Even before COVID-19 shut down offices across the country, a growing number of employees were working from home – not just freelancers and gig workers, but remote workers for a wide range of companies. In fact, research by Global Workplace Analytics showed that as many as 43% of workers at least occasionally worked remotely as of 2016, while as of 2020, 56% of workers filled roles that could be done remotely. That’s 60 million Americans, and the number is growing all the time.
For workers making the move to full- or part-time remote work, though, one of the most significant challenges has been creating office space. When working from home on a regular basis, it’s not enough to just sit at the kitchen table. That’s why it should be no surprise that many of these remote workers are undertaking renovation projects with the aim of creating office space.
How do you work from home in the midst of a home renovation? It’s not easy, but it can be done. These 4 strategies can help you conquer conflicting needs and stay productive, even as construction goes on around you.
Know Your Crew
If you’re planning to work from home during a major home renovation, one of the most important things you can do is to really get to know the people doing the work. If you have a good relationship with your contractor, you’ll find it easier to negotiate around conflicts – like that hour when you need the crew to be quiet so you can take a Zoom call – and you’re less likely to feel irritated by their presence. This is especially important on larger projects. Your contractor is going to be around for a while, so don’t treat them like a stranger.
Dial Down On the Details
One of the biggest mistakes people make when undertaking a home renovation project is not fully plotting out all of the details until the project is underway. This is a surefire way to make your project more expensive and more time consuming, and there’s no reason for it. After all, you can connect with interior designers online before the project even begins, ensuring everyone knows the exact order of operations. There’s no reason to waste time haphazardly assembling your space.
Time It Right
Any time you’re planning to undertake a major home renovation project, it’s important that you time the construction process right. For example, you might want to consider whether it would be more convenient for you to work from home on specific days, while having construction happen on off days. As far as larger timelines go, you don’t want to undertake a major project in the middle of the winter if that means letting gusts of freezing air into the home. Consider noise level, comfort, and other issues that could make it uncomfortable to live in your home during renovations, never mind work there.
Design To Your Advantage
If your renovation project is focused on creating a new home office space, make sure you’re doing more than just expanding a closet or repainting the walls of the old guest room. This project should make you more productive when all is said and done. That might mean having the contractor install more windows because natural light enhances focus and productivity, while also improving sleep quality. And be sure to choose design elements that reflect your personality; it will help reduce your stress levels.
With so many people at home, COVID-19 has led to a spike in demand for contractor services, despite potential concerns about disease spread, and this demand means there’s surely a lot of overlap between remote workers and construction teams. But whether you’re undertaking a major renovation while also running a home office, or just hoping to make some simple upgrades, it’s all about planning carefully and keeping the peace until the project is done. Then you’ll be free to enjoy your new and improved space.