Working from home might be the new normal thanks to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but
many professionals are still struggling to get by with a laptop on their kitchen counter. Instead of
muddling through, dedicate time, effort, and a bit of cash into establishing a work-at-home
space that works for you. Here are three tips from Realty Executives to make it happen.
Buy a New Home with Room to Work
If buying a home is in the cards, you can still find your new place, despite pandemic shutdowns.
While buying a home during the coronavirus may take some adjustments, there are still plenty
of properties on the market. In most states, you can use 3D walkthrough technology, video-chat
tours, and even virtual open houses to view homes remotely.
When you start scouring the internet for listings, look for a property that offers ample room for
your work-at-home business. If you’ll have clients visiting or need to hire employees, you also
need to consider zoning laws and local regulations.
It’s also essential to hire an expert agent like Iris Loomans to help you find the perfect home for
your needs. A real estate agent who knows the neighborhood can advise on zoning and other
Add to Your Existing Home for a Quicker Fix
If your home is too small or not laid out for a private, quiet office space, an addition might be the
ideal fix. A designated office area also makes it easier to claim your home office deduction, if
applicable, when tax season arrives.
Starting a construction project can be expensive and time-consuming, however. From knocking
out a wall to building a partition to create a separate work area, you will likely need permits and
professionals. Still, projects like building an over-garage addition can add value to your home,
notes This Old House, making this a worthwhile long-term investment in home equity.
Consider the square footage you need and whether you can build up, out, or both on your
existing home. Then, consult a professional contractor to see your options—and how much to
budget for the project. A home addition can easily cost upward of $25,000, depending on the
size, orientation, and other factors.
Keep in mind that if money is an issue, you can always dip into some of the financing options
available right now. From SBA Express Bridge Loans to the CARES Act to the Main Street
Business Lending Program, there is money to be had. Do some looking, and if you aren’t sure
how to tackle the paperwork side of things (including filing the paperwork for your LLC), you can
always get help from a pro.
Make Design Moves to Improve Your Space
Do you have the space but haven’t tackled decorating or organizing your office area? Making
moves to organize and improve your office can help boost your productivity and ensure your
working hours are more comfortable.
Whether you’re buying a new home, building an addition, or just clearing out a cluttered spare
bedroom, personalizing your office is a must. Consider these elements to make your space a
better environment for working from home.
Make space for ergonomics. Maintain proper posture, outfit your office with comfortable
seating, and be sure to take regular breaks for physical activity. You might need a new chair or
a more comfortable workstation, or you may be able to make do with what you have.
Ensure adequate lighting. Whenever possible, prioritize natural light—this can help regulate
your body’s circadian rhythms and boost positive feelings. Otherwise, choose indirect light and
customize targeted lighting for specific business tasks—like viewing photographs or assembling
Add things you love. Since you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in your at-home workspace,
your enjoyment of the space is essential. Therefore, spruce up your office by adding artwork,
allowing pets, and decorating the walls to suit your taste. Being comfortable while also
separating work from your personal life can go a long way toward boosting productivity and
overall satisfaction with your work.
Working from home may or may not have been on your wish list, but because of coronavirus,
it’s a reality for more people than ever. Regardless, equipping your home workspace to
accommodate productive working hours is a crucial step toward preserving your career (and
sanity). With these steps, you can overhaul your work-at-home area and mindset and keep
working toward your professional goals.
Iris Loomans of Realty Executives is ready to help you get started in your home buying
or selling journey. Contact her online or by calling 608-572-1736.