For more and more of the current American workforce, WE work doesn’t have near as much influence over where we need to live. Having a short, or reasonable, commute time has become less important for the 24% for us that have joined the remote, or work from home workforce. Because employers are now allowing workers to do their jobs remotely, those remote workers are free to search for homes further away from traditional locations, like within certain city limits or neighborhoods.
What has become more important than location is the flexibility of spaces in the home. Remote workers need an office space that is separate from the home’s daily activities, set up for privacy, and outfitted for getting the work done. And that has changed what remote workers search for in their next home. If you are one of these remote workers, here are some of the features your next home should have.
A Totally Open Floor Plan?
An open floor plan may still be important, but not as important as it has been in the recent past. You want to find a home that gives you that additional space or room to set up your home office. While it is still important to consider the comfort of your family, it is also important to factor in the needs of a professional looking home office. Make it a dedicated space. Remember, even if clients never visit your office personally, there will probably be those occasional zoom calls. You want the background to look like you’re in a business office, not the corner of a bedroom or that you are sitting at the kitchen counter.
Obviously, a fast internet connection is a must if you are going to work from home. While the house can be located almost anywhere, you still want to be able to access high-speed internet. Don’t take someone else’s word for internet speeds, test it out for yourself. During the time before closing allocated for inspections, talk to cable providers and actually hook up a computer to ensure that the internet will be up to speed. You will want support for at least 100Mbps. Also, because WiFi signals diminish over rather short distances, you will want the router located as close to your office as possible. Once you close on the property, it’s too late to correct internet connectivity issues.
Outlets and Circuitry
If the home you are considering is an older one, building codes for these homes used to only required two outlets per room. This definitely will not suffice for a modern home office. You will probably have a laptop and a desktop computer, one or more printers, possibly a projector/large-screen monitor and speakers for those Zoom calls, and a place to plug in cell phone and other office equipment chargers. You need to make sure that the home’s electrical panel has room to add one or two 20-amp circuits that can be used to service your office, independent of the rest of the home. There’s nothing worse than having a hair dryer be turned on in the room next door causing the circuit your computer is on to be tripped from being overloaded.
Lighting requirements to reduce eyestrain in an office environment are greater than say, a bedroom. This ties in with outlets and circuitry requirements. Not all work happens during daylight hours. In addition to good overhead lighting, you will probably need one or more lamps to provide specific lighting for different tasks. Thus, the need for those additional outlets and circuits.
Remote working is here to stay. When searching for your next new home, location will not be as big an issue as in the past. Just make sure that the home you select will allow you to get the job done in a comfortable, yet professional, looking manner.