Homebuyers: Envision Your Perfect Home Office

The Must-Have home office in Bend, OR

Once an afterthought or a hutch relegated to the corner of the kitchen, the home office sits at the top of the list of must-haves for Bend, Oregon homebuyers in 2020. And it’s no wonder, as recent events have required many a quick and quirky fix—dining table desks, uncomfortable chairs and make-do lighting, perilously close to the refrigerator and foot traffic. So, slip on those noise-cancelling headphones and consider the following suggestions for making the dream of privacy and productivity a priority. The time to envision your ideal home office is now, before you buy, so you can shop for a new home with this essential space in mind.

No matter what the future holds, it’s clear that a designated home office is an asset. In Bend, where “work from home” is the second largest employment listing for local residents, a home workspace is fundamental. Whether working from home is new to you or status quo, full-time or part-time, a well-designed space to get down to business gives you the power to be flexible. How that space takes shape depends on your work-at-home needs, but three qualities will inform its success: function, comfort, and inspiration.

A workspace that works for you

Sometimes, a negative example is the best teacher. If, in the past, you’ve gone from room to room to use the printer or gather supplies, imagine how fabulous it will be to have everything you need in one place. Whether you prefer open industrial shelving or built-ins, the appropriate storage will put what you need in easy reach.

Weeks of sitting at a card table or kitchen island may have you longing for a stand-up desk or an ergonomic chair. Perhaps your work requires a private entrance and a comfortable place for a client to sit. Don’t forget the lighting! A mix of natural (skylight!) and artificial light illuminates the work and lifts the mood. Make certain, too, to consider your technology needs, including sufficient connectivity and an appropriate number of outlets.

James Stephenson and Rich Mintzer, authors of Entrepreneur Magazines Ultimate Homebased Business Handbook, recommend drawing up a detailed plan for your home office.

“The extra time spent planning your workspace now will ultimately save you time and money down the road, as it won’t be necessary to interrupt business to redo your workspace.”

You can choose to consult a designer, but a workable plan is an easy DIY task and a great way to outline your vision.

Office comfort is more than a decent chair

Comfort is critical to any workspace. Does your future home office need to be far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the household, or does a little noise lend some energy to the workday? Also, when shopping for a new home, keep in mind that your home office should be pleasant in every season. A loft space may be welcoming in spring and fall but sweltering in summer without proper ventilation. A separate structure on the property, such as a shed, may feel delightfully rustic in July but like an ice box in December. While almost any space can be adapted, it’s a good idea to think through the seasons to assess what it’ll take to make your home office livable and inviting all year long.

Inspiration every day

When envisioning your home office, it pays to daydream. This is your chance to look past the Hang In There, Kitty poster that hung in your ex-office mate’s cubicle and paint a scene for yourself that’s better than any green screen Zoom background out there. Bend and Central Oregon was ahead of the curve for working from home long before coronavirus. Our neck of the woods is, in fact, a destination for distanced endeavors and entrepreneurial spirit. Embrace the vibe. Unless your aesthetic is truly baroque, it doesn’t have to be elaborate—it just has to inspire you to do what you do, joyfully. Because when you are at work in your home office, you’re still home, and that should always feel good.

Irene Cooper is a poet, novelist, creative copywriter, and 24-year resident of Bend, Oregon, having lived in cities and small towns from New York to Rio de Janeiro to Markleevile, California. When not blogging, Irene dedicates time and energy to expanding and supporting the Central Oregon writing community.

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