Goodbye, Cubicle. Hello, Home Office

Guest post provided by Tina Martin of Ideaspired.

If you are tired of working in a cramped up office with dozens of other people (and their noise), then turning to a remote work situation might suit you. However, you can’t just stick a desk in an empty room and call it a day. There are some things to think about before you design your home office or buy a new house with room for your professional needs. Say sayonara to the commute with these handy home office tips.

Off on the Right Foot

Before you start designing your office, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Depending on where you live and what you do, you might be required to have an occupancy permit. Virtual Vocations asserts that although many telecommute jobs are considered no-impact, meaning they don’t bring increased traffic into a residential neighborhood, it’s still a good idea to check with local authorities.

If you plan to move into a new home with the intention of working on-site, you’ll need to pay close attention to the property you buy. First, make sure to partner with a real estate agent who can help you determine if you need a permit or not. Next, use common sense during your home search. According to Redfin, your first step is to see how much you can realistically afford. Buying a home so that you have a dedicated office space means more square footage, which translates into a bigger mortgage. Start your house-hunt online to get an idea of what homes are selling for in your area. Since you will not be bound to an office, you may be able to get more house for your money by sticking to the outskirts of town.

The Office Layout

While there are a few things that are obvious when it comes to designing an office, it’s difficult to consider everything all at once. You know that you need a desk, internet access, and a dedicated workspace. You are also well aware of what office equipment — printer, copier, etc. — that you use in the course of your day-to-day business. What you might not have thought about is how your home and family can affect your ability to work and how you working from home might impact your family’s routine.

You should know that the people in your home and neighborhood won’t stop living their lives because you need to work. For this reason, you should take appropriate measures to keep your office space separate. It’s also a good idea to add acoustic panels or soundproof foam to the walls if you are easily distracted by things like barking dogs and blaring televisions. If you are buying a new home to add an office, look for a property with a room off the main hallway and away from the kitchen and living room. This will make it easier for you to separate your work and personal lives and, in turn, will minimize frustration for everyone since you won’t constantly be asking those in your household to keep it down.

Is Bigger Better?

By this point in your career, you should have a pretty good idea of how much room you need to conduct business. If you make crafts, you’ll need a large space to do your hands-on work and take care of things like invoicing and online sales. If your job only requires a computer and monitor, then you can get away with a small office. The IRS allows for a simplified deduction of up to 300 square feet, so keep this in mind if you plan to write-off your home office space.

Having a home office is an ideal solution for many workers. But it is not without its challenges. Remember, if you’re buying a new home, you might have to spend more to get the perfect space. And no matter where your home office is located, make a point to keep it separate from your home life. Once you have achieved this balance, you’ll truly have the best of both worlds.

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