Although it may seem like the Internet and email have always been an integral part of our daily lives, those modes of modern communication have only been around for the past two decades or so.
With technology like video teleconferencing, online document sharing, and other collaborative tools becoming commonplace in the business arena, more and more companies are allowing (and even encouraging) their employees to work from home — at least a couple days a week. For better or worse, many employees, managers, and executives are putting in lots of overtime from their home offices.
Whether you’re telecommuting for a job or running your own home-based business, having a dedicated work space can make all the difference in your ability to stay focused and productive. Not only can you control distractions by closing the door, but having a separate work space at home makes it easier to stay organized and maintain a professional image. Depending on the layout of your house, the cooperation of your family, and neighborhood zoning regulations, it may even be possible to meet with clients at your home office.
While some people don’t have a problem setting up their laptop and working at the kitchen table, in their bedroom, or the living room, problems can arise when your spouse or other members of the family want to use your temporary work space for something else!
Other potential complications are possible, too: When people in your household have easy access to your computer, work files, and research materials, there’s also the possibility of accidentally losing unsaved documents, unfinished emails being prematurely sent or closed, and having to deal with spills, sticky surfaces, misplaced work materials, and other miscellaneous mishaps! On the other hand, setting aside a dedicated work space at home for tackling office projects, preparing reports, or creating client proposals can help you avoid losing valuable work, missing deadlines, and looking unprofessional.
Home Offices Are a Selling Point
In addition to making your own life more organized and less chaotic, there’s also the advantage of increasing your home’s marketability. If you happen to be considering putting your house on the market now or in the near future, having a dedicated office space will help make your home look more appealing to potential buyers.
Today, more than ever, the idea of having a home office is on many people’s minds and priority lists — or at least, their “wish list”. When prospective buyers can envision ways in which your home can meet their lifestyle goals, business objectives, and career requirements, they’ll be a lot more likely to seriously consider making an offer on your house.
As more and more people pursue work-at-home options, freelancing opportunities, advanced degrees, and home-based businesses, a dedicated office space will continue to be a highly desirable feature for both current and future home owners.