Working from home? Transform your bedroom into a dual-purpose space

Working from home has become the new normal for many businesses around the world. At first, it was by necessity during quarantine periods, and then by choice as more and more workplaces ditched the traditional office for more flexible options. 

There are lots of benefits to working from home, but if you live in a small house and don’t have room for a separate study it can be hard to separate your ‘work’ life from your ‘home’ life. Here are some tips to create a dual-purpose workspace in your bedroom that lets you focus more and sleep better.

Get off the couch

It can be tempting to want to stay in your cosy bed and work from your laptop. However, as comfortable as it might be initially, sitting on your bed while you work will make it harder for you to focus, as well as cause posture issues that are likely to lead to neck and back pain. 

Even if you can only squeeze a small table in your room, having a flat surface to work on and a supportive chair will make a world of difference in the long term. 

  • Focus on function first, then aesthetic. As much as you want your workspace to look as ‘gram-worthy as the rest of your home, if you choose a desk or table that barely has enough room for your laptop or other paperwork, or a chair that isn’t comfortable to sit in for long periods, you’re not going to get much work done. 
  • Get creative. Consider using a folding desk that can be stored away in a wardrobe when you’re done for the day, or utilise an outdoor patio or deck in nice weather. Alternatively, set your room up as an office and have a bed that folds up onto the wall when not in use.

Create a ‘work zone’ and a ‘rest zone’

One of the drawbacks of working from home is how easily your living and work can blur together. Aim to separate your living space into zones, so you can mentally, if not physically, distance your work from your home life.

Keeping your bed or other distractions out of view of your work zone will minimise the urge to have a cat nap or finish binge-watching your favourite TV show while you’re trying to concentrate. It will also help you relax properly when you make the switch from work to downtime at the end of the day. 

Arrange your furniture so you can place a desk in front of a window, or if that isn’t possible, have it facing a wall:

  • Being able to face outwards as you work will give you the benefits of natural light. Maximise this by keeping your blinds up and opening a window for fresh air.
  • Use a room divider, such as folding screens, free-standing bookshelves or translucent curtains, as a way to separate your work zone from your living areas. 

Love your space

There’s nothing more demoralising than trying to work efficiently in a space that you hate. If you’ve been meaning to redecorate, consider this an opportunity to go for it. 

You might also find that new furniture can help create more space for your home office. Think bed frames with added storage or extra cupboards to keep everything away and tidy. You might also want to spruce up your space with new artwork or a change in colour scheme.

If you’re spending money to set up your workstation, don’t neglect your sleeping space!  Treating yourself to a new set of quality bed linen is a great way to invite sweeter dreams so you can rest and recharge for another busy day at work.

Clear the clutter

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to work, only to be distracted by the clutter around you. Whether it’s dirty laundry that you can easily pop on before your next meeting, or dishes to quickly clean, clutter can be stifling. 

Before you sit down for the day, make sure your space is clear. Not only can that help you focus, it will also prevent you from getting distracted throughout the day. 

A great idea is to have a dedicated shelf or drawer that you can use to tidy any work-related clutter out of sight at the end of your work day. With the work items out of sight, you’ll be able to truly settle down and unwind with your favourite Netflix show. 

Don’t let lighting get you down

If you do a lot of your work in the evening, a dark room or fluorescent lights can make for a miserable experience. Combat this by using plenty of warm lighting, while being careful to avoid glare that makes it difficult to see your screen. 

Have everything you need for work within reach

There’s nothing worse when you’re getting into the flow of concentration than having to get up to find papers, stationery or other essentials. Make sure you place everything you might need within reach at the start of your work session, so you’re less likely to get disrupted.

One of our favourite ideas is a portable trolley. They’re a great way to keep things handy if you don’t have room, but can also be wheeled away at the end of the work day, keeping it out of sight. 

No matter what you do for work, working from home will get tiring quickly if you don’t actively manage your work and your relaxation spaces. Cleverly designing a dual-purpose space for work and rest will help you do both better, so you stress less and achieve more, in comfort.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.