Creating a functional study on a budget

Creating a functional study on a budget

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With the recent covid lockdown and the potential to see it happen again, people are thinking of new ways to work from home and how they can improve the functionality of working at home without it costing a bomb.

 

Figure out the way you work

These answers are not the same for all people. Some people need a very minimal distraction to get things done. Others feel a bit of isolation and in turn a bit nervous when there are no other stimuli in a room. Some people need bright light to keep them focused. For others, bright light can actually lead to a headache. 

 

Find a location

For some, the perfect study might be just off a busy area of a home. For others, it might be deep in the back of a walk-in wardrobe where it can be as quiet as possible! Decide which environment works best for you.

Now, if you can’t change which space you’re working with, then figure out how to make it work better for you.

Will you need noise-cancelling headphones or will you need to make sure there’s a small speaker nearby to play some background music? Will you want plain clean walls or will you want to throw some inspiring quotes or photos up for a quick distraction that will drive your focus and help with the quality of your work?

 

To desk or not to desk

Once you’ve created the perfect environment that works best for your particular working style, there are some great ways to design a study so that you’re not spending a fortune.

First, desks are great – but are not always necessary. Would a comfortable chair with a laptop work for you? If you do need a flat surface for work, are there any tables in your home which can be repurposed?

 

Desks come in many forms

If you’re in the mood to create a desk, my favourite multi-purpose desk uses two filing cabinets as the “legs” of the desk with a piece of wood or glass as the flat surface.

You can often find used office equipment at online sales or in op shops. A quick word about filing cabinets though. Paper files are sometimes necessary, but for the most part, your files should be stored digitally these days. So, fill those filing cabinets with anything that inspires you. Feeling stuck on a certain assignment? Open up the cabinet drawer and get a breath of inspiration!

 

Power your work life

Next, think a lot about the power needed to drive the devices you use: laptop, printer, tablet, chargers and so on. How many power points are available to you and are they in positions where you’ll help yourself get more done? Take some time to grab a few cable ties and make everything neat and accessible.

There’s nothing worse than a collection of messy cluttered wires. Take the extra 30 minutes to get your office looking neat and tidy and don’t worry about it ever again nor will you run the risk of trip hazards for you or other members of your family.

 

Light your way

Finally, make sure the light is right for you. If the room is too dark, you may want to find some good inexpensive task lighting. It will make all the difference. There’s no reason to be left in the dark when you’re trying to work. Unless of course, you work best at 2 am and need the calm of the night to get your inspiration firing!

 

A good study doesn’t need to be expensive. Think first about what elements would help you be more productive. Make sure they’re near you and visible and the rest will sort itself out.