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Will You Continue To Work From Home After Lockdown? Could A Permanent Office Be the Solution?

Once the lockdown restrictions have been completely relaxed and we are allowed to return to our places of work, there will be mixed feelings amongst us. Some may feel ecstatically happy to leave home and return to working in an office environment, whereas for others, working from home has been an enjoyable experience and one that they are reluctant to give up. If you are in the latter group, you may have enjoyed the many positives that staying at home brings including gaining 2-4 hours a day, as travel to and from work has not been necessary. You may also have had financial savings such as no train or bus fares, no petrol costs and no expensive lunches, and of course less stress and anxiety, which all seems to go hand in hand with the daily commute and frantic office environment. Perhaps, you have got used to exercising on a daily basis when it suits you and although you are not sure how you have done it, somehow you have managed the children and worked all day! 

What are your options if you continue to work from home?

So moving forward, when all of us are allowed to go back to work, given a choice would you now consider creating a permanent home office? You have 3 main options, which are turning a room in your home into an office, building or converting a structure in your garden or extending your home.

Adding a space in your garden

On a personal note, I know that I need to avoid the household distractions and focus exclusively on what I am doing and so my choice would be to choose to be outside of the house. If you feel like I do, you have the option of converting an existing out building, which could be the garage, old barn or shed. If you choose this option, at the end of the day, you can simply close the door on your work and walk across the garden and you are home.

Convert a garden structure

There are lots of options if you choose this route.  Why not consider some cladding for a garage or an old outbuilding? If the thought of this is ringing alarm bells, and you are remembering the garish buildings of the eighties, things have really moved on and there are now many materials to consider, which will make an old shed look attractive and may be a more cost effective option than knocking it down and building a new structure.

Add a contemporary building or extend

There are also contemporary buildings in kit form or more costly bespoke options that can really add some style to your garden. You could also think about a traditional wooden summerhouse which could have a dual purpose of being an office and storage area and this perhaps would suit your outside space better. The more complicated and longer alternative in terms of time span would be to extend your home to include a home office. And don’t forget, adding or converting a structure in your outside space or extending your home will add value to your property.

Adapting an existing room in your home

Alternatively you may have a spare bedroom or even a loft to convert that would make an ideal working place. Loft spaces are particularly good for working as you feel quite detached from the hub of the house and you can also feel the same detachment if you convert an attached garage.

 Top tips for designing a small office space:

  1. Keep the space light and airy. White or light walls with tones of colour will radiate a feeling of calm.
  2. Position your desk with a view if at all possible. Taking breaks and looking to the outside is good for your wellbeing.
  3. Use your space wisely and make use of the height available in the room for storage, such as shelves. You may have files, books and other items that you do not need to access on a regular basis.
  4. Choose calm artwork for your walls or wallpaper that will inspire.
  5. You may have got used to video communications calls, so make sure you have a tidy backdrop or buy a bespoke green screen if required.
  6. Add plants to your space. Green plants are good for your soul, but a word of caution, choose easy to care for plants or faux plants that can give a feeling of calm and tranquillity.
  7. Plan your space. If you have clients that will visit you, make sure you allocate a comfortable space to sit and talk to them.
  8. Keep it simple and only buy furniture you need and which is useful.
  9. Buy a good ergonomic chair. You will find that this is money well spent for a comfortable working day at your computer.
  10. Tidy and clear your new office space on a regular basis. Don’t be tempted to start to use the floor as a storage area and pile stuff up on it – this is not good for your working mindset. 

If working from home is available to you, you should look to create a space that you look forward to going to work in. Whatever your budget, create a stylish airy space where everything you need is at hand.

How Style My Home can help you to create an awesome office space

Style My Home has Caroline as the lead designer who has oodles of experience at turning spaces into working areas. If you are thinking of a cabin or summerhouse or more permanent structure in your garden, Caroline will work to your budget to make sure you get the space that will work for you. Style My Home is skilled in creating design boards so that your office space becomes the room you have envisioned. Call Caroline on 01892 510070 or email [email protected]  

My Notes:

Small space idea from Ikea

Fitted worktop with shelves – could be an alcove on the landing, hallway and bedroom.

Create lots of storage using the height of your room, use white and clean coloured files to create light and space.