22 Aug Dream extension: Your new home office in Enfield, Herts and North London
The old mantra of ‘work hard, play hard’ has had a bit of a makeover in recent years, with greater emphasis now placed on overall wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance. Rather than pushing the envelope by trying to fit 40 hours of supercharged work and play into each day we’re now seeing more people enjoying flexible working hours or self-employment, which often means more time working from home.
A dedicated work area makes this lifestyle shift much easier, because it avoids having to tidy away every time someone else needs the kitchen table. It also means that you have a space where you can close the door on the world and be in the right head space to get on with work when you need to, providing you with a clear separation between your work and home life. Whether it’s a dedicated room or a multi-purpose space, your dream home office extension could be more achievable than you’d imagine.
What kind of home office would you choose?
There are two big questions to ask here: the first being, where could your office be located? There are many different factors to take into consideration, depending on how you work and what opportunities there are at your home:
Convert your garage
As the structure is already there, this is certainly one of the easiest and cheapest options as you simply need to move utilities, add windows and an access door and then create the home office you need. However, not every garage has the space, not every garage is free for conversion and not every garage should be converted, because if your garage abuts your neighbour’s house you could potentially be turning your ‘linked-detached’ property into a ‘semi’ and there are value consequences to this.
Convert your loft
Imagine if your commute to work was ascending the stairs to a brand-new floor to your home. By building a loft conversion you can often create a larger, more flexible space than in the garage – also having a floor to yourself will create a clear definition between your work and home life. A little more costly than the garage conversion, but you can create the space you need and planning permission is often included under ‘permitted development’.
Rear or side extension
If you are not scared of a little extra work and you have the budget for a truly bespoke space, designed and built to be your dream home office extension, then there’s nothing better than a rear or side extension (which, will depend on the configuration of your home). Such an extension gives you the ultimate flexibility to create from scratch, insulate against the sound of the children running around while you’re on the phone, and design it with all the table and storage space, telecoms and broadband connectivity, light and heat you need.
Dream office trends for your home office extension
Here are three current trends to fire your imagination.
1. Let the light flood in
Natural light is really important for wellness and productivity and there are lots of different window options available that not only let in light, but also improve the aesthetics of your extension. Velux windows in pitched roofs and orangery-style window units in ceilings can make for a great design feature, or bifold doors across a whole wall to the garden will let in lots of natural light.
2. Think energy efficient
From the lighting you choose to the way you wish to heat your new space and the insulating you use to retain that heat, think carbon neutral, think sustainable, think energy efficiency. LEDs, double or even triple glazing and electric underfloor heating could certainly help here.
3. Less time sitting, more time working
Take home the latest in office trends with a sit-stand desk. We all sit far too much at work, so the sit-stand desk can be electronically raised to give you the choice of whether to do your work sitting or standing. It’s healthier, it’s better for your posture and it means that now that you no longer need to run for the train, you can do some stretches while you’re on the phone or doing your taxes.