The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted one in 12 households to invest significant funding into a new home office, research shows.
The findings, from AA Financial Services, reveal how much money is being spent across the UK so people can improve their conditions while working from home.
The average amount being spent, which took into consideration any decorating, new equipment or furniture, or the possibility of converting another room, is £1,759.
Londoners meanwhile are spending over double the amount (an average of £2,769) than in other parts of the UK (the average in Scotland, for example, is £872).
Around 17% were taking out loans to cover the cost of renovations, with 14% admitting to putting it on their credit card.
(MORE: Renovation Mortgage: Do You Need One?)
James Fairclough, director of AA Financial Services, said: “The prolonged and indefinite period lockdown could be the catalyst for a number of home improvements across the nation – particularly now with question marks shrouding the housing market once again.
“In the current climate, with more time to complete the work, this presents people with a good opportunity to get a few jobs done. If you are at home with your family, the key is to maximise the space so that you can work comfortably and efficiently during this time.”
Create the Optimal Home Office
Working from home can be enjoyable for many providing your environment is tailored to your needs. And creating the optimal space for a dedicated home office is a great idea.
(MORE: 12 Home Office Design Ideas)
If you have a room that isn’t used very often, or is used for storage, such as a spare room or garden room, consider setting up your home office there. Working from the corner of a spare room, kitchen or living room can be suitable in the short term, but is, in most cases, impractical in the long term.
Here’s some tips to help you create your home office:
- Make sure you have adequate natural light and consider adding some task lighting (which is useful if working later in the evening)
- Avoid placing your desk in such a way that your computer will face a window – on sunny days the glare can make it hard to see the screen
- Ensure you have adequate power points and a good wifi signal
- If you have the space, choosing a room for your office which is located close to or with an adjoining WC helps to minimise the risk of household distractions
- If you are moving your home office into a storage room, you’ll want to remove the stored items in advance, helping you to optimise the space. These storage ideas will get you started.
If you need to shut yourself away from the rest of the house, a loft space is a good candidate, but unless it has already been converted, this is a relatively expensive solution.
(MORE: Loft Conversion: Beginner’s Guide to Extending Up)
Add an Outbuilding for a Home Office
If you’re struggling to find the ideal home office within your home, consider moving the office into your garden. A garden room or outbuilding can make a great home office – as it’s separate from the rest of the home, you can avoid unnecessary distractions.
You’ll need to make sure it has sufficient electricity supply and sockets, suitable lighting and heating options and reliable internet access.
(MORE: The DIY Jobs That Could Save you £100s During Coronavirus Lockdown)
Good insulation is also a must if you want to use a garden office all year round, as is lighting (an electrician should be able to connect an outbuilding to the electricity in the house fairly easily), sockets and a heat source. Think too about double glazing and good security measures.