In the summer we wrote about how home mover’s priorities have shifted with 1 in 5 people now seeing a home office as a priority. As our circumstances remain uncertain, it looks like this focus on creating a home workspace is here to stay. The popularity of having a home office is not just because of the virus, many employers and employees have seen first-hand the benefits of working from home: less time and cost spent commuting, working from home gives greater flexibility which can lead to an increase in productivity. But what if you have no desire to move home but still need to create that quiet space? In this article we give some tips and ideas on how to create a permanent home workspace.
On average we spend 1/3 of our day working, so it is important that the space we have is comfortable, is at an ambient temperature and it is free from distractions. Bear this in mind when choosing where to site your new home office.
Knowing what you Need
The first thing you need to consider is how much space you are going to need. List or map out everything you need in your workspace. Will it be just a desk, chair and an electrical socket you need? Or do you need space for a printer, bookcase, cupboard etc?
Thinking ahead, will this space be useful for other family members, like children doing homework? Will your partner also be working from home? Will you be inviting visitors into your home office?
Your final consideration in this planning stage should be utilities. Will the WiFi connectivity reach your chosen location? Is there power and heating or will you need to install new?
Once you have a good idea of how much room you need, the next step is finding or creating a location for it all to go.
Change of Use
Probably the easiest and least disruptive option is to change the use of an existing room. How often do you use the dining room, spare room or guest bedroom? Would these rooms suit as a workspace?
Thinking outside the box
If you don’t have an unused room, it might be a little more challenging finding a spot out of everyone’s way to plot up and be productive. Quite often there are nooks and crannies of spare space in our homes especially in older properties. How about creating an under the stairs study? Like these great solutions from NevilleJohnson.co.uk. You can create a study almost anywhere. How about the utility room, pantry, landing or hallway?
Partitioning off a portion of a larger room could give you the space you need to work. If you have a large living room, for example, you could partition off a section to serve as your new work area. Your partitioning can be achieved simply by placing a decorative screen to separate your work area from the rest of the room. For a more permanent solution, you can have a stud wall built and a doorway added to give you complete privacy.
Extending or Converting
If partitioning does not work for you then you may want to think about extending your property or converting your garage or attic space. These are costly exercises and are not really feasible for those working from home on a temporary basis, however if you have embraced working from home and this will be your main place of work then going to the effort of adding an extension or converting the attic or garage would make an ideal permanent workspace.