How to set up a home office

When you’re working from home, a dedicated office space will help you to minimise distractions, keep you focused and productive. 

Don’t be put off if space is limited. With some simple tips, you can turn your home into an inspiring home office whatever space you have available. 

In this article, you’ll find out:

  • How to set up an office on a budget 
  • How to set up a home office in small spaces
  • How to ergonomically design your home office

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune when you are setting up an office in a small space. You might need to invest in a desk or a decent office chair and other equipment, but there are ways to keep the costs down. 

Look for bargains

There are always bargains to be had with second-hand furniture. Search online marketplaces and second hand furniture shops (some specialise in furniture) for the items you need.

Setting up in a small place

If you don’t have a spare room to turn into an office, you’ll need to get creative with whatever space you do have. You could transform your walk-in wardrobe into a small office, or set up a desk in that unused corner of your dining room. 

Choose a suitable desk

When choosing a desk, think about the items you’ll need around you such as your computer, a printer and other office necessities. L-shaped desks work well in corners, while folding or floating desks let you open up the floor space when not in use. 

If you don’t have the room or the budget for a new desk, you can borrow an existing surface to use during your work hours. Kitchen tables are usually an ideal height for working on while seated, but you’ll need to consider where to store your work equipment once your working day ends. Temporary standing desks might also be worth considering, these are proving extremely popular due to the health benefits they carry. 

Creative storage ideas

With a minimum amount of floor space to work with, you’ll need to focus on vertical storage. Store files and books on a shelf above the desk, and any extra items in boxes underneath. 

Some desks, like ladder desks, come with in-built storage solutions. These tend to be at the more expensive end of the market, so your budget will have the final say on that. If you can’t afford one right now, see if you could recreate the design yourself. 

Keep it tidy and uncluttered

A small office space can easily become cluttered over the course of a day. Make a habit to declutter and reorganise everything regularly. Also limit the amount of non-work related items you keep in the office space. 

A simple tip to keep the space uncluttered is to avoid big, bulky chairs. There are smaller office chairs that provide enough support for your back but don’t take up much space. Also spend some time hiding the electrical wires of your devices. Use ties to keep them neat and organised, and then tuck them out of sight. 

Tax benefits for work expenses 

If you purchase office equipment, you can get tax benefits for your work expenses. You can learn about deductible expenses and how to save on your tax payments in our downloadable guide on small business expenses here

To be compliant when it comes to paying taxes, it’s important to keep an accurate record of everything you buy. This means keeping the receipts and other proof of purchases. That might sound like extra hassle in terms admin, but it doesn’t have to be. The Countingup business current account and accounting app is helping thousands of small business owners keep on top of their business finances, by automatingthe time-consuming aspects of bookkeeping.

How to set up an ergonomic home office

When you start a business at home, it’s important that your working environment is healthy for you, so let’s look at ergonomics. There are two key areas to focus on when learning how to set up an ergonomic home office. 

Body positioning

The position that causes the least amount of strain is when your head is vertical to your neck and your hands are in a neutral position when placed on the desk. This creates a set-up that lets you look directly at your work, rather than leaning forward or hunching over.

If you’re using a laptop, try raising the screen to eye level by investing in a laptop stand, or placing it onto something else. Use a separate keyboard to maintain a healthy upper body position.

Body posture

Ideally you should be leaning back slightly with your chair providing you with plenty of lower back support. Remember to take regular breaks which allow you to get up and move around too.

Relax those shoulders. Countingup, the business current account and accounting app in one, is designed to make it easier to run a small business. The app is helping thousands to budget, keep on top of their expenses and financial admin. Find out more here