Home Office Remodel
Home offices are becoming more the norm. According to the 2017 State of Telecommuting Report, the number of people telecommuting in the U.S. increased a whopping 115 percent in the last 10 years. 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. Telecommuting employees are happier. 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.
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 or hear the phone line ring and so will allow for consistent downtime.
Contact Owings Brothers and let them design the home office that is perfect for you and join the growing number of telecommuters that find efficiency and productivity in working from home. Give us a call at 410.781.7022 for help designing and renovating your home office.