Getting Your Home Ready for a WFH Life

Working from home is the dream for most of us who trudge every day into the office, battling with public transport, long and traffic-laden car journeys and late home times.

Several years of this can become tedious and once you have a family, priorities begin to shift. Late last year, I took the big step of becoming a freelance copywriter, with the aim of getting more flexibility and a work/life better balance.

I have fully embraced the Work From Home (WFH) lifestyle – is it something you’re interested in? It might be the fresh start that you’re looking for, especially if you’re reassessing your options after maternity leave. You will need to make some simple adjustments to your home to create the perfect space for working.

Having your own office

If you have the luxury of a spare room then you’re off to a flying start. Having a space that is purely business-related will keep your concentration focused and will keep the rest of your home closed off for family/relaxation time.

Small home offce with two IKEA desks, and ALEX office drawers

We love the simple white furniture, as it is nice and calming, plus it goes with everything. I’ve added touches of copper and monochrome soft furnishings to make it a bit more cosy. It’s not finished just yet but is well on the way!

A simple and functional style will be a great start, as you don’t want to make it too comfortable or you might forget to work! IKEA is my go-to shop for organisation and storage, with plenty of affordable solutions on offer to help you create the best space you can with the square-footage you have.

Our home office is teeny, but we have managed to squeeze not one, but two desks in there: a large corner desk for working at the computer and a smaller one for reading, writing and crafting.

Home office with IKEA curved desk, Mac, pastel drawers and pinboard

We put four IKEA pinboards together to create a giant board for inspirational pictures, art from Ava and Thea and my Mollie Makes calendar.

Craft and reading desk with picture ledge and copper accessories

I love the IKEA picture ledges, as I can switch up my display as often as I like. I sprayed jam jar desk tidies with copper paint so they all match.

Be kind to yourself with the lighting too, especially if you plan to stick to your usual working hours. Eight hours in a badly lit room will make you dread walking from the bedroom to the ‘office’ every morning to be greeted by a dull, flickering light. IKEA are also very good at this too, helping you to work out the perfect lighting to keep you feeling alert and ready for a day of challenges.

Sectioning off your work space

If there isn’t the option of a spare room then you’ll have to be a bite more creative. A sturdy and spacious dining room table could be transformed for your working hours into a place for business, especially if you have the space for some storage for paperwork too.

It can be annoying to clear away your papers and laptop/computer everyday but you have to keep your eye on the prize – No. More. Commute.

Whether your dining room is off the living room or kitchen, sectioning off a space with bi-fold doors means you can keep the room functional for work, then come the end of your working day you can tidy up and open the doors ready for family time!

Being strict with your working hours

The most important thing to remember (and one that I struggle with, to be honest) is that you started working from home for a reason: to have more time for your family and less time stuck in traffic and dealing with public transport. There’s also the benefit of being in charge of your own time, so when you fancy nipping out for a coffee somewhere or you need to pick the kids up after school, you can factor this into your day to suit your commitments.

If you have eight hours of work to do, then you might need to start earlier in the morning to fit it all in. Working from home means you can dip in and out of work to suit your home life situation. It might be hard at first not having an office routine, but eventually you’ll find your working rhythm.

This article from the Guardian also helps to answer the question of work attire when you work from home. Are pyjamas suitable for a productive day? Unfortunately, I think the answer might be no… but I must confess to doing it every once in a while!

Do you have any tips for working from home? I’d love to hear them!

*This is a collaborative post.

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  1. 14th March 2016 / 9:04 pm

    I love this, Becky. My youngest son starts school in September and I’m going to be taking on a little bit more work, and doing it from home. We have a home office and while I’ve made some attempts to sort it out, it quickly becomes a storage space. I really need to get my act together and get it organised. I have a few more months, though 🙂

    • 18th March 2016 / 4:13 pm

      Thanks so much Rachel, I’m really happy you like it! I think good storage is the key! I just have to work hard to maintain it now…. wish me luck! And your plan for September sounds wonderful. My youngest goes to preschool then too, so I’ll have all my mornings back! It will be strange. xx

  2. 12th March 2016 / 9:42 pm

    PJ’s are the best for working at home. You have to take advantage, one day you might have to actually commute and wear proper clothes! On a serious note, I love your office, it’s so clean looking and stylish. – perfect qualities. Good luck working from home and being freelance, I’m hoping I might start similar later this year. #kcacols

