Tiny House Office Setup Guide: Work from Home in a Small Space

tiny house office

With more and more people working from home these days, I’ve been asked about my tiny house office—how do I stay productive? How do I work from home in a small space?

One of the biggest things that attracted me to tiny houses and simple living in the first place was having more control over how I worked and earned a living. I wanted the flexibility with my time that a remote job and financial freedom could bring.

But remote work from a tiny house isn’t without challenges. Planning and organization make all the difference. Here’s how I set up my tiny house office, and a realistic overview of how to create a small workspace that works!

My Tiny House Office: How I Stay Productive

How I Stay Productive in my tiny house office

I’ve been working from home for over a decade now—being self-employed, I don’t have an employer that I visit. That means I don’t have to leave my tiny house (ever) if I don’t want to. While this control over my work location is excellent, I’ve discovered over the years that working from a tiny house office is HARD.

To be totally candid, I don’t always work from my “tiny house office.” I often work from either a coffee shop or a coworking space. I like the shift of being able to go into a designated workspace when I need to be productive. But that said, it’s not always realistic. There are times when I need to work from home, like when the weather’s bad or if I only have a few things to do, so I’m free the rest of the day to spend how I see fit.

Working Remotely In A Tiny House

working remotely in a tiny house

If you live in a tiny house on wheels, you may also be working remotely from the road. The freedom and flexibility of the tiny life allow you to work from anywhere you want in the world. Plus, a tiny house means fewer bills. You can live on less. But of course, you still need to find a way to earn something, which often means working remotely in one form or another.

I know many people who switched to a work-at-home job when they downsized to a tiny house just because they wanted to change their lifestyle. Some people are willing to take significant pay cuts to enjoy that quality of life.

The thing about tiny houses is that the space is very limited, so you will rarely see a dedicated tiny house office. Often it will be a desk or workplace set up on a countertop, in a closet, or on a drop-leaf table on the wall. Because you’re trying to maximize your productivity (and minimize your work time), you must keep your tiny house office organized, no matter the setup.

Elements of a Good Tiny Home Office

elements of a good tiny house office

There are certain elements that every great office has, no matter the size. It’s essential that you incorporate these features in your tiny house office because it will make a practical, functional space. If you want to get the most accomplished and own your schedule, you’ll need to create an office space designed with everything you need.

Here’s what I suggest when you set up your small space office.

Desk or Workspace

Desk or Workspace in a tiny house

If you’re spending 8 hours a day on work, you should have a designated space to work in. Having a desk is crucial. Many people are comfortable working from a laptop on their lap for a few hours per day, but if you’re working full time, this position can begin to take a toll on your back. Generally, you’ll need a desk and perhaps even a standing desk solution so you can enjoy the benefits of healthy ergonomics while working.

You’ll need a desk that’s big enough for your computer and screen, and that is large enough to accommodate the work you do. If you use a lot of paper for your job, you may need a bigger desktop.

CHOOSE A DESK TYPE

  • Wall-mounted
  • Fold-away
  • Seated desk
  • Standing desk
  • Adjustable height desk
  • Lap desk

BUILDING A WALL-MOUNTED DESK

Making your own dropleaf desk is simple

  1. Determine the size desk you want and location.
  2. Purchase the right-size fold-down brackets.
  3. Choose your desktop material.
  4. Cut desktop material to size.
  5. Determine the height and mount brackets.
  6. Attach desktop.

Natural Light

natural light in atiny house office

I really like natural light, so I have a lot of windows in my house. Believe it or not, I have 21 windows in my 150 square foot tiny home! I also love working outside. My outdoor home office often consists of a setup on my picnic table in my patio area. I feel more focused with sunlight, and it definitely helps boost my mood.
natural light in a tiny house office

Comfortable Seating

Comfortable Seating for a small office space

Again, this is where some people think it’s feasible to work from anywhere in any position. Often an office chair seems like an unnecessary investment, but if you’re working for several hours a day, you need to be comfortable, even in a small space. Look into the best ergonomic office chair you can find, with plenty of lumbar support. A comfortable chair is well worth the investment (and you can always use it as extra seating in your home).
tiny house office comfortable seating

Storage

storage space in a tiny house office

tiny house stoarge ideasI keep a minimalist office. I don’t use a lot of paper or extra items. I easily store most files within my computer. Depending on your work line, it’s important to plan enough storage and space to have room for all the items you need to do your job well.

