Working from home

Thinking about working from home? Trying to understand where to store all your files or get some quiet time? A few simple modifications to your home could allow you to incorporate a new office or study space so you can spend uninterrupted working time whilst still being in the midst of your home. Why not convert an unused box bedroom, store room or cupboard?

In a recent project we have converted the ‘box room’ into a built in study cum office. The room is small (approx 2.5 metres square) but with careful design planning we introduced built-in shelving for books, files and samples, two large desks with shallow drawers, a mobile sliding unit for an A3 printer, deep wall cupboard storage to conceal items and a magnetic board for attaching important documents and reminders. We also installed a new sash window not only to bring in copious amounts of natural light but to allow us to view over the mature garden. We picked a warm but neutral pink colour to make the space comforting but not overwhelming. With such a small space we got all the storage we needed and plenty of workspace to boot. It is also possible to reconvert the office into a child’s or spare bedroom easily by removing one of the desks only as it makes for a great place for children to do their homework or school projects. The kitchen/dining room become the ‘meeting room’ so you can make coffee, tea or even lunch for your guests, in this project the office and meeting room are positioned directly next to each other , with a mini guest wc inbetween so the private spaces of the home are kept clearly separate from the work area.

A simpler solution for those who do not have much space is to incorporate a small desk within an unused cupboard space - for example under the stairs with doors that fold into the side walls and hide away, they can then be closed to conceal this area from view when guests are residing or when the office is not in use. You can incorporate shelving and space for a chair so it can all be accommodated within the limited space.

One other option could be to build a new garden pavilion to house an office but carrying this out does involve gaining a planning permission and sending out party wall award notices to your neighbours, and so can be a lengthy process. Of course this is more of a dedicated space than those above and if your workload is such that it demands an independant space because of housing employees or products/equipment then it makes sense to invest financially in this. Of course the added benefit is that an extension to your house adds value to your property. A pavilion is an attractive prospect for potential buyers of your home if they too work from home or like to carry out a hobby which requires space such as pottery or painting. Planning Councils will restrict the use the pavilion has and will not allow the space to be a sleeping area nor used for activities which are likely to be used for noisy activities.

The solution depends on whether your work is just starting out or whether you are a little more established and what the work involves. Don’t forget that the work space is a reflection of your business so incorporate elements of your style or personality into the space, it could be as simple as introducing a specific colour or material to connect your working spaces. For example in our own office we simply painted the door and stairs a colour to link to identify with the company’s personality.

We have plenty of useful ideas about this topic and if you are thinking of carrying out some alterations to incorporate an office space in your home , why not give us a call?