When thinking about 2020 and the current pandemic, it can be hard to come up with any positives whatsoever. However, for myself and many others, working from home is an impact that has benefitted our family.
I work in the education sector part time which involves direct teaching, so I am still visiting schools on a weekly basis. But rather than commuting to an office for planning time and meetings, I am able to work from home during these sessions and meetings are conducted remotely.
Similarly, instead of a daily rush hour commute and being out of the house between 7am and 6pm, my husband now works from home full time. This has cut down significantly on our travel costs, time, and means our after school childcare costs have also reduced. We are not alone, as new figures suggest up to 74% of businesses surveyed plan on keeping the increased home working model even after the pandemic.
We are fortunate to have a spare room to use as an office, but with so many people in a similar situation, a spare room or convertible office space is now a highly sought after commodity. A report from This Is Money states that 2 fifths of Britons would now prioritise a home office as an essential feature when househunting, so it is inevitable that this will become a valuable commodity.
If you are thinking of buying a new house to accommodate a home office, MortgageCalculator.UK can break down the costs month by month so you can plan your budget carefully.
However, if moving is currently out of the question, consider adding value to your existing property by creating space for an office. Although some of the following options are costly, they could ultimately add thousands to the value of your home.
Utilise your loft space
A loft conversion is one option to consider for adding additional space. If the cost of a full conversion is simply out of your price range, you could consider simply boarding out the area for storage and freeing up space in an existing room to create a home office. We recently had a new hatch, light and pull down ladders installed and the difference in being able to access storage quickly and easily has made a real impact. Of course, there’s no point in storing junk, so if a declutter is needed, this would be the most cost effective way of creating more space. You could even make money selling your unwanted items.
Add a Conservatory
In comparison to a traditional extension, conservatories are relatively inexpensive and in most cases do not require planning permission. By creating an extra space in your home, this could either be utilised as the home office area, or free up additional space for an office in an existing room by moving furniture, such as the dining area, into your new conservatory.
Install a Garden room
A garden room or summer house may seem like an expensive purchase when there is no particular purpose in mind, but if it is used as a home office, it can be surprisingly cost effective. It is a less expensive option than the other items in our list, and has no impact on the existing layout of your home. Its purpose is easily changed when a home office is no longer required, whilst still retaining the added value a home office adds to your property.
Utilise existing space
If you have a large enough hallway, consider utilising this space into an open plan office. The key factors to consider with an open plan workspace is the through traffic within the house, and the nature of your work. If you spend large parts of your working day making phone or video calls and have young children, this may not be the best solution for you!
Another option could be to partition a large room to accommodate an office space. The individual layout of your property and use of the existing room will obviously be key factors in this decision.
If your property has a garage then this could be an ideal space to convert into a home office. Many homeowners choose to convert an existing garage into extra room space anyway, and a home office is sure to add more value to your home than a garage. Parking and security of vehicles could be a factor in deciding whether this option would work for you, as well as the storage of any other items that were kept in the garage. In most cases, a large garden storage box or shed could be enough to clear the garage and turn it into a valuable workspace.