Housing Trends: Home Offices

The home office is not a new concept, but the efficiency and capabilities of telecommunicating have transformed the option into a widespread phenomenon. The effectiveness of the home office is up to debate as Best Buy, Yahoo and other companies say employees need to be in the office to collaborate and drive innovation. Despite these opinions, the home office is here to stay as part-time and full-time options for many Minnesotans. This is making office attributes key selling features for home buyers. Don’t underestimate the selling power of a multifunctional home.

Minnesota emerges as national work-at-home hot spot.
Minnesota emerges as national work-at-home hot spot.

Minnesota is emerging as a national work-at-home hot spot. The Star Tribune reported the Twin Cities has experienced the fifth-biggest rise among metro areas nationwide in the number of workers based at least partly at home, according to U.S. Census Bureau commuting surveys. Between 2000 and 2010, the number rose by almost 22,000 people, to about 82,500, according to estimates.

Minnesota is the only state with two big job centers, Mankato and St. Cloud, among the top 10 metro areas nationally in the share of people working from home. As more and more Minnesotans telecommute, ranging from one day a week to every day, there are certain aspects they look for in an effective home office.

People love the comfort of working from home. It allows parents to have a greater role in their children’s lives, independence in work schedules, and the ability to multitask. A home office however should be distinct from other rooms to encourage the proper mind set to get work done. Here are the five most important aspects to consider when looking for functional spaces:

  1. Equipment
  2. Lighting
  3. Privacy
  4. Layout/organization
  5. Ergonomics

Your office should be an extension of the brick and mortar office. Make it your own with personal touches like paint color and pictures, but avoid distractions like televisions. It should be a desirable place to spend time while contributing to your ability to focus.

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