Working from home is a rapidly growing trend with many employers mindful of the mutual benefits which can accrue from members of their staff undertaking their duties remotely …. even if it’s for just one day per week. The employee enjoys avoidance of the tedium of their usual commute, can slot in a few home-based tasks, perhaps a chance to take the kids to school, and generally embrace all that goes with a change from their usual routine.
Also, the proliferation of small home-based businesses often necessitates provision for a home office and storage.
So, where to create this newly-required facility? Many modern homes have a study / ‘computer room’ – this has been a desirable and necessary space for some time now and is often used by school-aged family members as a place from which to do their homework.
But, in many older homes it’s unlikely such a purpose-built area exists so it may be that some creative thinking is required in order to create the necessary workspace.
In many instances these home office areas need not be particularly large – as long as there’s room for a desk and chair, perhaps a cupboard or wardrobe to accommodate files, and somewhere to place a printer/scanner – that will generally suffice.
Shift the Laundry to Make Space
Many Kiwi homes from the 1950’s and 60’s had spacious laundries – frequently handily sited adjacent to the kitchen whereas nowadays a laundry tends to be more compact. In homes of that previous era it may well be viable to re-site the plumbing down under the house to create a laundry in a basement area or even through into an adjoining room – frequently the bathroom – and set up a laundry behind sliding or bi-folding doors. The former laundry space will now provide more than adequate space for a small home office as described above. It may also be possible to create a built-in wardrobe in that room to use for file storage now and as a wardrobe if the room were to be later utilised as a bedroom.
Use Part of the Living Room or Garage
Another alternative, if a home has larger-than-usual living spaces would be to partition an area off it which would then be fitted out as a home office. It may be just an alcove with a sliding door to screen things out of sight but even that could offer sufficient space for the purpose.
Similarly, the rear portion of a garage can be closed-in to create somewhere suitable to work from – even if just a 3 metre wide x 1 metre deep ‘slice’ coming in off the back wall.
It’s always advisable to check before you begin but in most cases an electrician will be able to reticulate cabling to these areas to accommodate power and internet services sufficient to provide for home office needs.
In addition to keeping the overheads of a fledging home-based business contained (no rental overhead), provision of a dedicated home office (or extra bedroom) will most certainly add value and saleability to your home!