By Abby Perkins, Talent Tribune
If you’re currently house hunting and you work from home, be sure to keep your work needs in mind as you shop!
When you found your current home, you may not have selected it with your work-from-home job in mind.
Now, however, as you choose your new abode, you can opt for features that make working from home easier and more enjoyable. Here are five tips to remember if you’re a homebuyer who also works from home:
1. Find a house with a home office.
A work space that’s private, quiet and set off from the rest of the house is something no telecommuter should be without. It can be a spare bedroom, a refinished attic/basement, a comfortable room over the garage or even a large, walk-in closet. Ideally, the space should have a nice view and plenty of natural light.
A bonus? If your home office is used “solely and exclusively for business purposes,” you can even claim a federal tax deduction for business use of your home. The larger your home office space, the greater your deduction will be. This deduction lets you subtract a percentage of your mortgage payment and utility expenses from your taxable income, and it can make a big difference in your bottom line.
2. Look for a patio or other pleasant outdoor space.
Working at home can be tedious. There are no coworkers or water cooler chatter to liven things up, and it’s easy to get caught up in and stressed out about your job. You can increase productivity and reduce stress by taking occasional short breaks outdoors.
Look for a home with a patio or other pleasant outdoor space, and then furnish it with calming accents like a wind chime, a bird bath, a sun umbrella and comfy outdoor furniture. Getting out into nature every hour or so is a great way to refresh and ground yourself, clear your mind or just indulge in a few quiet minutes of relaxation.
3. Check out nearby cafes or bookstores.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is loneliness. When you spend most of your day working alone, it’s easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world. You might find yourself calling friends and family just to stay connected, but spending too much time on the phone can cut into your productivity.
An easy solution to isolation is to pack up your laptop and head for the nearest café or bookstore. You can work for a few hours, enjoy some fresh coffee or a muffin, and be around other people without feeling obliged to interact with them. When you leave, you’ll feel more connected to others and to the world around you – and probably more creative, too.
4. Find a house that’s close to a park or a walking path.
A trick that keeps many telecommuters sane? Taking their lunch break at a local park. If the weather is nice, you can pack your lunch and enjoy a quick picnic. If the park has trails or walking paths, take a short walk or go for a quick jog.
A little exercise will help you focus better, and you’ll be better able to go home and complete your workday with a clear mind. If you have dogs, take them along and let them run or walk with you. They’ll return home calmer and less likely to interrupt you while you’re trying to meet a deadline.
5. Look for a fenced-in yard.
If you have pets, you already know how much they crave attention. When you are working at home, they’ll want to play and interact with you all day, and this can seriously undermine your productivity. If you have a house with a fenced-in yard, your fur babies can amuse themselves outdoors while you put in your work hours.
Make sure that the fencing is strong enough to contain all your pets safely, and that it’s in good repair. When your pets can play outside freely, you’ll be able to focus on your job without feeling guilty about neglecting them.
Being able to work at home is a huge benefit for many people, but it does come with a few potential obstacles. By remembering these tips while house hunting, you can find a house that makes working from home a whole lot more enjoyable!
What are your tips for making your house work-from-home friendly?
About Abby Perkins and Talent Tribune
Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.