More and more people are working from home, especially since the advent of COVID-19. The problem for many is having been thrust into a work-from-home situation suddenly without the proper setup.
Having a less-than-ideal workspace at home is actually a challenge for your short-term sanity and your long-term health. Dining room chairs and couches aren’t the most ergonomically sound work situations – sure, great in a pinch for calls here and there, but that wooden chair wasn’t meant for you to remain seated for 8 hours each day.
With work situations changing for many, we’re also seeing a shift in where people choose to live. Perhaps that larger house in the suburbs is more appealing now that you’re valuing a short walk or T ride into your downtown office a lot less.
If you’re buying a new home, you now have a chance to set up your new home office exactly the way you want and need it to be, but there still are a lot of possibilities and a lot to consider.
To help you out, then, we offer these 5 tips for creating the ultimate home office in your new Boston home.
1. Choose the Right Room or Space for Your Home Office
Maybe the most important part of creating the ultimate home office in your new Boston home has to do with choosing the right room. The three most important factors to consider in choosing the right room for your home office are noise, traffic (both from inside and outside your home), and quality of your internet connection.
You probably wouldn’t want your home office in a room close to the street where you’ll be bombarded with noise from traffic throughout the day. Similarly, if you have children learning remotely, you probably don’t want your office near the kitchen where inside-the-house traffic will be high. If you’re still at the house-hunting stage, talk to your [market-city] agent at NextHome Titletown Real Estate about this. We can help you find houses with a room suitably locate for a home office.
Wifi quality is also a consideration if you have dead spots within your home based on the location of your router or the materials used to build your dwelling. Consider a whole-home mesh wireless system that will blanket a wider area within your home with solid wifi.
2. Include a Comfort Zone
Keeping your nose to the grindstone nonstop can decrease productivity and creativity. That’s why your home office should include a “comfort zone” as well.
Here’s why including a home office comfort zone in your new Boston home is important – your desk is for active work, but you probably need a place to think, read, or from which you can take audio calls that don’t require being on camera (remember life before Zoom?? Yeah, it’s hard for us to imagine that as well!)
A great home office has a nice comfy chair or loveseat for curling up – potentially with an ottoman for your feet – plus a table for your coffee and a great lamp. Add a luxurious throw and a colorful pillow and you’ll want to take thinking breaks. A comfort zone is the overlooked perk of the home office. If you have the room for it, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
3. Consider Storage
Who doesn’t need more storage? We have yet to encounter a buyer – pre- or post-pandemic – who asked for less storage space or de-prioritized the need for storage. You certainly don’t want papers scattered all over your home office, which usually happens when people don’t strategically plan for storage, and filing cabinets aren’t very attractive. So what’s the solution?
Experts on setting up a home office suggest that if you’re the sort who needs to see something to remember it, try wall storage. Open bookshelves, magazine racks, or children’s library-style display shelves could add style and function to your workspace. If you need bookcases, get nice ones – big enough that you don’t need to overstuff, and artful enough that they’ll look great as the backdrop in your video conferences (there is actually a popular Twitter account that judges the “Zoom Rooms” we have grown accustomed to seeing on network television these days!)
And if you’re using the guest bedroom? It probably has a closet. Upgrade that closet with organizers and a shelving system, so you minimize the need for storage in the main office area. You can go the DIY-route at Home Depot or Lowe’s, or invest the money in a built-in system from California Closets or Closets By Design, both of which will cost thousands more but will look fantastic and supply you with a recoupable assets whenever you choose to sell your home.
4. Get the Right Equipment (But Not Too Much)
Every home office will need a certain minimum of office equipment. The right equipment will maximize your efficiency, but you also don’t want your work area crowded with gadgets – like a big, bulky color copier – that you’ll seldom if ever use.
Basic home office equipment could typically include:
- Desk and chair
- Secondary monitor
- Dedicated phone line (with messaging and conferencing capabilities)
- Comfort zone (as indicated above)
- Small items like paper, pens, paper clips, and so on
Insurance for your office equipment is also a good idea. You can get special coverage for home workers from most insurers. The peace of mind will be worth the extra cost.
Keep in mind that many of these expenses might be new tax deductions for you. Speak with your accountant or tax attorney – and keep good records!
5. Let There Be Light
You have to have good lighting, too.
It will elevate your mood and enhance your productivity.
Good lighting is essential. Natural lighting in your Boston home office is even better. Ideally, you want as much natural daylight as possible. If your space has a window, it will enhance the lighting. Daylight is the most evenly balanced source of white light available. It is always beneficial to have as much natural light as possible in the working area.
If natural light isn’t an option, you might consider daylight-replicating light sources that will provide energy-efficient, full-spectrum lighting. Task-specific lighting will also be important. Just make sure not to place overhead lighting directly above your computer screen in order to avoid screen glare.
NextHome Titletown Real Estate – Experts in Home Office Planning
Creating the ultimate home office in your new Boston home will take some thought and careful planning. The right home in the right location will be your first consideration. And that’s where our agents at NextHome Titletown Real Estate can be a huge asset. So take the best first step: contact one of our experienced agents at (617) 657-9811.
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