Your home office should not be an afterthought of your new house construction. Office is a space where you almost live a third of your life. With all the possible pandemics/weather/civil/economic calamities, a sound planning of home office space is crucial for your wellbeing.
Here is a list of hacks that can change your home office space from mediocre to great:
Segregate electricity connection
If your home office can be treated as a separate dwelling space, you can get an individual power connection which has multiple benefits:
a) Apart from being cost effective, you could easily write off electricity charge as business expense if you have a company incorporated.
b) When your home office needs to be converted to a full commercial office, its easier to convert the connection to commercial tariff.
c) In addition, having a separate solar power UPS for your home office ensures electricity charge is close to nil if there is no or minimal air-conditioning required.
Separate, home office and residence
There should be good spatial and effort separation for you to access home and your family to access office so that neither party can venture in easily resulting in distractions. An office space at ground floor and living space on first floor could be the best solution with the steps causing an effort barrier.
Separate entry points
Ingress to office space should be separate w.r.t home so that your privacy and security is not lost.
Keep home office modular
Make the home office suitable for future rent out as a residence in case you decide to expand out or relocate. A good solution would be to have your two bedrooms spaces without a wall so that you can easily use a wardrobe or collapsible partition when required later. Having guest room and dining as single open space and having kitchen used as pantry/library/filing cabinets is another trick to make them easy to convert.
Pro tip: Keep your pantry equipped with bare minimum bubble top and a tea kettle so that you don’t break your workflow by taking tea breaks at home.
Segregate communication lines
Keep spare conduit pipes before flooring for LAN & numerous power socket requirements. Have them land at the midpoint of your virtual partitions so that they are ready to get inside of future separation walls.
Your CCTV connections for home office exterior should be separate so that you have free ports available to connect interior as well later.
Ensure that you write off your internet charges as business expense as well.
Do not mix power switches
Exterior lighting of home office and your residence can be a both way sunlight controlled switch but ensure that it takes main and neutral from either one alone. Similarly, there should be an external switch for powering your overhead water tank to keep both spaces independent.
Office similar interiors
Replicate office lighting by using ceiling lights which can be embedded inside the concrete without the costly false ceiling. Keep interior colors soothing like a variant of blue that ensures maximum productivity. Have office like furniture’s or plain large meeting tables but not the full-length sofas that might tempt you to take a long break.
Natural lighting and ventilation
Have large openings at northern side for lighting and have shading trees or facades for west and south to keep temperature at bay. Have window and door openings in sync with wind flow pattern in your location.
Overall, avoid dead spaces which are circulation only areas. Dead spaces don’t have a purpose and are mostly created to cover up a design mistake or a protruding column.
We treat our new house as once in a lifetime project. Do treat your home office with the same rigor and use services from a competent architect so that both your spaces can be effectively utilized with the least spend on resources.