Need a Functional In-Home Office?
Aaah! Working at home! Fuzzy bunny slippers. Quiet moments of contemplation. Free, unrestricted access to a refrigerator. Add the advantages of low overhead, income tax reductions, and not commuting, and you can understand why so many small business owners choose to operate out of home offices. But the COVID-19 pandemic has millions of Americans setting up workstations at home for the first time. Many workers had to move their offices almost overnight, packing up the contents of their desks, grabbing their laptops, and setting up at the home office the next day. It has been a disruption to how people typically work. Although it may be tempting to set up shop on the couch, experts recommend putting some thought into where and how you work from home.
Now that you have been making do for a while with your make-shift office on the dining room table or in your garage, you may have decided that a real permanent office might be worth the effort to build. Have you decided a functional in-home office is needed? If so, let’s list what changes will need to be made.
LOCATION: Need an office but don't know how to make it fit? Do you have a current room you are just not using except maybe once a year or a junk storage room? Most would take a bedroom and remodel it into an office. Do you need a room where you can work in isolation, away from distractions? Remodelers can think outside the box with taking down walls or putting up walls to build an office area. Storage areas are a great place to find usable space. See the photos below where Creative Spaces Remodeling took a storage area with a door to the outside and remodeled it. They redesigned the room for a 2-person desk area, along with a convenient laundry area (instead of the basement), a mud room for coats and boots, a reading nook and lots of new storage cabinets and closets. Add more windows for natural light along with extra lighting and electrical outlets. The result? A new office!
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL USE THE OFFICE?It helps to decide how many people will use the office and how it will be used. One person for business use only? Husband and wife using the office together? Need to share the area with children who want to use the computer also? Depending on how the office will be used assists the designer in planning the office space.
WHAT TYPE OF WORK AND EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED?What you'll need in your office will depend on the type of work you do. You might require both a small desk for your computer and a larger table or workspace for your artwork if you're a graphic artist. A consultant might require additional space for file cabinets, or an area set aside for meeting with clients. Additional types of work include computer work, accounting, drafting, printing, publishing, talking with clients, video chat with clients? Need a table and chairs for meeting with clients? Depending on the type of work you will be conducting, you will need a desk, large monitors, printers, filing cabinets, and built-in storage areas. Where will you keep your pens, sticky notes, paper, folders, ink, business cards, and other supplies? Consider a bookcase or shelving to store unused items in your home office. A shredder is a must-have for destroying sensitive and confidential business information and documents. Consider getting a recycling bin for other non-sensitive papers. Hang a bulletin and/or dry-erase board for messaging and special documents.
LIGHTING NEEDS: Good lighting can help you see your work and sets the mood and atmosphere of your office. What kind of lighting do you need? General, task, mood, or natural lighting? Make sure that you have access to natural lighting in your office. One of the best ways to do this while also saving space is to put your desk in front of a window. Studies have shown that having exposure to natural light has a wide range of health benefits, including increased productivity. If you do not get enough natural lighting in your office, use floor or desk lamps to supplement your lighting, especially if you need to work late at night or early in the morning when it is quieter.
Does your office need to be soundproofed from the family? Soundproofing can be a very important part of any remodel but especially an office. It’s fairly easy to accomplish as long as you are doing the soundproofing during the construction and not wishing you had it after everything is finished. WHEN: When do you need your new in-home office by? Allow plenty of time for the design and pricing stage. Ideally, a home office should enhance your work, not hinder it, so time spent on home office design is time well spent. The design should be both functional and pleasing. Creative Spaces Remodeling can design now and build later once the COVID-19 crisis is over. Do not let your project have major delays due to the remodeling wave that will hit when CSR is ready to help you get started now with the design and permitting if necessary.
Working from home during this stressful time may not be what you planned to do in your home, but you can make the most of it. You may find yourself living a life that feels like an extended snow day or summer holiday. It takes time to get used to the new normal, so give yourself time to adjust to your new work life. If you decide that you want to make your make-shift office more permanent, Creative Spaces Remodeling is here to help you.
Remember, we’re all in this together.
3179 Braverton St, Suite 101, Edgewater, MD, 21037
Creative Spaces Remodeling (Design.Build.Live)
Today, if you are ready for the next step in your remodel or need more guidance to get you started, Creative Spaces Remodeling is here to help. Life on the Chesapeake Bay is wonderful, but Creative Spaces Remodeling can help make the experience even better. We’re ready to provide you with exceptional service no matter how big or small the job is.