Adding a studio, converting a bedroom, or incorporating a study nook into your renovation could well be what gets a buyer over the line when it comes time to sell your home. We delve into why home offices are more in demand than ever.

Working remotely isn’t always practical, but many Australians now work from home at least some of the time or run a business from their home base, making the humble home office or study area an increasingly sought-after feature.

Businesses are waking up to the strategic and financial benefits flexible office space can provide, and managers are more understanding and even encouraging of workers who want to work from home.

According to a survey by the International Workplace Group (IWG), around two-thirds of Australians work from home at least one day a week, and more than 50% spend half the week working remotely.

As well as enabling employees to achieve a better work-life balance and reduce the hours per work they spend commuting, costs are reduced for businesses.

Hot desking has become commonplace, even in large multinational corporations and when they no longer have to factor in a desk for every person, the overall space they need to lease shrinks. A smaller space reduces leasing costs, cleaning expenses, and energy bills and the IWG survey found that companies who allow employees to work from home experience enhanced productivity rates, staff retention, job satisfaction and even creativity among employees.

“Working from home has become the norm for most people, at least some of the time,” says LJ Hooker Avnu agent Connor Clark. “Even if they have a regular job they commute to, our always-on culture means getting after-hours work done from home is pretty much inevitable.”

Faster internet speeds thanks to the NBN rollout, along with globalisation and digitisation, have facilitated many a worker who has dreamed of reducing their commute time to work effectively from home, and staying on top of emails, preparing for meetings, and solving crises on the fly is now easier than ever away from their desks.

The rise of one-person businesses, millennial start-ups, and enterprises launched by stay-at-home mothers has added to the number of Australians who work from home full-time. Mothers running businesses now account for 16% of all Australian businesses and 81% of them operate out of home (realestate.com.au).

In other stats, The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 8.5% of the workforce operates as a sole-person business and one in 12 employees works from home more than any other location.

An inevitable result of all this at-home activity is that dedicated work spaces at home are in demand, whether a separate home office or studio, or just a centrally located study nook.

“Flexible spaces that can double as a home office are popular, and this is something to consider when presenting a home for sale,” says LJ Hooker Avnu agent Cameron Maxwell. “If you have a four or five-bedroom house, setting one room up as a modern home office can give a home extra appeal.”

Maxwell says study nooks are an option if space is tight. “We hear a lot of positive comments from buyers when a study area is located in or near the hub of the home – the kitchen. Study niches are being incorporated into kitchen renovations, featuring the same cabinetry as the rest of the space. They can be a good looking and functional addition.”

Further evidence of the growing demand of home offices are the booming sales of home office furniture and the popularity of offices located at the front of a house in many new home designs (realestate.com.au).

The growing need for a home office is certainly food for thought if you’re thinking of building a home or getting yours ready to put on the market. If a buyer can imagine themselves comfortably working from home, your property will be all the more enticing.

A simply smarter way to sell property.

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