The coronavirus pandemic has completely overhauled how many people live and work, with a large number of the UK population having to adapt to working from their homes on an indefinite full-time basis. As a result, people looking to buy houses or flats now are increasingly looking for properties that have space that can easily be turned into a home office.
That’s the reason why a home office can currently add potentially significant value to your home, as it provides a space that many potential homeowners are seeking. And it’s the type of addition that you can make to your home that will continue to add to its overall value for many years to come, regardless of any current or future unique situations such as the pandemic.
How the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work
In an effort to reduce potential exposures to the coronavirus, many companies at the start of the pandemic required employees to work from their homes if they could, click here for an interesting article from The Argus. This has required people to look at some creative ways to find a dedicated spot in their home for their office where they can do their work.
But living and working in the same place for almost all of the day, every day, can quickly become stressful, particularly in smaller properties. That’s why it’s important that your home office should be as spacious as possible and somewhere that you use solely for work, separate from other parts of your home that you use for eating, leisure, and sleeping.
The many people who have adapted and created home offices have quickly realised the convenience and other benefits of such a space, and it’s believed that a large number of employees will continue to work remotely for many years to come. That’s why a home office is an attribute of your home that will help its value not just currently but also in the future.
Do you need to build an extension to your home to create an office?
No. One of the great facts about a home office is that you don’t need to invest huge amounts of money to build one, and you definitely don’t need to build an extension or make any other major renovations to your property before you can create a suitable home office.
Consider how you can take advantage of existing space in your house or flat in order to create a home office. If you have a spare bedroom or another room that you don’t currently use very often, or at all, this could easily be turned into a home office. You’ll need some basic furniture such as a desk and chair, but there are many low-cost options available for this.
Having a dedicated room for your home office will help with establishing some boundaries between your work life and your personal life, particularly during the pandemic.
If you don’t have a lot of free, or potentially free, square footage in your home, you can still make your own home office with some creative approaches to that goal. Consider assigning part of your dining room or living room as the location for a desk, chair, your work computer, and other associated items that you’ll be using for your daily work in the home office. It can be harder to make a clear division between your private life and work life, but still possible.
And you could also think creatively about the use of exterior buildings. If your property includes any exterior buildings – such as a garage or a garden shed – these can similarly be adapted into a home office at minimal cost, particularly if you already own the necessary office furniture. But a key consideration with using an outside building for your home office is the need to ensure it has some heat, even if it’s an electric heater that you plug in whilst in the office.
Renovations or extensions are an option for making a home office – at a cost
Of course, if you do decide to build an extension to your house or flat then this could help to increase the overall value of the property significantly more than adapting an existing space to become a home office. The home buying experts at LDN Properties note that prospective buyers considering making an offer on your property will consider any renovations you’ve made, and how those affect the overall value of the house.
But building an extension or renovating your home to create a new separate room for your home office can be very expensive. Before deciding to proceed with such an option, you should calculate as precisely as possible how much it will cost you to build the extension or renovation, as well as the additional costs of home office furniture and any other expenses.
Assess whether the potential added value to your property’s overall value exceeds the initial upfront cost of building a home office. If it does not, you are likely to lose money in the long run and should opt against such a move. But if such a development could help to increase your home’s future value and sale price then you should give serious consideration to making the change, because the future profit will outweigh the immediate cost of building a home office.
You should ask your employer whether they are able and willing to help provide some financial assistance toward paying for the cost of a home office. Even if they will only cover the cost of buying a desk and chair for your house or flat, that’s one less expense for you to pay. Many companies are adapting as needed during the pandemic and are willing to offer their employees cash toward helping them establish an office at their house or flat where they can be productive.
Top tips to consider when creating your home office
If space is limited at your home, you could consider making your home office a temporary space that you clear away at the end of every workday. For example, you might have a large kitchen table at which you could set up your computer and other items every day for work, and then remove all the items when you’re done with work for the day. This has the dual benefits of giving you a home office but also helping you to keep your personal and work lives somewhat distinct.
Regardless of the location and size of your home office, you should also follow some common tips that will help to make it a productive space that also prevents against any injuries.
If you have to use a computer for work, try to make sure that the device is at, or close to, eye level. This will help to prevent slouching that could otherwise create back pain and other problems in the future. You should also aim to remind yourself to keep sitting upright and take regular breaks to stand up, which will help with circulation and to guard against any injuries.
It’s also important that you home office has very good lighting regardless of which room in which you establish it. Dark rooms with minimal lighting can cause eye strain, so be sure to create your home office somewhere in your home that either has natural light or where you can plug in artificial lights that will help to illuminate the room well to protect you against eye strain.
And you should also have some fun with decorating your home office, using plants, artwork, and other accessories to help create a warm, inviting, and productive atmosphere.
Making space for a home office can help to boost your property’s value
When you’re ready to sell your house or flat, you could give serious consideration to creating a home office. It may help to increase the overall value of your property, which in turn means you can likely set a higher sale price and boost your profit when selling your home.
Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s expected that the recent huge growth in demand for home offices is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. With just a little bit of advance planning, you can adapt your home to create an office and take advantage of this demand.
When people are looking to buy flats or houses, they might have a home office at the top of the list of their must-haves. By ensuring that your property includes such a dedicated space you are one step closer to achieving your ultimate goal of selling your home at a decent profit.