Home Offices have become a necessity or an expectation due to the current situation of quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shelter-in-place order to keep everyone safe. There is an increasing requirement to be able to work remotely to run businesses, companies, and the overall economy. Working from home is the key solution to the pandemic and will become a new normal in the future. This pandemic can lead employers to rethink their future work settings and will be encouraging their employees to work from home.

Now the question. Why is there a requirement to create a separate space for a Home Office?

  • A separate space can be necessary to separate the work-life from personal life such that it doesn’t seem like you are working 24x7. 

  • The Home Office can be modeled to your professional requirements to help you be more comfortable and effective at your work. A properly designed office lets you store your files and notes from your work carefully and safely so that you can reference them whenever needed.

  • Working without a proper professional set up could be challenging. Distractions from your roommates, kids, or any other things which are happening in your home can let you lose focus from work. This also helps the people you live with understand that you should not be disturbed when you are in your office (Home Office). 

  • Privacy is an important aspect while working, as you may need to take calls, be on video calls or teleconferences where you cannot be disturbed or be distracted.

  • If you have any clients who will be visiting your office, then a separate private space in your home is an essential requirement as it lets you be more professional.

What are the benefits of working from home?

There are numerous personal and professional benefits to you and your organization when employees work from home. Here are some of them:

  • Employees working remotely take breaks for 22 minutes a day, in comparison to employees working in the office take breaks for 18 minutes a day. Additionally, remote employees are also more productive as they work an average of 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 greater days every 12 months. 

  • People working in the offices were reported being idle for approximately 37 minutes an afternoon, apart from lunch and other breaks, whilst people working remotely proved to be more efficient, only 27 minutes of unproductive time. 

  • When it comes to staying on track of the daily tasks, only 8 percent of remote employees and 6 percent of office employees found it difficult to do so. However, when it comes to their display time or mouse moves being tracked, office workers were 17% more likely than remote employees to avoid working. 

  • Saving money on fuel. How much can you save? Let’s say that your office is a 20 mile round trip from your home and you go there for 5 days a week so in a year there are 252 working days with a car which has 30 mpg of fuel economy. Your fuel cost is going to be $590.016 for the whole year (average fuel price in California for the past 10 years is $3.512) 

  • Apart from the benefits mentioned above, there are more personal benefits like

    • Avoiding traffic saving time on commuting to and fro from work
    • Working in the comfortable environment of your home
    • To be able to have private conversations in your home office set up, and being able to help their family right away when needed.

How to convert your space into a Home Office?

  • Firstly, you need to decide how big a space is required to help you do your work and be comfortable in that space. You need to judge the number of equipment needed like your laptop or PC, phone, chargers, charging station, printers (if any), separate drawing boards, files, filing cabinets, and storage cabinets to name a few. 

  • Next is the layout and organization of all these equipment. Charting the layout lets you decide how big a space is required for your office.

  • Lighting is an essential requirement in your office space which is generally overlooked. If you have a window in the home office, then it is the ideal situation as natural light is beneficial for our health. Otherwise, one can always use a range of artificial lights to light up the entire room properly.

  • Also, one needs to take into consideration that if you have a client-facing business then you would need a client seating, client waiting area as well. 

  • Then zero-in on space in your home as per your needs. Also, note that if you don’t have space needed you can convert your existing Garage, ADU, existing space in the attic or basement, walk-in closet, or converting an existing extra bedroom into an office space.

  • If there is no possibility of doing any conversion, you can look at possible remodels in your home like remodeling your living room or your bedroom to add an office space

  • Lastly, you can think of building a home office in your backyard like building a detached ADU. Here you can model this small building as per your office needs.

How can Design Everest help you with your home office?

  • Design Everest has primarily been operating under the remote work environment. We can share our experience on how we set up our personal workspace in our homes and how did we go about it.

  • We have worked on numerous remodeling projects all across California. If you want to remodel your home or convert an existing space to create an office space, we can help you with the Architectural Plans, Structural Engineering and Calculations, and Title 24 (if required, depends upon your project).

  • If you decide to build a separate detached unit like an ADU we can help you with that as well. Have a look at our ADU projects. We can help you with the Architectural Plans, Structural Engineering and Calculations, Civil Engineering (if required), and Title 24 (if required, depends upon your project).

Do you want some inspiration or some design ideas to help you with your Home Office project? Here are a few examples of Home Office projects we have worked on. For more information visit our Home Office page.

As you can see below on Home Office designs

  • The free space to move around. Uncluttered environment

  • Proper lighting artificial and natural

  • Dedicated storage space for files, folders, and equipment

  • Comfortable seating place for you to function smoothly during work hours

Location - San Jose, CA

Highlights: Click here to view more images of the project

  • Remodel of the existing first and second floor of the house

  • Adding an office space on the second floor

  • Complete structural engineering for the remodel

Location - San Jose, CA

Highlights: Click here to view more images of the project

  • A detached ADU with one bed and one bath and 700 sq.ft. of living space

  • A home office in ADU with 84 sq.ft of space with a storage cabinet

  • Complete Architectural permit set and structural engineering of the ADU

Location - Aptos, CA

Highlights: Click here to view more images of the project

  • New 4,174 sq. ft. home including a 500 sq.ft. garage and 800 sq.ft. of covered Lanais with 3 beds & 3 baths 

  • A study room just by the entry foyer with 155 sq.ft. of space with storage cabinet

  • Delivered the Architectural Permit Set, Structural Engineering, and Title 24

Location - San Francisco, CA

Highlights: Click here to view more images of the project

  • Remodel and seismic retrofit of an existing two-unit multi-family building

  • Home Office in 2nd floor with a 106 sq.ft. of space

  • Complete Design and Structural Engineering of the complete project

Location - Oakland, CA

Highlights: Click here to view more images of the project

  • Remodel and addition of an existing duplex 

  • Remodeling the existing dining space to make space for Home Office 

  • Complete Design and Structural Engineering of the complete project

Sources/References:
  • https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/new-study-reveals-why-working-from-home-makes-workers-more-productive.html
  • https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/202566
  • https://www.thebalancesmb.com/setting-up-home-office-845850
  • https://workinmypajamas.com/the-importance-of-having-a-dedicated-home-office-if-you-work-from-home/

*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with members of Design Everest.

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