Work From Home: 4 Reasons It May Be Time for a Bigger Home

Before the pandemic hit, companies were slowly beginning to explore the potential benefits of sending employees to work from home. As the pandemic began to knock on our doors, however, businesses scrambled to figure out how to deal with the new remote workforce, as the shift to remote work suddenly picked up the pace.

Initially, many companies struggled, and the response from workers was mixed. Some loved working from home, while others prayed for a speedy return to the office.

As time moved along, however, companies started to realize the true value of working from home. They built processes and functions to make working from home the norm rather than a temporary nuisance.

Things are smoothing out for both workers and businesses when it comes to working from home, but there are still some issues to deal with. Working from home has indeed changed us forever.

One such issue is finding work-life balance, and one of the major hurdles in finding such balance is that people are finding their living situation isn’t ideal for a home office.

Not every home is created equal. Some remote workers find solitude in a far-off wing of their expansive mansion, while others are forced to work on a laptop with their family bouncing around in the same room.

If you are a remote worker, here are five reasons it may be time for you to look for a bigger home to avoid distractions and maintain productivity.

Boundary lines are blurred

This one can go for any family member, including your furry ones (cats, dogs, and other non-humans residents).  Before the pandemic, your co-habitants understood there was a clear line. When you were at the office, you were off-limits. When you were at home, you were fair game. Work-life balance is so important, but it has become much more difficult to achieve.

Now that you work from home, that line may have become quite blurry. Young or older, furry or not, those living with you will see you at home and will want to spend personal time with you. If you don’t have the space within your home to get away, you may need to start considering an upgrade.

Meetings interrupted

I’ll bet within the last week alone you’ve been invited to at least one meeting via Zoom, Teams, or another video conferencing tool, more likely multiple such meetings. At the office, you could host a meeting in a conference room, and your co-workers respected that by staying quiet as they passed by outside.

At home, your co-habitants are likely less respectful. I know I hear my little ones (we have three kids who don’t understand the word ‘quiet’) who love to scream at the top of their lungs just as my meetings start. If you find yourself in this situation, you may need a bigger house with more space between your office and the toy room.

Hard to discipline yourself

Not everyone has the ability to maintain discipline and focus.  Sometimes, the biggest hurdle to remote work success isn’t what or who is around you. Often, the biggest hurdle is you.

If you find yourself unable to resist the urge of peeking at the television because you work on the couch, or the refrigerator is always calling, you may need a bigger home. You can get a pad with a dedicated office so you aren’t near the television, and you can even pop a mini-fridge beside you in your office so you don’t have to get up to grab a drink, thus avoiding the interruption to your work.

Limited space for your operations

Some remote jobs require more equipment than others. Let’s say, for instance, you are a graphic designer or a programmer. You likely need some computer hardware that the typical remote worker may not. A laptop will not suffice, and you may need enough space to have a big desk because you have multiple monitors to work from.

In a case like this, your current living situation just may not be enough. No need to go crazy and upgrade from a 3-bedroom to a 5-bedroom, but perhaps you should start looking for something with a basement or a bigger office space where you can work.

Making the move

None of what we’ve discussed here is suggesting you go grab a million-dollar mansion. Take a look at your needs and your means, and make sure you only upgrade as much as you need to and can afford.

Perhaps you just need a more secluded space for your kids to play. Get a home that’s just a bit bigger but maybe adds a basement. Or maybe your furry friends want tons of attention. In that case, get a home with a yard and a fence so they can release that energy outside.

Assess your finances and determine what size house you can afford. Don’t overextend your budget. Get a home that’s just big enough to give you the extra space and tools you need to be a more effective remote worker. To get started, you’ll need to calculate your home payment to make sure you can afford it.

Spending too much, despite the benefits of having more room, doesn’t make any sense. Only upgrade your remote working space (aka your home) if it makes sense.

And avoid moving too far from your physical office building. There’s still that chance you may be called back to the office at some point. If you work remotely in Philly and your office is 10 minutes away (I know, nothing in Philly is 10 minutes away), and you move to Pittsburgh, you’ll be in trouble if your employer calls you back at some point.

So, make sure to understand your own situation, and make the move to a bigger home if it makes sense and if you can do it with limited risk.

If you are looking for more ways to improve your work-from-home situation, try this extensive guide to remote work.

Anthony Gaenzle
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