Home offices are growing in popularity because more people are working at home. We're more aware of using electronics more for entertainment but increased Internet access also means more people can work at home. And it's happening with predictions that by 2016, “telecommuting will rise to include 43% of US workers … or 63 million!”.
There are more entrepreneurs and 69%s of them start their businesses at home, and most (59%) continue running their businesses from home three years later. That means it's worth the time to set up home offices that fit your work style and help you keep work separate from family activities that might impact you while working. This is particularly challenging for mothers with young children, who are running businesses at home.
Home Offices – What's the Best Location?
The first and often the biggest challenge is where to set up a home office. It's easy if you've got an extra bedroom but that isn't always possible. Walk through your home and identify areas that get very little use. Most homes have dining rooms which only get used a few times each year but we're all afraid to repurpose the space because it might make it difficult to sell the house?
You also need to give serious thought to who might visit your home office, e.g. clients or prospective customers might mean you need your office to be near the front door. Alternatively in my home, the handyman office in the basement with an outside door worked well. The other major consideration is storage. If you've got lots of inventory you may need to be close to the basement, garage or wherever you'll be storing things.
Here are some of the creative ideas I found online for home offices:
- Create a corner office in a room you don't use much, e.g. if you each most meals in the kitchen, use the dining room.
- Consider rearranging a bedroom to create a corner office, and use a room divider to separate the space.
- Look at your larger rooms and see if there's a wall with room for a desk, file cabinets and bookshelves.
- Use a closet for your office, which makes it easy to leave work by closing the door.
- Use space under stairs, even if that means opening up and finishing the space that otherwise isn't being used.
- Maybe your mudroom isn't getting much use and with a door, it would give you the privacy you need.