Working from home: Should you convert that extra bedroom into an office?

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Converting an extra bedroom into a home office can be a family-friendly choice: used for homework as well as office work.

Converting an extra bedroom into a home office can be a family-friendly choice: used for homework as well as office work.

In our always-on culture, many people are tethered to email and the company intranet well into the evening hours and on weekends: which means a functional workspace is an attractive feature for home buyers.

While it can be tempting to flop down on the sofa with your laptop or simply spread everything out on the dining table, neither environment is particularly conducive to getting stuff done.

We’ve asked industry experts for advice on creating a home workspace that will suit your needs today, and also be an asset when you sell your home.

 

Starting with the bare essentials. Overloading on office supplies, apps and gadgets can be distracting.

Starting with the bare essentials. Overloading on office supplies, apps and gadgets can be distracting.

1. SHOULD YOU SACRIFICE A BEDROOM FOR AN OFFICE?
Most homebuyers today grew up with smartphones, apps, and Google searches. These aren’t the first-time buyers from 20 years ago, who were often married couples looking for a starter home in the suburbs to raise a family.

If your home has a few bedrooms, you might want to create a proper office with built-in desks, shelving and cabinets. Remember, unmarried individuals and childless couples make up a large percentage of first-time buyers, as do the always-connected mobile professionals. And for families, a home office doubles as a homework centre, as children today do much of their homework on their computers, devices or on-line.

2. ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES 
If you’re working from home and don’t have a spare room to repurpose as an office, create a designated workspace, such as a nook in your living room or kitchen where you place your desk and keep all your work materials. This will help you stay organised and create boundaries between your work and your personal life.

3. MAKE IT FUNCTIONAL
Your dining room chairs are not designed for eight-hour use. Choosing the right office furniture means a more comfortable work day. “It may sound trivial but it’s not. You need a comfortable business chair,” says executive consultant Frank Niles. “You’ll be more inclined to stay working. As a result, you’ll be more productive.” If your job requires long hours in front of a computer, and you have the space, a standing desk might be a worthwhile investment. Dual monitors, a wireless mouse and keyboard, and a headset can also help make your office more functional, according to Niles.

4. MAKE IT ATTRACTIVE
One of the perks of working from home is that you’ll no longer endure gray cubicle walls or suffer under the glare of fluorescent lighting. You have the freedom to choose lighting, storage solutions, decorative elements, and furniture that are both functional and visually pleasing, so that you actually enjoy being in your office.

Research has shown that the color of your office can affect your mood and productivity. Red may result in better performance if you have to do highly detailed work, while blue is good if you’re in a creative field and green walls might spark innovation. Gray, yellow, and white seem to have less positive effects on worker performance.

Even a small nook can be repurposed as an at-home workspace; and experts say the colour red may enhance your ...

Even a small nook can be repurposed as an at-home workspace; and experts say the colour red may enhance your productivity. You’ll want to get a proper office chair, though.

5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Remote workers have no shortage of (ostensibly) productivity-enhancing gadgets, apps and office supplies. But even tools designed to boost efficiency can be a distraction if you don’t select the right ones for your situation.

“Start with a minimalist approach,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. “It’s easy to add tools as you go, but if you start off with every gadget and app available, you’ll be quickly distracted, overwhelmed and under-productive. Build up as you go so you can evaluate each tool, choosing the ones that make you the most productive and happy as a remote worker.”

 – Stuff

Continue reading this article at the original source from Stuff.co.nz

 

 

 

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2017-04-07T15:44:03+00:00