We’re all spending an increasing amount of time in our homes these days. Is your’s filling all of your needs? As more and more companies are ditching offices and work-from-home space is becoming a basic necessity, homeowners are re-purposing spare rooms in their homes and turning them into home offices.
If you already have a spare room, don’t waste it! But if you don’t have one, now is a great time to consider upsizing.
Often used as guest bedrooms, playrooms, gyms, or even hobby spaces, spare rooms are increasingly being re-assigned as home office space. And if both you and your partner are working from home everyday, it’s even better if you both have a dedicated work space to call your own.
A home office isn’t just a trend; it’s predicted to be a hot amenity for the long-term. This is why homes that are flexible for home office space — especially for multiple workers — are so popular right now.
Long before the health crisis, many coveted the opportunity to work from home, but now that work-from-home is an increasing reality, interruptions, disturbances, and space limitations are keeping homeowners from having the work environment they truly want. But anyone can make a success of working from home, depending on the conditions they have to work with. And having extra space makes such a difference.
You’ll want a work space — to two, if your partner is also working from home — large enough to operate your business(es) and to customize for optimal productivity, whether that’s working at a desk with a computer, setting up a podcasting studio, or any other specific work function. Spreading out your documents and projects over the dining room table is far less productive than having a dedicated and quiet location far from your home’s high-traffic areas. This also allows you to tailor your offices to each of your specific needs.
In these spaces you’ve devoted in your home, you can create a full-office experience, decorating as you like for comfort as well as functional needs, like extra phone jacks, storage, or ergonomic desk equipment. Having a strong WiFi connection, adequate lighting, and temperature controls are also essential.
At-home work spaces with doors are also desired, as they help to create boundaries. You’ll want to be able to close the door to keep family, friends, and pets out and to minimize distractions and noise from the kitchen, living room, children’s rooms, and from your partner if they are also working from home.
At-home workers have said they are more efficient and organized with an office space separate from the common rooms in their residence, and that turning a spare room in their home into a dedicated office promotes discipline. In fact, several participants of a recent survey on home office needs from the website Houzz claimed that their work space was the main reason why they ended up purchasing their home.
“We bought our house specifically because there was a space for a home office,” said one respondent.
Andrea, a full-time telecommuter agrees, “When I bought my house 18 years ago, I made sure it had a room for an office with a door I could shut. It’s located on the first floor, just inside the front door — perfect. It’s important to shut the noise out when I’m in there, and it’s also important to shut the work in when I’m NOT in there.”
While it may seem counterintuitive, having the space in your home for a dedicated home office really does make it easier to set your business hours and stick to them. This is not only important for your own work/life balance, but it can help to teach your kids about the importance of separating work and personal time.
And after all of those reasons, if you need any further proof that having a dedicated workspace when you are working from home is important, know that having a home office also comes with financial benefits. The IRS offers a tax deduction for those who use a portion of their home specifically for business purposes.
Still, if setting aside an entire room just for work isn’t possible for you right now, there are creative ways to multi-purpose a spare room, even if it is intended as a work space. For example, if the room is large enough, and future needs arise, you can add a comfortable couch, sofa bed, or wall bed for overnight guests.
Especially in these times, the size of your home and the number of available rooms has never been more important. Let Elizabeth help you find the home that fits all of your current needs.