While many homes can provide a place for a small desk for surfing the web or checking email, an actual workspace capable of meeting all the needs of a full-time telecommuter or a small business owner who uses their home as their company’s home base requires more in order to be truly productive.
Consider Space Needs First
A home that will offer the best space for a full-time work environment must have enough square footage to do so without crowding out other home activities, such as a separate room or space that can will only be used for work. Having this type of dedicated space – that will only be used for work and not for visitors – is not only important for productivity, it is also financially feasible because it more closely fits the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines for business tax deductions.
While an extra bedroom, beyond the number needed for the use of visitors and guests, can be an excellent choice for a dedicated work space in the home, home buyers can also consider other already finished or easily finished spaces as good candidates for repurposing. This could include unneeded formal dining rooms, storage rooms, or spaces in attics, basements, or garages. If the home includes an insulated, heated and cooled shed separate from the home, such a work shop or storage building, it may also be a an option for a conversion into dedicated home office space.
Separate Work Life and Home Life
In addition to making sure that the home being purchased has enough square footage for a suitable dedicated office space, it is also wise to choose a home that will allow a healthy separation of work life and home life. A common problem among those who work from home is the inability to separate the demands of their personal life from the demands of work. This can lead to far too many instances where both suffer because there there is no real separation between the two.
By taking this problem into consideration during the home shopping process, home buyers that need a dedicated home office space can narrow their search to only those homes that will encourage a healthy separation. Homes that are configured with the potential office space on a separate floor or at least several feet away from the main living or sleeping areas are good choices.
Special Considerations to Remember
In addition to space and configuration, home buyers who want to ensure they are selecting the best possible home to nurture their career as well as their personal life, will also need to remember these considerations:
- area zoning laws and regulations allow the type of work-at-home activities that they will be performing
- parking or signage needs can be accommodated easily and lawfully
- deliveries that will be needed for work can be made easily without causing issues with traffic or neighboring homes
- internet access, cell service, electrical power, and any other technology or power needs are readily available
Finding the best possible home to be productive and successful when working from home starts by discussing your needs with a qualified, caring real estate professional. Many real estate agents are very familiar with the needs of those who work from home and they can use that knowledge, along with their knowledge of the available homes to help make your home search successful.