Rethink Your Home Office: 6 Alternatives to a Traditional Desk

Whether you're telecommuting or just being productive in your off time, when working from home it's always good to have a dedicated space to get things done. A traditional office desk certainly works, but more frequently people are finding unique alternative solutions for working at home.

The standing desk

Pin it button big

Sitting for long periods of time generally means low physical activity and maintaining a less than favorable posture. The popularity of the standing desk among the community over at Ikea Hackers has lead to a great variety of interesting mods and hacks to stock Ikea furniture. If you feel like you're spending too much time sitting while working from home, consider the benefits of a standing desk to help you stay a bit more active while you work. I've experimented with this myself and have found that a coffee table placed on a traditional desk works pretty well for temporarily trying out a standing posture.

For more on standing desks, check out these articles from the Apartment Therapy archives:

The kitchen table

Pin it button big
If you're like me, you might not have much room to set up a dedicated space for working, and so maintaining a modular, multi-purpose space might be your best option for working at home. Designer Lotta Jansdotter created this very cool combination kitchen table work space which lets you get more out of a small living space.

Working from bed

Pin it button big
Sometimes you just don't feel like making it in to the office, but taking a sick day doesn't necessarily mean you won't get anything done. Using a laptop pad on the couch or in bed helps keep your laptop on a stable surface and keep your lap cool. Pinterest user Alex Muzumbu shares a very in-depth set of pinned laptop bed desks and reviews. A short, light coffee table placed on your bed also works fairly well as a temporary desk space for those sick days in bed.

A sitting office

Pin it button big
Lifehacker recently profiled this unique office space, which employs a low to the ground desk which might appeal to yoga enthusiasts. Though perhaps not terribly comfortable, it's an interesting take on the home office.

A workout desk

Much like the standing desk, a workout desk, like this one incorporating an elliptical machine, offers a way to mitigate the effects of prolonged sitting while you work. While perhaps not as attractive as other home office solutions (or in some cases as space efficient) a workout desk takes multitasking to the extreme, letting you combine working at home with a home work out (just be careful not to get too much sweat on your laptop).

Some workout desks from the Apartment Therapy archives:

A hidden workspace
<veine.jpgThose with space-limited apartments might want to check out this table top from the Ikea Vika line, the Veine, which contains a hide away compartment for a combination table and desk.

A number of other manufactures also offer interesting takes on the hide away desk in more traditional styles.

Find a solution that works for you
Managing a balance between work and home life is tricky, especially for those of us who telecommute, working long hours from our homes. Luckily there are a growing number of options and alternatives to the traditional office space to help balance space, lifestyle and work. Take some time and consider your options when setting up a home office and find a solution that works best for you.

Many of the solutions above came about as a result of creative problem solving, and a bit of DIY elbow grease. Perhaps you have your own unique approach to working from home — if so, feel free to share a link in the comments below!

(Images: as linked above)