Step into my office

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More of us are working from home than ever before, but it doesn't have to mean documents on the dining table or conference calls over the cornflakes.

London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, is not a fan of working from home - prior to the Olympics, he said he believed it was a "skivers' paradise" predominantly involving trips to the fridge for cheese. Whether or not you agree with the Mayor the fact remains that working from home is growing in popularity.

While only 2 per cent of us work from home every day, the Office for National Statistics says that more than a quarter of us now work from home at least some of the time. And a survey of firms by the Confederation of British Industry showed that the number of companies offering homeworking options rose from 14 per cent in 2006 to 59 per cent last year.

As a result, many of us now need to make room for some kind of workspace at home. But giving over an entire room for working isn't always practical and if you don't want reminders of the office cluttering up your living space, the challenge lies in finding ways to disguise your desk and work paraphernalia.

If you're not working from home every day, alcoves and hidden corners are a good option for a workspace. Keep and eye out for home-office ranges that are both compact and flexible, such as Ikea's Vika Veine desktop, which is a neat 99cm wide and has a top that folds down when not in use to hide away work-related documents. Add in simple, colourful accessories and sleep storage and its simple to prevent the space from feeling utilitarian.

If you're just planning on checking emails or making phone calls, you may not need a desk at all. But don't clutter up a dining table or sit hunched on a sofa: laptop stations are more ergonomic and many can be folded away for ease of storage when not it use.

1. Under the stairs

Think laterally about where you might work - even an understairs alcove can double as a workspace. Micke desk, £60, green Snille swivel chair, £20, both ikea.co.uk

2. Desk job

If you've got the budget, this Ercol Treviso desk is sleek, stylish and very covetable. £999, ercol.com

3. Colour coded

Colourful Acrylic trays, from £29, boconcept.co.uk

4. Filed away

We like the bold orange of this Bisley multi-drawer cabinet. £150, johnlewis.com

5. In the frame

The covers of these exercise books are good enough to frame. £9.95 for three, twenty-twentyone.com

6. Light work

Save your eyesight – invest in a good-quality desk lamp such as this Anglepoise Mini Type 75 by Kenneth Grange, £85, scp.co.uk

7. Hidden asset

This Vika Veine desk top folds down to hide away your workspace. £99, ikea.co.uk

8. Boxing clever

This Design Ideas Circuit storage box will help keep things neat, tidy and organised. £19.95, johnlewis.com

9. Tweet idea

It's not exactly a desk essential but this Alessi magnetic paperclip holder is stylish and fun. £31, johnlewis.com

10. Take a seat

If you only invest in one item, choose a good chair; the sleek lines of this Viola desk chair in cream won't look out of place in a living space. £130, johnlewis.com

 

 

 

 

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