Working from home is very freeing away from the office, but there’s one question people don’t often consider. Which room is best for a work-from-home environment? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each room, and which is best for me?
There are positives and negatives for each room in the house, so it’s worth giving each one consideration. Let’s explore some potential office rooms and where each one shines.
1. Spare Room
First things first. Let’s cover the room that everybody thinks of first – a spare room. If you have a room that isn’t seeing any use, you can easily turn it into an office at home.
Using a spare room is especially useful, as you can equip it with everything you need to get your work done. Not only that, but you have your own private room away from everyone else. When you enter the office, you’re ready to get work done with no distractions.
However, if you enjoy the company of others, an office can feel more like a prison than a productive space. A lot of creature comforts are also missing from a spare-room office. It may make you feel as if you’re being locked away from the things you love.
As such, if you’re someone who needs to lock the world away as they work, a spare room works well. However, if you like to chat with family members or watch TV as you work, you may find a spare room to be more restrictive than useful.
2. The Bedroom
What better work commute is there than rolling out of bed and right into your work chair? Setting up an office in the bedroom may be appealing, especially if you use the bed as a siesta spot during work breaks.
While the convenience of your PC near your bed is great, there is a negative psychological effect with a bedroom office. Your mind tends to associate both your bedroom and your bed with rest. If you only use your bedroom for sleeping, your body prepares itself for sleep when you tuck in for the night.
However, this effect is messed up when you begin using your bedroom and bed for other purposes. For instance, if you like playing video games while sitting on your bed, your mind will associate the bed with playing games. As such, when you try to sleep that night, your body doesn’t know if it should be resting or having fun. This can cause insomnia.
By turning a part of your bedroom into an office, you run the risk of confusing your body. Your mind doesn’t know if it should be resting or working. This may lead to you waking up in the middle of the night with thoughts of getting jobs done.
However, if you’re the only person who sleeps in the bedroom, these can be great ways to get some privacy. Aside from a spare room, a single bedroom is the best way to prevent people from walking by and talking to you while you’re trying to focus.
3. The Living Room
Living rooms are great to work in. You have the comfy sofa, the television playing Netflix, and all your creature comforts in one room. For someone who needs something on in the background while they work, a living room office can help you balance work and play in a way that makes you happy.
Unfortunately, if you’re someone who needs to shut out the world to work, the living room is the worst choice. Not only is it the central hub of play for everyone else in your home, it’s the room with all the fun stuff that will distract you.
4. A Spare Garage
If you have a garage but you don’t store anything in it, you could use it as an office. It has the same benefits as a spare room. It’s a private, quiet place where you can hunker down and get to work.
If you do select the garage, be sure that you have the electrical sockets needed to power your equipment. Ensure you can get a solid Internet connection before you get started. Also, garages don’t have the best heating (if any!), so be sure to get a space heater when the winter months roll around.
5. A Garden Shed
The ultimate workshop for the hermit worker, a garden shed can be a great place to work. It doesn’t have central heating, but during those summer months, you can work in peace while surrounded by nature.
If your shed doesn’t have it already, you’ll need to wire it up to the mains to power your devices. It may also be hard to get a Wi-Fi connection from out in the garden, so be sure to test it out before trying to hold Zoom conferences in there!
Finding the Perfect Room
There are many potential rooms for a home office, and each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Which room is best depends on you: what you treasure most as you work as well as what drives you up the wall!