Home Office Remodel
Home office needs are on the rise. According to the 2019 State of Remote Work, of the 1,202 people that were surveyed, 62% work remotely at any frequency, and 38% work on-site. The 2017 State of Telecommuting Report, reveals that the number of people telecommuting in the U.S. increased a whopping 115 percent 2007-2017. 3.9 million U.S. employees, or 2.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least half of the time, up from 1.8 million in 2005. Telecommuting is also one of the greenest ways to work. It reduces the carbon footprint for each non-commuting worker, and companies also see some serious green—in the form of $11,000 annual savings per telecommuting employee, states the report.
That is a plus for the environment and employer, but what about the employee? Why should they invest in a home office? “The middle-class norm changed from one parent working and one staying at home to two working parents being more common. The growth in single-parent families are also big factors driving telecommuting to save time when and where you can,” said Sutton Fell in the CNN article. According to the State of Remote Work report employees that remote work or have the ability to work remotely are happier, feel more trusted, better able to achieve work-life balance, and more inclined to take a pay cut to benefit from added flexibility. This increases job satisfaction and loyalty, therefore retaining employees and reducing training and employee search costs, per the report.
Setting Up Your Home Office
Your home office should be comfortable, but not so much that you find yourself lazing. There should be a specific area that you can call the office so when entering you are focused on working. The designated space should be well-lit and it is most helpful if there is natural daylight. Natural light has been proven to make you feel happier and motivated to start your day. Task lighting should be placed in the correct areas to prevent eye fatigue and increase productivity and for your creative and meditative time, ambient lighting is helpful, especially when it’s cloudy or dark. A window is favorable, especially if you can see trees and sky. If trees are not readily available add potted plants to give the same feel of nature inside your home office.
Your best option for a home office is to have a door to keep out the noise of a busy household. Establishing physical boundaries helps to maintain mental boundaries so that your personal life and business life don’t meld together. There should be a mental trigger that occurs when you enter the home office space to get down to work. Another good idea is to keep the area free from clutter for clearer thinking. By using file cabinets and shelves to store everyday office supplies you can bring organization to your home office. Creating some type of separation from the everyday home life and the home office will cut down on distractions like the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, or baskets of laundry or toys strewn across the floor.
Perhaps you have the means and space to create a home office in your home. A seldom-used bedroom or a corner of a living room or maybe even a basement area can be conducive for adding your home office. By staying within the footprint of your home a home office remodel can be very affordable. When choosing a space it should include a window for natural light, as previously discussed and not be in the center of the hub-bub of a busy family. Interior walls can help offer noise reduction and a barrier to distraction. Adding a door will also bring about the true feel of an office and designated work area.
Garage Addition Option
Another great way to add a home office is the space above a garage. If you have an area already available above the garage you are halfway there. Or a second story could be added offering space for a home office. The beauty of an office above the garage is the inclusion of an exterior stairway. Allowing you to meet clients without having them tramp through the home. This gives your family the privacy they need but offers you an opportunity to work at home giving them the accessibility to you they need.
This image is of a second story on an existing garage. The office can be accessed from the interior of the home with a staircase from the mudroom. This still keeps visitors from walking through the family space and offers privacy and protection from inclement weather. Creating a home office over a garage is a great way to add extra square footage without disrupting the present home. Since the existing garage foundation is in place, you just need to add the second floor. Once it’s finished, you can utilize it as an office and for resale as a studio apartment or in-law suite.
The separation of office from home life will help both work life and family life. When off the clock and spending time with family and friends you do not have a reminder of the paperwork waiting for you. Also, you won’t hear the phone line ring and so will allow for consistent downtime.
We can design the home office that is perfect for you. Join the growing number of telecommuters that find efficiency and productivity in working from home. Our Interior Design team can help to design and renovate your home office.