The Home Office – The Latest Tick-box on Buyers’ Lists
The home office was once quite literally the office away from the office where mom or dad used to disappear for a few hours over weekends or after supper to catch up on work. But in recent years is making more of an enviable comeback in homes, and definitely a hot-list item on buyer’s lists.
As the volume of daily traffic on our roads become more and more incomprehensible, many people are seeking employment from companies that allow a few days grace per week to work from home. Companies in turn realise the importance of allowing this “perk” to their staff, as they are frequently losing out on staff attendance due to a number of unforeseen circumstances on our roads including taxi & bus strikes and the more prevalent reason – accidents – which cause delays and eat into work hours.
Remote job seekers are on the increase to avoid spending sometimes upward of 3 hours per day in traffic.
Working from home may sound like a super idea and dream come true for most, but you have to be a very disciplined person to pull this off. The space you choose as your office also has to be conducive of you being comfortable to be there for hours on end. A dark room with no fresh air just won’t cut it for most.
As with any office environment there are small things that can help you be successful in your home office endeavour – and if you set it up right – help you resell your home with this latest hot-ticket item.
Setting up a Home Office – What you Should Know
Set Yourself up for Success
- Dedicated Work Surface – A good desk or table to work from and a comfortable chair go a long way to help keep you focussed.
- Good Equipment – If you’re lucky enough to have your own laptop provided by work, you can work with that. Else entry level laptops are relatively inexpensive and are much easier to port around the house (or to coffee shops) than a desktop computer. 🙂 Try to have your laptop or screen eye-level – which will help with neck and eye strain.
- Away from Distractions – It can be easy to fall into the trap of working from your dining room table that faces the TV, and just as easily to switch it on and lose a whole day to Netflix. Being poolside during summer, or close to the kids may also not be ideal.
- Face Away from Window – If your home office has a window, it might be better to face away from it lest you get distracted by what is happening on the other side. This is particularly challenging, as most of us don’t have windows at the actual office, so having one at the home office is a great novelty.
- Add some Plants – Research has shown that productivity increases in the presence of plants. Adding some plants and other visually inspiring or uplifting pieces to your room may help you spend more quality time in your home office. Just don’t go overboard and focus on this aspect too much!
- Get Insured – Most of us have home insurance, but it would be good to check that your insurance covers your equipment. If you’re using the work’s laptop – ask them to check that their insurance covers off-site use as well.
- Internet or Fibre – As ADSL is fading out fast, homes with installed fibre have an advantage over similar homes. Even if you have fibre installed, when you move you only need to cancel your ISP or reassign them to your new address. Unlike in ADSL years where you would need to cancel your Telkom line too! If you are in a zone that is on the outskirts of fibre – having the option of ADSL or another form of internet will help your home sell as well.
- Private, Dedicated Space – One of the hardest things is to keep your personal time and your professional life separate. It is easy to blur this when you have a home office. A space that is separate to the rest of the house, or not with the bedrooms is ideal.
- Neat & Organised – as with the private, dedicated space, a neat and organised space is crucial. Without filing cabinets, cupboards, or drawers to help keep your space clean and tidy, this room may just become a disorganised paper nightmare. And eventually somewhere you don’t wish to be.
- Good Lighting – Natural lighting is always best, but some people work in the evening or early morning hours where good lights become paramount.
- Heating & Cooling – whether this be sufficient plug-points, windows, wall heaters or air-conditioners – heating and cooling options can help keep you comfortable and focussed in your office.
- Close to a Bathroom, or own en-suite – this is just really convenient.
- Kitchenette – or tea/coffee stand – to make your own tea or coffee without getting distracted by the dishes in your main kitchen.
- Own Separate Entrance – Depending on what kind of home office you have, having your own separate entrance and even parking could be great especially if you perhaps see clients and don’t always want to meet at a coffee shop.
If you have the potential of creating a home office space, spend some time making sure it covers some of the buyer wish list areas to ensure that you have a great resale value on your home, and one that stands out from the rest.