Some professionals prefer to work from home and choose to do so. Some are required to work from home because their employers don’t have a physical location. Others have to work from home temporarily or on certain days of the week. Regardless of the reason you’re working from home, it’s important you have a dedicated work space, and that could very well be right in your kitchen. How is it possible to work from home in your kitchen? Check it out!
Invent Yourself a Dedicated Work Space
Look around your kitchen to determine where you can invent a dedicated work space. Some ideas include:
- An Empty Corner – Is there a corner nobody really uses? Maybe you have the garbage can sitting there, or maybe the mop, but if you can move those items to another location, you might be able to move a desk into that corner.
- An Existing Kitchen Desk – Maybe you have a desk in the kitchen already, using it as a command center for the family or a small preparation area for meals. Utilize that space and turn it into your home office.
- A Pantry – If you have a large pantry, you could turn the entire thing into a small home office. Pull out all of the food and paper goods, store them in a basement storage room, and organize an office inside. If your pantry is small, move everything out of it, including the shelves. Build a desk that takes up the entire space. Your chair would sit out in the kitchen.
- A Peninsula – It’s possible your kitchen is so large, you have plenty of counter space. If you have a regular wraparound counter, an island and a peninsula, you could clear off the dead corner of the peninsula to use as your desk space.
Declutter To Give Your Kitchen Office Some Drawers and Cabinets
Chances are you’ll need some storage space in your kitchen office. Preferably using the drawers and cabinets nearest your new desk space, go through everything and declutter. Do you have a drawer full of kitchen gadgets you never use? Donate them! Do you have a drawer collecting grocery bags or coupons you never remember to use? Throw them away! Decide which kitchen items are useful to you and your family, reorganize all of your cabinets and drawers, and see what kind of storage space you can come up with.
If you have a lot of cabinet space, you might be able to store printers, fax machines and similar office tools on pull-out shelves. Everything you leave exposed, or outside of a cabinet or drawer, could be susceptible to damage because of the amount of food and drink that are in the kitchen. If you have small children, that also increases the risk of damage. Putting everything behind cabinet doors offers an extra layer of protection.
Utilize Wall Space
If you still need more storage and organization space, you could consider the walls surrounding your desk. Blackboards and corkboards are perfect for hanging up important information, reminders and notes. There are accessories you can attach to these items to hold things like pens, pencils, scissors, files and other office supplies. If you have the space for it, you could also hang some additional shelves above your desk. This could be a permanent or temporary addition to your kitchen, and depending on the size of the shelves, you may be able to place totes on them for storing rubber bands, clips, pens and similar gadgets.
Ensure You Have Plenty of Power
You’ll need to have plenty of power sources for your computer, phone, printer, fax machine and other electronic devices. You could string an extension cord to your work space, but that will pose a tripping hazard for you and your family. It might be best to invest in a little electrical work so you can bring power to your desk. Evaluate your power needs before you have this done so you can be most efficient at including outlets and lighting where it is most needed.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
It goes without saying that you should keep your kitchen clean, but if you are planning to work in there every day, it’s even more essential. A messy work area promotes stress. Even if you have your back to the mess that occurred at breakfast, you’ll know it’s back there, and it may begin to get on your nerves. You might be irritated, which typically results in being less productive. You might take unnecessary breaks during your work day to clean up your kitchen, which might turn into deep cleaning and less productivity on your actual job.
Another reason to keep the kitchen clean is potential video calls. Your kitchen is probably going to be the background to those calls, and although you’re working from home, you want to show a certain amount of professionalism while you’re on the video chat. Some tips to keep your kitchen clean include:
- Cleaning up every morning after breakfast. If you’re like many people, you may not do a lavish breakfast every morning, so it should be easy to quickly throw the dishes into the dishwasher, put the food away and wipe everything down.
- Doing the dishes and the main wipe-down each night before bed. Before you head to bed at night, take one last look at the kitchen. Do a thorough wipe-down of cupboard doors, refrigerator handles, counters, tables and floors. It sounds like a lot, but it can be quick. Start the dishwasher so you have clean dishes in the morning, and you won’t have as much to do after breakfast the next day.
- Making a rotating chore chart to get everyone involved. Unless you live alone, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Depending on who is home at different times throughout the day, you can enlist others to help with the kitchen chores. Make a chart that rotates responsibilities so it is evenly distributed and not on one person’s shoulders.
- Preparing lunches at night or during breakfast. If you can get your lunches and dinners prepared in advance, you won’t have that mess to worry about. You can easily put a container in the dishwasher after eating the lunch you prepared in it the night before.
Make a Work Schedule for Yourself
Part of working in the kitchen has to include your work schedule. If your family is running in and out of the kitchen while you’re trying to work, you won’t be very productive. Let others in the household know when you are working and when you have breaks. You might hang up an “open/closed” sign on the entrance to the kitchen so everyone knows when you are allowing people in and when you need the time for yourself.
What Are You Waiting For?
Whether you work from home out of necessity or personal desire, you need to set up a dedicated space where you can focus on your job. If the kitchen is really the only room in the house where you have a spare space, there are a lot of things you can do to create the perfect work corner. The sooner you get started on your kitchen transformation, the sooner you’ll be able to improve productivity while working from the comfort of your own home.