How to add a home office to your property

During the coronavirus pandemic, many people have turned to homeworking. When lockdown restrictions are lifted, not everyone will return to the office full time – many will spend at least part of their working week at home. If you work from home either full time or for part of the week, you may be considering adding a home office to your property.

Why construct a home office?

By building a home office, you can create a dedicated space that separates home life from business life to help maintain a work-life balance. A dedicated office minimises interruptions from other household members who know that when you are in the office, you are not to be disturbed.

Where to install your home office

If you have a spare room, this is the cheapest way to add a home office. You can simply decorate it and add office furniture and equipment.

Not every home has the luxury of a spare room, however, so an office space needs to be added. This can be in the form of a home extension if there is enough ground space.

If the loft is not being used, this could also be converted into a home office, and basement space can too be made into a working area.

Alternatively, an office can be built in the garden. Some people have been using a shed for an office during the pandemic, but a more permanent solution is better for long-term homeworking. An architect can design a more substantial outbuilding for use as a home office.

Do you need planning permission?

A home extension may need planning permission, but converting a room to an office won’t, as long as the main function of the home remains as residential use. An outbuilding of 15 square metres or less that has no sleeping accommodation also requires no planning permission.

Experienced architects can advise you on whether planning permission is needed for your home office project.

Home office requirements

The first decision about a home office is the location. Whether it is built inside or outside of the main home, it helps to be located near a bathroom. An outbuilding could include a bathroom area.

Lighting is important – both artificial and natural. An office with large windows or skylights will enjoy lots of natural light.

Are you only working alone in the office, or do you need space for colleagues and visitors? A small meeting area with comfy chairs or sofas could be an option to consider adding.

A home office should be a pleasant place to work in. Add your favourite artwork and carefully designed lighting. If you are spending most of your time at a desk, make sure that you have an ergonomic, comfortable office chair that is suitable for both work and relaxation. If you like to organise visually, add a chalkboard or whiteboard for brainstorming and action lists.

When spending a large amount of time in a home office, it should be both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Consult professional architects for innovative home office ideas.

Posted by Mark
February 26, 2021

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