A home office may be one of the lasting legacies of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if we ever return to ‘normal,’ we’ll be better prepared for the next disruption. And that means a home office, especially if you are planning a new home build.
But, having the opportunity to plan your home office from the start means there’s much more to it that just converting the den.
The following are just a few of the things to consider if you are planning to include a home office in your custom home.
Do an Inventory of What You Need
If you can work from just a laptop, you may not need so much from your home office. However, if you need to print, scan, and/or take part in Zoom calls, your home office plan may be different. So, picture your ideal office and take an inventory of everything in it. And we mean everything. If you like to make handwritten notes, then you need the desk space for it. If you print a lot, you need storage space for blank paper. If you like a multi-monitor setup like an air traffic controller, make sure you include lots of power outlets.
Design the Space to Include Everything
Whether you have an interior designer or you do it on your own, layout your space to accommodate everything on your inventory list. Consider ergonomics and your workflow. For example, if you plan for storage space for your printer paper, maybe have it close to the printer, but not necessarily crowding your personal work space.
Location, Location, Location
It’s important in real estate and it’s more important than you think in where you place your office in the home. Here are just a few examples. If you’re a morning person, you might prefer an office space with an east-facing window. If you visit a lot of other worksites, it might be best to put your office on the main floor. And here’s one that might keep the peace in your family. If you’re on the phone a lot, or do anything else that’s noisy, think of your family when choosing your office placement.
Some people like to work like nighthawks even when it’s 11:00 am. Others like their office lit up like a sports stadium. Regardless of what you prefer, we suggest you include many different lighting options. There’s nothing like switching lighting to quickly transform the feel of a room. And you never know when you might want a bit of a change.
The amount of natural light you get in your room is a key consideration. But what you see when you look out the window can be important too. You should take short breaks as you work to stretch and refresh yourself. But you may not be as refreshed looking at your neighbour’s wall versus looking out over your beautifully landscaped yard.
Are you just starting to plan your custom home? Check out our article How Do You Choose a Custom Home Builder?