00 am

how-use-unused-home-office

If you work from home, even if it is only a few days each month, you probably have a set up that makes you most productive.

You might discover that your routine has you spending less time in your home office, the one that you picked out just the right furniture, desk chair, and matching office supplies for. Technology is so portable now that it makes it easy to detach yourself from your computer chair while still being productive. Your computer no longer takes up more space than you do, smartphones have replaced landlines, and many young professionals have never even used a fax machine.

Working from home also requires a lot less tech than it used to, which allows you a lot more mobility. Thanks to that, you might find yourself lounging in the shade by the pool while responding to emails, sitting at your kitchen counter so you can hear the oven timer go off while filling out an expense report, or propped up in your bed while on a conference call made from your work cellphone.

While you are moving freely around your home and getting work done, your home office is sitting unused, full of now-irrelevant filing cabinets and a massive desk.

Don’t get us wrong: It is important to have a space dedicated to work, so you can separate your work and home lives. But instead of dedicating a whole room, or buying a home that has a designated home office, you might consider using that space for something else.

How to Use Your Unused Home Office:

Turn it into a home gym

Add an elliptical, exercise bike, some weights, and a yoga mat. Once you’ve paid off the equipment, you’ll be saving money on your monthly gym membership.

Entertain your hobbies

Having a room to enjoy your sewing machine, collection of books or records, and musical instruments can be very relaxing. If you have children, it is also great to have a designated room for school projects or crafts that will inspire their creativity.

Open it up

Depending on the layout of your home, removing the walls is a great way to open up your house and get the floor plan you’ve always been dreaming of.

Turn it into a guestroom

Living in Southern California means you always have out-of-town friends and relatives itching to visit.

Add a big screen

Home theaters are becoming more and more popular. You could keep it simple and add a big-screen TV and comfortable couches, or go all out and install recliner chairs, a big projector screen, and blackout curtains.

Turn it into a man cave

All you need is a pool table, big-screen TV, and a mini-fridge.

Figure Out What Works for You

Even though you may be ready to get rid of your traditional home office in favor of more space to play or entertain, it’s important to separate your home from your work. Keep these tips in mind when balancing your work hours with your “me time.”

Restrict your work to certain hours of the day

Though some weeks may be busier than others and will lead to you working well after dinnertime, it is important to set a schedule for yourself so that you are not constantly thinking about attempting to work 24/7.

Hold on to the desk

Or, swap it out for one with a more minimalist design. You may not need the extra desk space and drawers, but a simple desk that will inspire you to get down to business and give you a place to store all your sticky notes to yourself may be helpful.

Find a desk that blends into its surroundings and doesn’t disrupt the flow of the room it is in. It’s not unusual to see desks in bedrooms, kitchens, or living rooms now, so don’t be afraid to try out a few different spots to find that perfect fit.

Cut back on paper

It’s easy to clutter up a desk with notes and printouts. But keeping your notes digital is a great way to ensure your work space stays clean, and will lead to less stress when you are not working, especially if your desk is now in plain sight. Plus, it’s a great way to save paper and money!

Make time for yourself away from the “office”

When you work from home, it is easy to get sucked in and hard to get away from your work. Once a day, make it a point to get out of the house and breathe fresh air, whether you are taking a trip to the grocery store, walking around the block, or grabbing a bite to eat.

 

Do you have a great work-from-home routine? Share it in the comments! 

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