We have a surplus bedroom – first world problems I know – but it is a fact. Now the question I’m mulling over every day is “Should I convert it to a home office?”
Working from home, shedworking, being self-employed is apparently on-trend, so a home office for my writing capers would cement my hipster pretensions – or is a home office too mainstream?
Do I need the separation between home and work in the shape of a physical room?
I’m not sure.
What I do know though that creating a home office will reduce my commute to downstairs reception rooms from 10 seconds to 2 seconds, allowing me 16 seconds more in daily productivity.
Like all projects though, I’ve decided to go public and blog about the pros and cons of a home office.
- Clear delineation between work and home – that journey to bedroom 5 of 2 seconds with a door closing would mark a physical separation between work and relaxation / domestic chores.
- Decor. I could adorn the home office with inspirational quotations from LinkedIn – “Content is king” “Remember the difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says go, a leader says let’s go,” or “All bosses are bastards.”
- Centralised tech. I could spend time rearranging post-its on the desk and deciding where to put chargers and printer cartridges in a room, smaller than a prison cell or Islington studio flat.
- Proximity to two toilets. Granted, unless I install a corporate water-cooler, I would have little need for access to ensuite or bathroom. The water cooler idea though appeals. Choosing between “ambient temperature” or “cold” would give me that reminder of working in a proper office, with proper politics and people.
- As well as the canvas mounted LinkedIn quotes, where I remind myself I’m a tiger with great synergy, I could strategically place a bookcase and an armchair for those brief moments of relaxation between replenishing water and drafting a client’s blog.
- I might become so attached to the home office that I stay in late to impress the boss, my wife, complaining hellishly about meetings, the evening commute, office politics – when her coffee isn’t ready when she turns up from a real workplace.
- As director, power goes to my head, given the news that one in five CEOs is a psychopath, with 100% of headteachers being psychopaths or sociopaths, depending on their training. I write emails to myself with lists of demands that seem reasonable but are really designed to break me and force me to find another home office.
- The view. The window in the home office is small. In winter, little light will reflect off the water cooler leaving me craving Vitamin D whilst slowly descending into isolated insanity.
- Claustrophobia. Yes I could leave the door ajar, I can open that minuscule window, but would a room of 10 for by 8 foot (still proudly imperial me) lead to claustrophobia?
- The outside world. Would a home office upstairs lead to increased social isolation? I currently interact with Amazon couriers, the window cleaner and neighbours on the weekly bin commute, but would an upstairs home office make me the estate equivalent of Edward Scissorhands?
As you can see, from five pros and five cons, this decision is on a knife edge.
Can you help me, please?