One of the most beneficial results of internet technology is that it is allowing an unprecedented number of people to work from home. The ability to work from home benefits individuals by eliminating the stress of fighting traffic and saving money on gas. It benefits the environment by reducing the pollution that contributes to global warming. It also benefits the economy.
Financial experts estimate that if everyone with a job that could be done from home didn’t have to commute, the national savings would equal over $700 billion dollars per year. Individuals could save between $2000 and $7000 and businesses could save $11,000 per person. The amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere would also be dramatically reduced. Even governments are considering implementing teleworking programs for government employees, and have found that the cost to do so would be two-thirds less than the cost of a single day of government operation.
Working from home doesn’t just save money on gas, insurance, clothing, and food. For small businesses, it can also eliminate rental costs. Space is at a premium, which is why more people are choosing to convert their garages into home offices. Garage space provides the dual advantage of being able to work without many of the daily interruptions of home life, yet being nearby in case of an emergency. Other advantages include being able to start a load of laundry and the dishwasher during a break. That means you can finish the housework and your paid job at the same time, leaving you free to actually relax or play after work.
The idea has become so popular that there are companies that specialize in these conversions. They provide free in-home consultations and can advise clients about local building restrictions and requirements. The average cost of a garage- to-office conversion ranges between $5,000 and $20,000. Depending on how much of the work you’re willing to do yourself, this is an investment that can pay for itself and even begin paying dividends within a very short time.
There are a lot of great design ideas out there. One of the challenges is that most garages don’t have windows and aren’t very well insulated, which could mean higher heating and lighting costs. For those with the resources, one solution is to install insulated windows or skylights. New insulating garage doors can solve two problems at the same time since many of them come with windows. They also provide added security, since the windows can be near the top of the door to allow light in, but prevent passersby from being able to see inside.
There are a few other challenges to converting your garage into a home office. One of them is that it renders your vehicle homeless. One solution for protecting your vehicle from the elements is to purchase a carport. Another challenge is the loss of storage space. However, sectioning off a portion of the garage for your office while retaining the rest of it for storage can be accomplished as easily as positioning a few stand-up screens in the right places. Screens have the added advantage of being decorative. Outdoor carpeting can serve to cover any unsightly stains, improve acoustics and add warmth and color.
If you are only using a portion of the garage for your home office, organizing with less space can be a challenge, too. Luckily, those who have already made a successful transition to a home office are willing to share tips on the best ways to organize your home office for minimum stress and maximum efficiency. Remember, too, that any investments you make during the transformation can become home office deductions on your taxes, including heating and cooling options. Most people find that home offices pay for themselves fairly quickly, and provide good future dividends, both material and emotional.
Converting garage to a home office to reduce costs and conserve resources is a choice more people are making. They’re prioritizing space for themselves and their families over space for their cars. In the final analysis, people are more important than things. That’s why whatever type of home office conversion, organization, and decoration you choose, safety should be your top priority throughout the process.