As the working landscape changes, we consider how you can create separate space for a home office

Separate Work from Home

As many of us experience new ways of working, the need for additional space in our homes has become more important than ever before.

But as families competed for space, it quickly became clear that it was important to have the ability to separate work life from home life at the end of the working day.

Think about where you could create an attractive space to work and make use of otherwise underused areas of your home or garden.

A garden studio or pod could be the answer, offering the opportunity to cost-effectively create a multifunctional room that can be used for work during the weekday, exercise in the evening and leisure at the weekends.

Consider How You Work

We’ve adapted to our changing work styles and environments, and as we’ve done so we’ve started to think about how we work and what working patterns we enjoy.

If you have space in your home and like to be close at hand for family members, consider creating an office out of an unused or under-utilised room, such as a box room or conservatory.

For those needing additional living space, you could think about extending your home, if you have room at the rear or side. An extension within permitted development can be built cost-effectively in structural insulated panels(SIPs) and create much needed additional space, for example and office with storage and a useful utility room or WC.

If you prefer to have some distance between work and home, however quick the commute, a garden room, studio or pod could be the answer. A short walk down the garden to the office can help separate the working day from home life and relax away from your desk at the end of the day.

Create Multifunctional Space

If you’re going to invest time and budget in an office or studio in the garden, think about all the uses you and your family may have for it and make it really work for all of you.

A light and airy garden room makes the ideal office during the day, while offering a quiet, relaxing space for hobbies on days off. It can be used as a snug during the evenings or for exercise at weekends, making it a multifunctional, usable space for the whole household.

If the need for extra space is pressing, consider a DIY garden room kit, which can be installed by competent DIYers rather than wait for a room to be installed.

Add Space and Value

With a separate workspace, you can improve your home while adding space and value, removing the need to move and creating a room that can be enjoyed by every member of the family.

Increasingly, home offices are one of the features that buyers are adding to their property search criteria, so if you do decide to sell your home at some point, it’ll certainly be more attractive to potential buyers if it has that important separate workspace.

With hybrid working on the rise, we look at the seven easiest ways that you can make the area you work in at home a more enjoyable space.

  1. Create a Light Workspace
    As we continue to navigate our way through new ways of working, the need for space in our homes in which we can work has become more important than ever before.

    Make your workspace somewhere you’ll enjoy spending time; after all, we spend a lot of our time at work. Even the smallest spaces can be made light and airy, with the right décor and furniture. Think natural, light colours and space-saving furniture.

  2. Avoid Clutter
    It’s easier to work in a calm, organised space, so declutter your workspace and keep it that way with furniture that storage in it and compact, space-saving shelves and racks.

    Organise your paperwork in files that work with the décor and you’ll spend less time looking for items and more time working productively.

  3. Separate Work and Home
    Rather than work on the kitchen or dining room table or sit on the bed with a laptop, try to find an area where you can dedicate the space to work and are able to walk away from it at the end of the working day.

    When working from home, it’s important not to let work creep into your home life, and having separate workspace can help with this.

  4. Take Time Out During the Day
    If we don’t take a break during the day, we actually become less productive. Have regular breaks and move your body, even if it’s just a short walk or taking half an hour for lunch away from your desk.

    Try to have a routine, as you would if you were going into the office, so that you don’t find that you haven’t moved from your desk for 5 hours or you’re still sat working well into the evening.

  5. Build an Office in Your Garden
    If you have some outdoor space, consider a garden room or studio, which you can use as your office. A garden room can offer multifunctional space for a variety of uses, not just work, making it a cost-effective way to create additional, useful space.

    Choose from an installed garden room or a DIY garden room kit and build it yourself (or with the help of a builder) and you’ll be able to enjoy having a workspace that’s separate to your home but still just a short commute away.

We look at the areas of your home where you can enhance your living space and add value.

Increase Your Living Space

Without a doubt, increasing the amount of living space in your home will add the most value. Extending the square footage of your home could also enable you to enjoy your home even more but think carefully about the extra space that you may need.

The need for additional space and storage in our homes has become more important than ever before, as we adapt to our changing work styles and lifestyle needs.

You can extend to the side, rear or front of your home and if the extension is designed to comply with permitted development rules it won’t require planning permission, saving you both time and money while still creating attractive, useful space.

You could consider extending to the rear, creating a spacious, open-plan kitchen/living/dining room, or to the side, adding a useful utility room and WC; there are plenty of options.

Make More of Your Outside Space

If you have some outdoor space, a garden room, studio or pod could enhance it while creating a dedicated, separate workspace for use during the day, a TV room that can be enjoyed in the evening and a room for hobbies, exercise or entertaining.

Rooms that are multifunctional and cost effective to create can offer the most value to families, which is why garden rooms are increasingly popular.

Choose Interior Styles That Won’t Date

Create spacious, light spaces with clean lines and a neutral décor and you’ll enjoy a timeless style that can be easily and cost-effectively updated using a new piece of furniture or a feature wall, for example.

Think neutral tones and colours such as beige, white and black and darker shades of green and navy blue, which never go out of fashion. Natural materials rarely age, so consider incorporating stone, wood, baskets and plants.

Avoid Costly Changes

Be careful of ‘improvements’ that could actually reduce the value of your home or put off potential buyers if you decide to sell at some point.

Try to avoid décor that will date quickly, as it’ll need changing and updating regularly, as trends and tastes change, and can even put prospective buyers.

Converting a garage is also one area to avoid, as it often removes space that’s much needed for storage. Likewise, losing a bedroom in favour of an extra bathroom or knocking two bedrooms into one, can affect a home’s value, as it reduces the number of bedrooms and often the number of potential buyers.

Essentially, create more space and storage, not less.

Make Enhancements On a Budget

Make the most of the space you have and put your under-utilised areas to use to create additional square footage.

We often have space in our gardens that we don’t use much, and these are ideal for a cost-effective multi-functional room that can be used by all the family and offer additional storage. And if you’re a competent DIYer, you could opt for a garden room kit that you install yourself (or with the help of a builder if you prefer) rather than waiting for a garden room that’s installed for you.

Decorating will always improve a room, whether it’s a fresh coat of paint, creating a feature wall or cleaning up the grout between tiles.

Replacing a worn worktop in the kitchen or updating a bathroom with a new sink or shower screen can instantly lift a room for a relatively low cost.

And the cheapest hack of all is decluttering; tidy up your rooms and your garden and make the most of the storage space you have. And create more storage if you need it, using shelves, racks, furniture with storage space and organisers.

Think About How You Live in Your Home

When considering improving your home, first and foremost think about how you and your family want to live in and enjoy your home. What do you need in order to make the most of your home? Of course, adding value is also important and it’s worth considering what will appeal to potential buyers and what might put them off.

What will enhance your living arrangements? Increasingly, it’s workspace and storage we need, ideally separate from our home, as more of us spend time every week working from home.

By thinking carefully about how you invest in your homes, you can create space that can be used by every member of the household every day of the week.