Empowering the Freelance Economy

Create the home office of your dreams (even if you have to share it )

Photo Source: LUXXU
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One of the benefits of #Workstyle, working from home, flexible working, or running your own business from home is that you have carte blanche to create the home office of your dreams. There is a space in your home waiting to get your attention (even if it is under the stairs, in a corner of your bedroom or in the garden shed).

Determine your office vibe

Close your eyes. Envision the type of workspace that would inspire you to want to come to your office every day. What colour are the walls? Vibrant or calm? Is there storage? What music or podcast is piping out of the speakers? Is your furniture style traditional? Vintage and cosy? Modern and minimalist? California cool? Industrial? Country charm?

Find a space that works with your life(style)

Even if you have to downsize that dream of having a fainting couch or billiard table at hand for brainstorming sessions or blowing off steam, do not let that stop you from thinking big or thinking outside the box on converting available space to an office of your dreams.

Clever use of space in a dining room, kitchen or spare bedroom may need to be accommodated for two people working from home. You may need a communal office space where you can keep an eye on young children and emails at the same time. Source: Sharps

Your office ‘space’ has to work with your lifestyle (i.e., sharing space with an office mate/partner, mobility, homeschooling children, Zoom calls, podcasting or recorded interviewing, etc.). This is especially tricky if you share a space with a fellow working-from-home partner. Sometimes the office can get crowded. One ‘office buddy’ may be on a Zoom meeting with seven other people. The other may be trying to teach and entertain a group of children via Teams. This means you and your office partner may have to create an additional area of the house for occasional calls or online meetings that require quiet.

Sometimes a garden shed (in the warmer months or if you have insulated and powered your shed for a space heater) can be the ideal quiet space for Zoom meetings. That is if you are close enough to a WiFI source. If you are looking to save on electricity and heating costs you may want to look at a shed with a built-in solar-powered roof or look into a portable solar platform to position in a sunny spot nearby the shed (solar platforms can range in the hundreds to thousands of pounds depending on your power needs). Photo Source: Cuprinol

If two or more of you are working from home, then extra spots may be required. One way around this is to use room dividers or screens, which can immediately hide your private surroundings, which might be a bedroom, kitchen, sitting room (or a pile of toys or dirty laundry). Some of you may be content with just a virtual Zoom background, but if you use this extra space often, then it should have the dedication it deserves, with a small desk, a comfortable chair and screen.

Divide and conquer

Screens and dividers are available to purchase in a variety of styles and price points at retailers including B&Q, Amazon, Pricehunter, Sweetpea & Willow and Wayfair. There is always the option to build a screen of your own design or look for one on Gumtree and refurbish it if it needs a pick-me-up.

Curtain call

A curtain can also act as a room divider. And desks do not always have to be positioned against a wall. A central location can sometimes offer a better perspective or view.
Photo Source: Brabbu

Light up the room

Lighting is essential, especially for those early birds and night owls.

Table for Two or More?

You can easily create a desk for two or more by using an old dining table or even a refurbished garden table. Accompany the table with chairs or benches with cushions on either side.

Chairman of the bored?

Not all office chairs need to be basic or utilitarian, choose one for comfort and style that matches your office vibe. Hammocks are optional.

No matter your home office style, there should always be an element of fun – it’s your office, your rules, the sky’s the limit. Fancy dress Fridays? Mellow music Mondays?

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