Thursday, December 5, 2019 / by Daniel Collins
By Tina Martin
Today, working from home is no longer just a viable option for the general workforce; it’s fast becoming a real preference. This is not at all surprising considering the numerous benefits of telecommuting. Increased output among remote employees has been observed in the absence of office politics, while the opportunity to work at one’s own schedule and pace has been known to increase independence and initiative.
But despite its virtues, working from home also comes with its own pitfalls. Not the least of which is the propensity to lose focus, owing to distractions and less-than-ideal working conditions. With this in mind, it then becomes necessary to have a dedicated home office where you can function and thrive as a remote worker, in your garage, for instance. Here are the ways you can make this happen.
With the right amount of TLC, your garage can be easily converted into a functional room. So if you need a home office but space is tight, an exodus to this part of the house might be in order.
Not all homes have a garage, though, so as an alternative, you can utilize your available space to build a small structure that you can then use as an office. The great thing about this is you have the option to choose either wood or steel structures, so you have some flexibility. Generally, metal structures take less time and cost to build as panels and sections are often pre-fabricated. However, this makes for less adaptability and potentially lower quality compared to wood structures.
Start with the basics.
Once you have the space, you can now move forward to ensure that it’s usable for the purpose of a home office. Safety should be your main concern, of course. Because of its original function as car storage, your garage will likely have poor insulation, inadequate lighting, and simple concrete flooring. You will then need to make adequate changes in order to turn it into a living space, such as installing new flooring and rewiring to accommodate additional lighting and power sockets, as well as maybe adding windows for ventilation or an additional level of drywall for insulation.
Work on the aesthetics.
With the fundamentals out of the way, the fun part begins! Know that much of your productivity and efficacy when working from home will rely on your environment. It goes without saying that your ideal home office should be conducive to work, as well as have all the equipment and provisions you need to operate, such as phone and internet connectivity. It also needs to be comfortable and reflect your personal style. And if you will be entertaining clients on location, make sure to take this into account, too.
As a rule, avoid design trends as these can be fleeting. Instead, choose an aesthetic that’s timeless and enduring. Ditto with furniture—while custom furniture works best, you will want something ergonomic, at the very least, so you stay comfortable when working long hours.
Indeed, when it comes to designing a home office, the focus should be on enhancing productivity first and aesthetics second. Having a clear picture of your work habits and lifestyle, as well as your design preferences, will make it easier for all the elements to come together.
Establish what you need.
Again, your home office needs to be sufficiently equipped for the work that you do. At the very least, you will need access to the internet. Unfortunately, most garages aren’t provisioned for internet connectivity, and getting a pro to come in and do it is an added expense. As a workaround, why not use cellular data with an internet-capable device like a global modem or jetpack? This a particularly cost-effective option when you have an unlimited mobile phone plan, and you can even declare it as a business deductible. Of course, this depends on your carrier, so make sure to find out about any limitations.
Working from home is the future, and having your own home office ensures that you don’t get left behind. So make better use of your garage now, not just as your personal idea tank, but also your very own sanctuary.
Image Credit: Photo via Unsplash.com