In the current age of telecommuting, homes with designated office space have been much more appealing to new home buyers, especially here in the technology-saturated Bay Area. And although working from home isn’t a recent phenomenon, the new normal has us doing it exclusively. We are spending more time at home than ever, and with kids, pets and spouses in the house, designated office space is essential for productivity.
For years I’ve spent roughly the same amount of time working from my home office as in my Downtown Oakland office. It’s convenient, it offers fewer distractions, you eliminate your commute time completely—and save money on gas, parking, etc—and you get to wear yoga pants! However, now that most of us are working exclusively from home, we are finding it necessary to have a designated area in order to be successful at work. Sitting on the couch or at the kitchen counter for 8 hours several days a week isn’t ideal. There are too many temptations; you find yourself turning on the news, rifling through the fridge, or playing with the kids or the family pet.
We have seen some very extraordinary home offices as well as some extremely creative spaces customized for productivity at home. You don’t need a giant corner room with a built-in library (although we can dream right?). Here are some great ideas to help you create the perfect office in your home whether you think you have space or not.
Choose your designated area: Most of my clients have spare bedrooms for guests and family members that are rarely used. Right now no one is having guests so it really is the perfect time to transform that dusty old spare into a sleek office space. Rid the room of the bed. If you must keep a bed try a Futon that folds into a couch. One of my clients even installed a Murphy bed so that the room could equip his guests without taking up space while he was at work. It won’t feel like an office with bedroom furniture in it.
No Spare Room? No problem: I have had so many clients come up with creative ways to transform sheds, workshops, attic, garages, sunrooms and laundry rooms into offices. Some have also created additions to accommodate their telecommuting. I understand that not everyone has the means to add space, but with a little creativity, the attic provides a lovely workspace.
Now think of the details: What do you need to be successful? A desk? Two desks? A designated phone? How many computer screens? White boards and easels? Make sure the space you cultivate has enough room for the essentials. Do you thrive with natural light or is that not important? Is noise an issue? Room temperature? Remember to pay attention to the details!
The future is telecommuting (some companies are working from home through 2021!) and home offices are going to be high on the list of many buyers going into the Summer real estate season. Cultivate a space for yourself now and allow it to be a selling point when you decide to relocate. Need help? Ideas? Tips? Call, email or text me with any time. Although this experience is different for each one of us, we are most definitely in this together! Stay healthy! Anthony