If your job requires books, files, or certain supplies that aren’t digitized, be sure to plan room for what you need. Be realistic about the items you need to keep (especially paper) and form a plan to store the items and keep them organized.

Power

tiny house electric power outlets

tiny house electricalIf you’re building your tiny house, it’s crucial to plan plenty of power outlets wherever you think you will need them. Since you’re building your house to suit your needs, you have control over the placement, especially if you’re doing the building. So take advantage of the situation to add plenty of outlets. You don’t want to string cords around your house, especially if floor space is limited.

Also, consider the amount of power you will need to use work equipment. If you’re using solar off-grid, you’ll need to be sure you’re powering enough to charge all your devices, run the lighting you need, and accommodate any resources like a printer.

Internet Connection

internet connection in a tiny home office

We live in a world where almost all information is in the cloud and can be accessed remotely. Having internet access means you can travel around and still do your work. Internet access is vital, especially if you live in a tiny house on wheels or a skoolie. You’ll need to ensure you have a strong hotspot device so you can get internet from (almost) anywhere.

If you need details on setting up the internet in your tiny home, I’ve created a guide to off-grid internet access. This post will help you plan for internet access from your tiny home office.

off-grid internet for tiny houses

Lighting

tiny home office lighting

While natural light is essential to a productive workspace, there will be days when the sun isn’t shining (and, of course, nights, where you’ll need light too). For those times, you need to have good lighting for your workspace.
I have LED puck lights on my workspace, which keep the area bright and easy-to-use. Good lighting is vital to prevent eyestrain and stress. You’ll feel much better about your work when you can see well.

Wall Space

wall space in a tiny home office

tiny house office wall spaceDepending on the tiny house office space you have, it can be useful to have a whiteboard, calendar, or bulletin board on the wall. Again, it’s dependent on the work you do, but keeping important information front-and-center can help keep it from falling by the wayside.


My Tiny House Office Setup

my tiny house office setup

As I said before, I have a minimalist approach to working in my tiny house office, so I keep my setup simple—my computer, my phone, and sometimes my bullet journal. As you can see below, I often work outside, and other times I work inside my tiny house.

ryans backyard tiny house office
ryans tiny house office setup

While I don’t have many office supplies and equipment, I need a few things for my office. As with my tiny house furniture, I try to be very careful about what I purchase. I make sure I get exactly what I like, and I’m willing to spend more on high-quality. I’d rather buy an expensive item once than several inexpensive items over and over.

My Tiny House Office Equipment Recommendations

best home office laptop

Laptop: MSI Prestige 15 A10SC-010 15.6″ Ultra-Thin

Of course, you can get any laptop you like and feel comfortable using. Some people might prefer a MacBook, while others may have other brand-preferences. I encourage you to get a high-quality, lightweight laptop, especially if you plan to work in multiple locations. A Microsoft Surface or an iPad Pro can also be very valuable for remote work.


folding laptop stand

Folding Laptop Stand

Of all my work items, I get asked the most about my laptop stand. This simple design is inexpensive, folds flat, and allows you to change from a sitting to a standing desk in seconds. It works great for small spaces because it’s so easy to use and store.


logitech wireless mouse

Wireless Mouse

I, for one, am not a fan of the trackpads on most laptops. While they’re sufficient for using the internet, if you’re doing design work, organizing spreadsheets, or clicking around documents, it’s often worth it to invest in a wireless mouse. You’ll get greater precision, and it’s a little more user-friendly than most trackpads.


logitech bluetooth headset

Logitech Bluetooth Headset

For many of us, a big part of working remotely are video conferences and calls. Communication is essential when you’re working from a distance, so I suggest investing in a quality headset. The wireless aspect is excellent, so you aren’t tethered to your computer. If you need privacy and silence while you work, you may want to look into noise-canceling features too.