    • 13th March 2016 / 8:44 pm

      Thanks so much, I do find it quite an inspiring place to work and it’s great having a separate room now that it’s finally almost finished. I probably would wear PJs most days, but I have to take the girls to school and nursery so can’t bring myself to do that in nightwear! xx

  3. 12th March 2016 / 12:26 pm

    Ooh what a fabulous post. I’m so envious as this is something I dream of becoming one day, but I feel a little stuck in a rut as to how I manage to achieve everything I’d like. I think something will naturally have to give, but it’s whether or not I want to part with those things. And teeny or not, you have most certainly made the most of your beautiful office space. As it happens, we have practically just finished our own little home office too – so this is something I’m going to reveal in the next week or two. Our is mainly Ikea too though we have the same drawers as you do. Plus a pretty large desk space, to fit two of us we need it. Lovely post. Steph xxx #HomeEtc

    • 13th March 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Oooh I will keep an eye out for your office too, I am totally obsessed with nosing at people’s home offices, I find them fascinating! I hope you do manage to work out how to work from home, I do love it. xx

  4. 12th March 2016 / 8:00 am

    ah I love your home office, it looks fab. I would love to have a spare room, I have created a desk space, but its only small so when I have bigger projects on the go I move to the dining table. #HomeEtc

    • 13th March 2016 / 8:47 pm

      That’s what we had in our old house, and that was OK as it was just used every now and then, but now I work from home a lot of the time, we sacrificed our spare room/junk room. And it was well worth it! I might even be able to use my sewing machine now! xx

  5. 11th March 2016 / 1:48 pm

    I agree and love it all. I also work from home and LOVE my office so much. I have mine quite minimalist and yet girly!!! 🙂 Thanks for linking up lovely, Jess xx


    • 13th March 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks so much Jess, I’m so glad you like it! I struggle with minimalist and will probably add more to the walls in the next few months, I just can’t resist! xx

  6. 11th March 2016 / 10:16 am

    Aah love your office space Becky! And yes to all of this — I’ve been working fro home for 7/8 years now and being strict with your working hours is such a hard one to stick to! Particularly for me at the mo as I *don’t* have a dedicated workspace that I can shut the door on. I cannot WAIT for my garden office to be finished!! It’s going to be lovely to be able to shut the door on my work and walk away!! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with us lovely! 🙂 #HomeEtc
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    • 13th March 2016 / 8:57 pm

      I’m so excited to read more about your garden office, that is the stuff of dreams! I love my little office and am excited that I now have space to craft in, whoop whoop! Just need to find some time now…. xx

  7. 10th March 2016 / 10:19 pm

    I’d LOVE to work from home as a copywriter (or editor or proofreader) – well done you! Love your office, and completely agree about Ikea! #KCACOLS

    • 13th March 2016 / 8:58 pm

      Thanks so much, it’s probably my favourite room now. I’m so lucky that I have a job I can do from home, you should look into it, it’s brilliant on the whole xx

    • 13th March 2016 / 8:52 pm

      He he I find it almost a full time job to keep the desk clear, there’s just so much paperwork involved in being an adult isn’t there! Thanks for reading lovely xx

  8. 9th March 2016 / 4:29 pm

    I would love to work from home. I’ve just bought a little desk but need some inspiration for the wall it faces. I like the idea of the Ikea picture ledges. x

    • 13th March 2016 / 9:10 pm

      The picture ledges are so great, much better than banging a load of nails in as you can swap things around so much easier. Plus they have so many other uses too, Pinterest has loads of inspiration xx

  9. Louisa
    9th March 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Your office space looks fresh and inviting, definitely somewhere you can be productive. I agree that Ikea is great for office/storage type items. I’ve got a fab white desk from there for my craft room and it’s a life saver! #homeetc

    • 9th March 2016 / 3:40 pm

      Thanks Louisa, I love spending time in there, it’s so peaceful (when the girls aren’t climbing all over me!) I’m hoping to get my sawing machine out from storage to use on my reading desk 🙂 xx

  10. 9th March 2016 / 1:32 pm

    Great tips and what a lovely space. I am going to finally get a home office after working from the dining room table for years and I can’t wait! #HomeEtc

    • 9th March 2016 / 3:41 pm

      Ahhh how exciting Sammy, it’s a real game changer, you will love it I’m sure. How lush to get your dining table back too! xx

  11. 9th March 2016 / 11:43 am

    This is great advice, I’ve recently gone back to freelancing at home again and sometimes is just so hard to stay motivated and work hard! Your office looks like such a happy and pretty place!


