More and more of us are converting attics, basements or garages into home offices. As a removals company ourselves you can imagine we’ve seen a lot of different home working environments, particularly in London. We’ve seen the best and we’ve seen the worst; including a summer house office complete with it’s own bath (we believe this is to help with work stress!) and more than plenty of cupboards under stairs crammed with a narrow table and desktop computer (inspiration from Harry Potter perhaps?).
According to the Office of National Statistics it’s estimated that half of the workforce in the UK could be working remotely from 2020. Whether it’s simple study area for reading a book or fully functional office to work as a freelancer from home, more of us need the right space to work at home. But not all properties make for good home offices, so here are a few things you should look out for when searching for your new place.
Having a dedicated area is important
It’s important that a home office has its own dedicated area, so work doesn’t creep into every aspect of your life. You need to be able to close the door on your office, or at least put it all away when you’re not actually working. If you’re viewing potential properties, see if you can identify suitable home office spaces. Garage conversions, loft conversions and garden rooms can all make great office spaces.
Some properties may not have room internally for a home office, but is there space outside to construct an office building? Garden offices are certainly becoming more popular but are And while you are waiting for the external cabin to be built, you could rent an office space, or, for the short-term work in your house.
How much space do you need?
Firstly, you should consider how much space you might actually need. Do you work on your own, and just need room for a desk, printer and a lockable filing cabinet? Or are you going to be working as a team or hosting client meetings and need a little more space for a few chairs, larger table and more fireproof cabinets? If you’re going to be having client meetings, then also think about the route to the office space, being aware of things such as a narrow flight of stairs.
A suitable position for a home office is one that can be in a quiet area, preferably with a door so that you can shut out the sounds of the house when you are on phone calls or with clients, and also so that you can close the office when you have finished working. Also, for data protection it is useful if you can lock your office to avoid any potential data breaches.
When choosing a home office you are going to need to ensure there is plenty of natural light in the room, but that you will be able to place your computer screen in a position that can avoid glare.
Consider too, the number and position of power points in the room. It is surprising just quite how many you may need for computer, monitor, printer, lighting, phone chargers, additional laptops, phones, stereo etc. You may need to contract an electrician to enhance the existing power supply.
Another major consideration is how you will access the internet. Will you have an engineer come and install a direct connection to the broadband, or will you connect by Wi-Fi? If you are connecting by Wi-Fi you need to ensure your office will be near enough the main Wi-Fi hub to maintain a great connection.
In a home office the temperature is also crucial. Does your potential home office have heating? It is miserable working in a cold office, where your fingers are too stiff to type! But in the height of summer is there enough ventilation or air conditioning to keep your office at a reasonable temperature.
Once your home office is set up, check your home insurance policy to see if you need to make any changes to cover all your business equipment. Then you get ready to benefit from all the great advantages of working from home including flexible working hours and saving time and money by not commuting.
To start getting inspired by how you can decorate and transform a space in your home into an office area check out this collection of home office inspiration images.