portable headset case

Headset Case

Should you invest in a headset, I suggest investing in a storage case, especially if you’re working on the go. This case is semi-waterproof, so it will protect your headphones if you take your tiny house office outdoors too.


bluetooth keyboard

Bluetooth Keyboard

Again, depending on your personal preferences, you may want to get a wireless keyboard. A detached keyboard is ideal for working in different positions, or if you work from a tablet and need a keyboard to be efficient. I type faster from different angles, so I like the remote keyboard when working on a document or post.


keyboard case

Keyboard Case

Like the headset case, the keyboard case protects your Bluetooth keyboard from damage and allows you to transport it when you’re on the go.


cellphone stand

Cell Phone Stand

When I’m working from my tiny home office, I like my cell phone front and center. I often add notes through my phone, take calls, listen to music, and more. Having a cell phone stand helps keep my phone screen in easy view while I work—no worries about it falling off a small desk or balancing it on my laptop.


Setting Up Your Tiny House Office: Ideas & Inspiration

tiny house office ideas and inspiration

Once you have the right components, your office is all about finding the setup that helps you work the most productively. For some, it might mean working outside sometimes. For others, a designated, organized office space (even small) may help you feel focused.

These tiny house offices have many great features and ideas. As you can see, they range from very simple to more complex setups. Hopefully, they give you a good idea of what you need for a great office in a small space.

tiny house home office ideas
tiny house office inspiration
inspiring tiny house office spaces
tiny home office photos
tiny house office ideas
tiny house office examples

Choosing a Spot for Your Tiny House Office

Choosing a Spot for Your Tiny House Office

Should you put your office in your loft? Work from your kitchen counter? While your space choices might be a bit more limited in a tiny house, I would suggest you do your best to strategically locate your tiny house office near a window. Getting the natural light will help you stay alert and focused while you work.

In these tiny home office examples, you can see how windows really make a small office feel expansive and much larger, whether it’s a loft office or a spot under the stairs.

where to set up your office in a tiny home
tiny home office with a view
office location in tiny home
office setup in tiny house
tiny home office location
office under stairs in tiny home
tiny house office location
tiny house stairs

Make Use of Any Space

Make Use of Any Space in your small office

With a drop leaf desk or a small table, you can turn almost any spot into a workspace. With most tasks on a laptop, you don’t need a huge space to get stuff accomplished. A small corner of your tiny home can make an excellent satellite office or work-from-home space.

space in a tiny house office
tiny home office space
organizing space in a tiny home office
making the best use of space in a tiny house office
making use of space in a tiny house office
how to build a tiny house

Office Nooks and Closets

tiny home office Office Nooks and Closets

The “cloffice” or closet-office has become a popular solution for working-from-home in any size space. Whether you have a small nook in your tiny house or want to convert a closet into an office space, you can easily do it with only a few adjustments. The nice aspect of an office nook is that you can tuck it away or close the doors when you aren’t working, especially if it’s a converted closet. Tucking your office away can help you shift out of work mode (something that’s so important if you’re trying to balance working from home).

Here are some examples of well-organized small office nooks.

tiny home office in small nook
office nook in tiny house
office set in tiny home closet
tiny house office in a closet nook

The other nice aspect of the “office nook” is that you will often have built-in shelving across the top of the desk. This allows you to organize books, files, or if you prefer, décor to create an inspiring and workable space.

small office nook
office nook in small house
tiny house office nook in closet space
small office setup in tiny house

Office Organization in a Small Space

office organiztion in a small space

As I said before, I take a very minimalist approach to working from home. This means I don’t have a lot of “stuff” tucked into drawers and setting around my workspace. But of course, my work doesn’t require a lot of accessories and office supplies either. If you engage in certain hobbies (like crafting) or you’re dealing with paper projects in your office, you may need some more robust organization.

