There's no way around it. More people than ever are working from home since 2020, and the need for home offices is not going anywhere any time soon. A home office is a very attractive feature for a lot of home buyers, and even if it's just located in a nook somewhere, it's a feature to keep in mind when designing future projects. Surprisingly, there are several location options if you think outside the box.
MAIN FLOOR ENTRANCE
The main floor office is the OG of office locations - a proper room with a door near the front entry.
This is hands down the best spot for a buyer who needs a legitimate office and doesn't want to be relegated to the basement or upper floor. The office window looks over the street, which is a nice view, and its convenient location near the front door is a bonus for workers with in-person clientele.
It takes up a good amount of space on the main floor, and can block light flow from the front of the home to the back.
PRO TIP: You can market the space as an alternative music or play room to appeal to buyers who don't need an office. If you choose this location, make sure to include a door or at least a good spot to have one added!
MAIN FLOOR NOOK
The main floor nook office is an older concept most commonly found near/in the kitchen, if there's a centrally-located staircase.
This area tends to get a lot of natural light, and it can be used as a drop zone for a buyer who doesn't need a computer here. This is a great way to fill otherwise awkward space, and it can fit a relatively good size desk.
It's noisy and right in the heart of the action, so not exactly practical for any buyer with kids or pets. Because of this, it's less popular these days and buyers tend to prefer this be extra kitchen cabinetry or open to below to allow light into the basement.
MAIN FLOOR MUD ROOM
If the floorplan allows, the mud room can be a great option if you want an office on the main floor but don't have the square footage for a room by the front entrance.
It's on the main floor and may have the option to add a door for quiet and privacy. When thinking of resale, future buyers can also use it as a homework station.
There's a high chance of it becoming cluttered and a drop-zone for the whole family. With the location's primary purpose being a mud room, the area could end up with shoes, jackets, etc. laying around.
PRO TIP: If you go this route, make sure to still include an area for coats and shoes in the mud room, and don't simply convert this entire space to an office! Otherwise, you lose some functionality. Also, making the desk area easily convertible back into mud room storage would be ideal, in the event your buyer doesn't need a proper office.
UPPER FLOOR LOFT
The upper floor loft office is right at the top of the stairs in the hallway before the bedrooms.
Photo from Contemporist
PROS:It can be used as an office, an alternative play area for kids, or a reading nook.
It usually means smaller upstairs bedrooms because you have to squeeze it in.
PRIMARY BEDROOM NOOK
The primary bedroom nook office can be in a hallway at the bedroom entrance.
Photo from Contemporist
It works well for parents who need privacy from the rest of the family when working but don't have a lot of space to work with elsewhere in the home. Alternatively, it can be used for a coffee/beverage station if you rough in plumbing.
This isn't the most popular location for buyers, so it needs to be seen as a bonus and not a trade-off in order to ensure resale is not affected.
PRO TIP: Make sure you still have a generous closet in the primary bedroom if you go this route, so buyers do not feel that the office nook has been traded off for adequate storage.
A great location for the basement nook office is right next to the spare bedroom, or in the hallway at the base of the stairs.
You can often squeeze in a basement office with a door in lieu of a storage room, and buyers who don't need it will just use as storage anyways. Win-win! Also, basements tend to be less active and noisy than the rest of the house when there are other family members home, so can be a better full-time home office space for those with kids.
There's potential for a basement nook to be a dark work space given there is less natural light on this level.
PRO TIP: You'll get bonus points if you can incorporate a window somehow!
A popular location for a basement office is the staircase if the layout can fit a desk.
This location is often poorly utilized, and adding a desk doesn't take up too much living space.
It's open concept, so it's not ideal if a buyer needs full privacy for their workstation.
PRO TIP: This location works best if there is a door to the basement to cut off sound from the main floor.
Interested in more new infill design ideas? Check out our blog Infill Features Gaining Popularity!