Does the idea of working from home appeal to you? If so, you’re not alone. A recent Forbes article (citing a study by Telework Research Network) claims that, “some 30 million of us work from a home office at least once a week. And that number is expected to increase by 63% in the next five years.”
Why is working from home so popular? Here are the top reasons employees list:
- Avoid commute
- Greater flexibility
- Increased productivity
- Saving money
How is that working out for these work-from-home employees? According to the study, 47% of people who have the option to work from home are “very satisfied” with their jobs, compared to 27% of those who have to work from the corporate office.
Of course having an optimal home office makes a big difference. There’s more involved than simply placing a spare desk in an extra bedroom and plugging in a laptop. What are some of the essentials for a real home office that will enable you to be productive?
A dedicated location is essential. It’s one thing to have a space where you can go occasionally to pay bills or sort through mail. But if you’re really going to get work done, you need a space that’s set aside for work. Our Hemingway model (with optional bonus room) has a space that’s ideal for a home office—on the second floor, separated from the living areas to keep distractions to a minimum. The Ashton also offers a bonus room, or a study just off the kitchen, with it’s own bath—again, away from major distractions. The Regency (one of our newest models) also has an optional bonus room on the second floor—above the garage—that provides the kind of isolation you want for undisturbed working conditions.
What are some of the other essentials for a productive home office environment? Here’s a partial list.
- Reliable High-speed Internet with WiFi access: When building your home, make sure you have cable or dish access in your office space. You’ll probably want your modem/router in the room with you so that you’re not struggling to stay online.
- A Window: That may sound counter-intuitive, but the window isn’t there for daydreaming—it’s there for inspiration and to give your eyes a break from staring at a computer screen.
- Comfortable Office Furniture: A lot of old-fashioned desks may look inviting, but they’re really not designed for use with a laptop. The same is true with your office chair. Don’t go cheap. Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time in this position so get something that feels good and supports you.
- Storage Space: That “paper-free society” we were promised never really materialize. Yes, more of what we do is digital, but work still seems to generate paper. Make sure you have a place to store it so that you can access it when you need it.
- Creative Space: Depending on the kind of work you do, you may want to have room for a white board or something like that where you can sketch out ideas and write notes. This may not be a “must” for everyone, but a lot of people like to have and “old-school” space to jot down rough ideas.
What would you consider “essentials” for your perfect office space? Jot us a note in the comments section. We’d love to hear your ideas.