Keep Your Desktop Clean and Tidy

Keep Your Desktop Clean and Tidy

One thing I love about the desk below is how neat and tidy the space is. The magazine organizers and file boxes blend in with the décor, making it feel uncluttered, even with a lot of stuff on the desk.

keep your desktop tidy and clean
designing your tiny house ebook

Use File Boxes to Corral Papers

Use File Boxes to Corral Papers

These file boxes and cabinets are excellent for keeping your papers hidden away. Paper clutter is the biggest issue for a tiny house office, so keeping it under control is crucial. I really like the roll-away printer too.

using file boxes to organize papers
corral papers with file boxes

Set Up a Designated Spot for Everything

Set Up a Designated Spot for Everything in your home office

Every item in your office should have a home and should be something you use. For example, sometimes we might think we need to have paper clips or a stapler on hand, just in case we need them. But if you rarely work with paper, then that’s another item to store. Pare down to precisely what you need for work, and then make sure each item has a home.

designated spots for storage in office
store office items in designated spots

The Backyard Tiny House Office: Setting Up a Satellite Office

backyard tiny house office

Recently, the idea of a tiny house AS an office has become quite popular. I see many people who are setting up small houses or even sheds as backyard office options. Should you consider a satellite office if you’re working from home?

There are a lot of pros to the idea of a tiny house office or a shed office. Now, if you’re new to the concept of the tiny house office, you might be thinking: can I use a shed as an office? How do I convert a shed into office space?

Some people have converted sheds into actual tiny homes. The legal aspects of living in a shed vary from place-to-place, but the advantage is that a shed is usually pre-built and not uncommon. People have them in their yards everywhere, and you usually don’t need a permit to set one up.

If you outfit a shed, a trailer, or a pre-fab tiny home with electricity, insulation, and lighting, you can easily convert it into a nice workspace. People like this option because it creates a clear boundary between home life and work life. You’re still “commuting” to a different spot to work, and it can help you shift your mindset into work mode.

If you have a tiny house already, a shed or trailer can work as a tiny satellite office. A separate office may be beneficial if you’re living with another person and need to focus and stay productive while you work.

backyard tiny house office
backyard tiny house office setup
convert shed to tiny house office
tiny house office shed conversion
install a tiny house office in backyard
tiny house office in yard
backyard shed office space
design and build a tiny house book

Working from home in a tiny house office comes with a few challenges, but it’s also very freeing. Many people dream of being able to work when they want and where they want. With today’s advances in technology and cultural shifts, working from home full or part-time is becoming more and more common.

If you’re able to embrace the flexible office lifestyle, make the most of it with a well-organized and user-friendly tiny home office.

Your Turn!

  • What’s your biggest work-from-home challenge?
  • What are your tiny home office must-haves?
4 Comments
  1. Biggest challenges for my family is that we have two who are remote workers, with slightly different shift requirements. The “crunch times” for one can be stressful if the other is off shift and coming nearby to “unplug” from the router — that can lead to distracting catch up conversations. We are learning to respect each other’s time– seeing the need for saving those messages for later, or to write them on a whiteboard for later on. The stress is a good thing, because it does end. Also, it leads to greater profitability and increased financial gains overall. Having an uncluttered workspace is critical for me.

    We are spoiled right now with access to Cable internet, but have noticed a new “throttling down” on our wi-fi internet speeds at times when we are off the work usage and simply attempting to use Netflix and Youtube streaming. We agreed to pay more money for more bandwidth speeds, and that lasted just three or four months. Now it is back to just like before we “upgraded” — Looking for better options because work has to happen, and the “throttling” starts just as soon as work ends so we know it is intentional.

  2. Well, this is timely. I’m currently in a project to move my mother’s office space from the second floor to her 1st floor main living area — which already serves as living, dining and entryway spaces, as well as being open to a small galley kitchen. Trying to carve out the space (and time) for her to work on her publishing business in the midst of caring for my father who has Parkinson’s. It’s very challenging. This article is great got helping us to focus on the essentials.

  3. not “got”, “for”
    Need more coffee…

  4. I wasn’t allowed to sign up. I am a human, I just can’t prove it.

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