    • 9th March 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Thanks so much Nancy, I really think it’s important to have a door you can shut at the end of the day, if you can! I find it helps to have a physical barrier to help your mind switch off. But having a nice bright work space also helps as you actually want to go there, so I’m really happy with how it turned out! xx

  12. 8th March 2016 / 4:58 pm

    Oh wow that office is so stunning and beautiful! I love white and black and the adding of bright colours or pastel colours between! Beautiful office and great tips.

    • 13th March 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Thanks so much, it’s a bit different from the rest of the house but I love the monochrome with pops of copper and pastels, I think it looks really fresh xx

  13. 7th March 2016 / 2:39 pm

    Firstly, I love what you’ve done with your home office space. It’s beautiful and organised. I’ve done a tiny bit of working from home in the past but starting doing it properly at the beginning of February when I went back to work after maternity leave. We moved house in December as well so were able to plan my work space ahead of when I’d need it. We put both our girls in one room in our new house and set up the spare bedroom as my office. We already had the pine desk and storage units and they fitted perfectly. However, I’m terrible at keeping things tidy. I log on, do what I need to do and leave myself about two seconds to pick up the kids at the end of the day. I really need to plan in some time for organising and filing! Thanks for linking with #KCACOLS and I hope you can make it again next week x
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…#TravelTimehop series edition #7 with Little Hearts Big LoveMy Profile

    • 7th March 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Thank you Claire, I’m so glad you like it! I think the key is to have lots of drawers to stash stuff in! I think I need a filing tray as well, as I normally have loads of bits of paper hanging around! I try and have a big tidy up session every month to attempt to keep on top of it! I do my accounts etc at the same time so I can start the month off semi-organised. xx

  14. The Pramshed
    6th March 2016 / 9:38 pm

    I am hoping to work from home one day a week when I return to work in June, your blog post has made me realise that if I do this, I’ll need to some how turn our kitchen into a workable space 1 day a week. Unfortunately our spare room became our nursery, in an ideal world we need another room and a bigger house. I really like the way that you have styled your home office. Claire x #KCACOLS

    • 7th March 2016 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you so much Claire, I’m glad you like it! I hope you can manage to work from home as even a day a week makes a really big difference (it did for me anyway, when I went back after my maternity leave). Ikea has a really nice little bureau-style desk that you might be able to fit into your kitchen, as it folds up when not in use. I sound like I work for them, I don’t, just a big fan!! xx

  15. 6th March 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Thank you Emma, I do really love going there, and closing the door for a bit of peace and quiet! Though I do sometimes have a little person doing colouring on the second desk keeping me company 🙂 xx

  16. 6th March 2016 / 1:23 pm

    I’d love to work from home, but it doesn’t work for my job as a teacher 🙂 saying that I do work a lot at home and I’m hoping to turn the small room into a dressing room/office once Mini R’s new bedroom is complete so I’m going to pinch some of your ideas 🙂 #KCACOLS

    • 6th March 2016 / 9:01 pm

      I do count myself really lucky that I have the kind of job where I can work from home. It’s amazing what you can do in even a tiny space with a bit of ingenuity and some clever furniture, I would never have guessed we could fit two desks in there! Hope your little space turns out well xx

  17. 6th March 2016 / 11:17 am

    Gorgeous! Good work hun. I loved putting together my office at home! It becomes your little motivation space xx #KCACOLS

    • 6th March 2016 / 8:59 pm

      Thanks lovely, it really is! So nice that I am lucky enough to have a whole rome (albeit tiny!) so I can close the door at the end of the day, and also shut myself away when I need to. xx

  18. 5th March 2016 / 11:20 pm

    Such a beautiful space! I would absolutely love my own office! My husband and I are sharing at the moment. But I can’t wait for the day when we get our own hhaha! #KCACOLS

    • 6th March 2016 / 8:53 pm

      Thanks so much Kayla, could you squeeze two desks in like we did? Because we just have one chair it works really well, we can roll between them, and use a stool if we both want to be in there at the same time! xx

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