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How to use your dining room as an efficient home office

Over the past year or so, the typical nine-to-five has evolved a bit. For many people, the days of commuting to the office during rush hour Monday through Friday are over. Most people are glad to ditch traffic jams and office coffee, but the tradeoff is uncomfortable desks and desk chairs (or couches) and lots of distractions at home. If your temporary home office needs to turn into a more permanent office, but you don’t have a spare room lying around, don’t worry! Your dining room is a hidden gem of space just waiting to be used for multiple tasks, and odds are, it is one of the most underused rooms in your house. If you’re looking for dining room office ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best dining room office combo design ideas we’ve found.

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Why the dining room?

It’s probably underused

If your house has a dining room, there’s a good chance you and your family don’t utilize it for every meal. In many households, the dining room is where family dinner occurs, at most, once or twice a day. The other time, the room usually sits, undisturbed, just waiting to serve a purpose. This is one of the main reasons why using your dining room as an efficient home office is a great idea.

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It’s off to the side

Many dining rooms are spacious and off to the side of the kitchen or main gathering space. This makes dining rooms an excellent place for Zoom meetings and phone calls that shouldn’t be disturbed by the noises from the rest of the house. Also, there is probably enough room in there for a roll-away table if your existing dining room table is too small (or too nice) to use as a desk. Sure, not having a door like an actual office is the downside, but not many people have a door at work, so there really won’t be much to miss there.

Lighting

Dining rooms often have great lighting. Whether it be in the form of windows and natural lighting or chandeliers that provide overhead light, dining rooms usually have lighting under control. This can work to your advantage for several reasons. First, proper lighting helps you see better, and not straining your eyes all day is the best-case scenario. Second, natural light increases your mood, and a good mood means high productivity—everyone likes high productivity. Lastly, lighting can be crucial when trying to set up the ideal Zoom call background. Nothing is worse than terrible lighting, making it look like you live in a haunted house when you’re trying to land that new job.

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The set-up

Worksurface

If you’ve been working from home already, this shouldn’t be too difficult, and if you’re new to the home-office game, don’t worry—it’s not tough. The first thing you need is a good work surface. For most people, this needs to be a space for a computer, either a laptop or otherwise, possibly some documents, and typical office stuff like pens and paperclips. Some people may need multiple monitors or another specific tech, but a decent-sized work surface will do the trick for the most part. If you don’t want to use your existing dining room table, consider a roll-away or fold-away table. These tables are convenient because they are simple to set up and store easily when not in use.

A good chair

Everyone knows that too much of anything is usually bad for you, and the same holds true for sitting. Too much sitting can be detrimental to your health, and many people have made a move to either a standing desk or a really good office chair. Depending on your specific health needs, the hours you work, the space you have, etc., be sure the chair situation in your home office is up to par. Chairs that encourage proper posture may seem uncomfortable at first but ultimately save you tons of pain in the long run and aren’t that difficult to get used to. If you like to alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day, a solid desk riser for the dining room table may be the perfect solution for you.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Converting your dining room into an efficient dual-use room isn’t as difficult as you may think. With a good work surface and a decent chair, you’re already well on your way. Tweaking the room to your specific needs or for Zoom meetings is ideal in the dining room due to its excellent lighting (usually) and separation from the rest of the house. If you don’t have a specific room for an office, consider the dining room—you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Kelly Kaliszewski
Kelly's work has appeared in blogs and on websites. When she's not writing, she is playing with her two dogs, cooking, or…
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