In this new age of the gig economy and the distributed team, more and more people are discovering that you don’t necessarily need to commute day in and day out to a distant office or workplace anymore. The two-hour commute, and all the ancillary expenses and stresses that go along with it, is not quite becoming a thing of the past – yet. But as more and more companies, and their employees, discover that it is actually possible to put in a ‘full day’s work’ from an unsupervised, remote location, and still meet production demands, the proliferation of the home office grows and grows.
Once you’ve been hired for a position on a distributed team, the question becomes: where am I going to do this work. You need a place that is quiet, private and restful – or perhaps open and readily accessible, to call your ‘office’. Different folks will require different prerequisites, but the bottom line here is that you must secure a personal space for yourself to do the work that you can close off from the rest of your household and where you can secure the equipment and materials essential to your new job.
Finding the Extra Space
Many older homes and apartments used to include a room called a ‘den’, which was normally a semi-secluded room reserved for the man of the house, which could certainly be convenient to turn into a home office. But the ‘den’ went the way of the single-salaried family and station wagons, was renamed ‘man cave’ and moved out to the garage. But whether you repurpose a den in an older home, or the extra bedroom in a newer one or half the garage, you’ve got to claim some space for your home office. And that’s the easy part.
The harder early step in home office creation is trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff that is usually jammed into that under-used room by all of the rest of your family or housemates. Where else can this normally considerable pile of extra things and supplies be safely stowed out of your way, but still be accessed when necessary?
The Answer is Remote Storage
One answer to remote storage is to go to the home improvement, big-box store and investigate the small storage sheds that they offer for sale. But these sheds really aren’t that small and easy to accommodate, unless your home sits on at least an acre of land. The footprint of a decent-sized storage shed is at least 400 square feet. And you’ve got to be mindful of the fact that you’re going to have to create a footing for this shed and probably a pathway to and from it. The cost of installing a storage shed on your property is probably going to run into the thousands of dollars.
The other alternative is to simply contact a company that rents storage units. The costs of this sort of space is reasonable, especially at first, when the storage company normally gives you the first month free if you sign up for a longer storage contract. The first problem with self-storage is that you have to actually rent a truck and move your possessions out of your home and into the self-storage unit yourself. This can be a hassle, particularly if you’re pressed for time, which often comes with the acquisition of a new job. And remember, you still have to put the office together once you get all the extraneous stuff moved out of your office space.
The second problem with storage rental units is that the price usually goes up the longer you rent the space. And if you remove some of your articles and would like to move into a smaller space, that isn’t always possible due to availability of a smaller rental unit. You’re stuck with paying for space that you’re actually not using.
The other storage alternatives are the on-demand storage companies that charge you by the number of items that you’re storing. Storage companies like Livible will actually send a driver with a truck over to your home, who will pack your belongings into sturdy containers, inventory these containers and attach tracking labels to them. The inventory and tracking labels make it possible for you to contact your on-demand storage company and request individual items to be delivered back to your home. Since these companies normally charge by the item, this will reduce your storage bill. It’s a very efficient system.
Whatever storage solution you decide upon, once you get the stuff out of the way, you’ll have a nice little office space that should serve you well on your new career path.