It may be hard to believe, but in early 2020 only 20 percent of the American workforce worked from home all or most of the time according to a Pew Research Center study. That abruptly changed with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic and by the end of the year, 71 percent of the workforce were working from home all or most of the time. This movement towards a work-from-home environment has had a tremendous impact on our homes, which quickly transitioned from places of routine and relaxation to multifaceted living and learning environments. This had led to many homeowners and homebuyers seeking dedicated home office space(s) in their homes.
In an age of remote work and school, many homeowners are searching for extra space to create a home office or work area. According to a recent article, architects and designers agree that modern-day home offices don’t need to be large, just functional. It is common to place a home office near the main or axillary entrance to the home to allow for easy client interaction. Other important design factors include the ability to close off the office space (for a quiet phone call or Zoom meeting) as well as plenty of windows and/or French doors to supply ample natural light. Built-in cabinetry and work areas are also sought-after features.
Current homeowners may not have the luxury of building a workspace from scratch, but many are converting existing spaces into home offices. Popular spaces to convert to a home office include an easily closed-off existing area (such as an extra bedroom), an underused loft or dining room, or an easily accessible workspace such as a desk tucked away in the kitchen. The key is to create a functional space that suits your household’s lifestyle. Items such as built-in furniture and storage islands are key to staying organized. Carefully consider color for both walls and accessories; strong vibrant colors often help to breathe energy and creativity into a space. As always, lighting plays a very important role. For a smaller space, incorporate mirrors to help add more light. By integrating creative solutions such as these, homeowners can quickly transform suitable space into a home office.
With a majority of employees hoping to continue working from home after the pandemic ends, another popular option for an at-home workspace has emerged—the addition of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). These units are available in a wide range of layouts, are ready to assembly upon delivery, and offer a turnkey solution to the home office conundrum. The creation of a dedicated workspace outside of the home can help to create a division between work hours and leisure time at home. An added bonus; the addition of an ADU removes the need for ongoing construction (and accompanying chaos) within the home.
These are just several ways to optimize the home office space in your existing or future home. With the work-from-home trend predicted to continue well into the future, homeowners who plan to sell in the next several years will see a return on their investment. Specific home features—such as the addition of a home office—will make your home stand out on the market.
Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss home renovations and how it can positively impact resale value. Lastly, if your current home can’t accommodate your needs, I would be happy to help you find your dream home.