If you are like most people in the U.S., you didn’t think much about a home office before 2020. Sure, you might have mentally designated a space to work on projects outside of the office or prepare to telecommute when your child was sick. But it was likely an afterthought. These days, however, it is at the forefront of most people’s minds. And it’s crucial to consider as a future home builder. When designing your house, think about how your family will live and work (or learn) from home. Here are a few recommendations for building a home for your new work-from-home lifestyle.
Build a Home Office
Setting up a temporary workspace at the dining room table or in your living room was fine for the first month or two. But you really need to be able to be careful not to let work bleed into your personal life. It’s easy to check emails, finish up a project, or get a head start on something for the next day when your work equipment is right there. Think about this when you are designing your home. An at-home office isn’t a waste of space, it’s a blessing. At the end of the day, you can step away from your desk and close the office door until morning. And that will make all the difference.
Create Separate Spaces for Work and eLearning
Tackling the day from the comforts of your living room might sound nice now, but it can lead to blurred lines between your work life and personal life. Not to mention, shared spaces in your house are bound to be full of distractions. This is especially true if you have children at home instead of in the classroom or daycare.
When designing your new home, designate spaces devoted to working and learning. Consider creating a single office large enough for everyone who might need it. Or, if you have the space, convert a den or spare bedroom into workspaces. Even if they are only offices during the workday and revert back to a guest bedroom or playroom during the weekend, they still act as quiet, separate areas for work.
Design a Cozy, Functional Family Room
We’re all spending a lot more time with our family these days. Over the past few months, many of us have discovered the games or activities the entire family enjoys. When you build your new house, keep this togetherness in mind. Design a cozy and functional family room that comfortably fits the members of your household. Your attention to detail here can mean far more evenings of family fun playing board games, putting puzzles together, or having a family karaoke night.
This should remain a no work, no class space. Set this room away from areas the family works or does eLearning in, so there’s no association with anything but fun here.
Creating a home office or even multiple workspaces might seem like a waste. It’s true that many people will be returning to the office or the classroom at some point in the future. But it’s also true that COVID-19 has changed how we work and learn forever. By putting in the effort now to build a home that has a home office, designed spaces for learning and working, and a family room made for everyone, the daily transition between work and home life will be much easier.