In recent years, architecture has made a big step forward, and today, the number of multifunctional buildings is incalculable. However, none of them can compete with the accessory dwelling unit (ADU). This is an affordable housing option that brings many spiritual and financial benefits. The second category includes the energy-efficient component, the higher value of your property, and the ability to receive passive income from rent, but the most unusual thing is the opportunity to organize your own business and a home office.
If you like this perspective, then every square foot in your ADU should help increase productivity, inspire you to new achievements, and also assist you in completing business tasks. Home offices are very different from traditional workplaces in large corporations, so during the ADU construction process, you need to take into account some unique points.
In this review, we will present you with a guide for building a home office ADU, tell you what tricks you can use to create flexible space to implement different tasks, and also touch on hidden moments that will be the key to realizing the dream of an ideal home office.
After Thomas Edison patented his invention of the light bulb in 1879, people began to appreciate natural light less. However, this is not the best trend because sunlight carries useful vitamins, saturates the body with energy, does not cause migraines, and also has an extremely positive effect on productivity.
Guided by the latter reason, many homeowners try to provide as much natural light as possible in their ADU home office, and the following solutions are the most effective:
This method is especially relevant for compact living spaces, e.g., junior accessory dwelling units. Its principle of operation lies in the fact that builders replace all internal partitions that are made of drywall, concrete, or brick with glass. Thus, if the light penetrates into the dining room, it does not remain only in this enclosed space but extends to all adjacent, e.g., the guest room. Thus, a limited room will be visually perceived as spacious and large.
Floors are the last component of a backyard office that comes to mind when we talk about reflective surfaces. However, this solution will not only create a sense of spaciousness but also add aesthetics. White granite, marble, or white wood combined with large windows will make your ADU a space of royal scales.
Many people do not believe in the correlation between the level of lighting in the room and the color of the walls in your kitchen or bedroom. However, elementary laws of physics come into force here. The fact is that light tones reflect the sun's rays and thereby maximize space; on par with this, dark colors absorb light and create significant pressure in office space, which is especially felt in cloudy weather.
Most homeowners tend to clutter up various things not only in the main house but also in the ADU. Sometimes it gets to the point that people store so many things on window sills that they begin to hinder the penetration of lighting. Nevertheless, the solution is simple. Namely, you can clean the place next to the window sill, and the sun's rays will flood every square foot of living space with light. Moreover, if you thoroughly wash the windows from dust and dirt drops, then the need for additional lamps will disappear.
In sum, do not forget that saturating the living space with natural sunlight is also an energy-efficient solution, which means reducing utility bills in your home office ADU, which is very beneficial for the initial stage of business development.
In cognitive psychology, there is a special section dedicated to the influence of colors on our well-being. It has been proven that each color can play a certain role in the formation of a particular mood, so it makes no sense to list all the colors and shades, of which there are several thousand.
Instead, we identify three categories, namely creativity, motivation, and concentration, and select the most appropriate colors for them:
If your business in a backyard office is connected with creativity and you want to discover the world in a new way and take all the most inspiring things from it, then the ideal solution is blue, in particular royal blue or sapphire. Orange or yellow is also an adequate option for home office ADU, as they are associated with luck, good mood, and cheerfulness.
In this component, the opinions of scientists differ because some believe that each person determines the motivating color for himself, while others agree that it is red, in particular, its shades of scarlet, cardinal, and the color of hellfire, which are most often used on sports jerseys, which once again proves their motivating effect.
For long-term work, black could be suitable, but it absorbs light and is most often associated with mourning, which is why green is an ideal candidate for this role. Green shades have unique benefits; they soothe, set you up for a positive, and do not get bored.
If none of these options is suitable for your office space, then we have one universal option in the arsenal. Firstly, all pastel colors are ideal for any business, whether it's accounting or doing physical exercises like in a yoga studio.
If a person has decided to start a business, then the intention to work in the main house, where all family members live, is a losing one. You need your own space, completely private and separated from the primary living space. This is the only way you can work productively and demonstrate super performance. The most important thing, in this case, is to comply with the zoning laws established by the state of California.
We live in a world of concrete walls and glass skyscrapers and forget about the value of green plants, which, in addition to aesthetic function, have an extremely positive effect on work productivity. The explanation is very simple, plants produce oxygen, which enters our body, saturates our blood, and gives vital energy. Considering this point, we highly recommend homeowners install at least a few plants in their ADU home office and, best of all, a green wall in the spirit of the gardens of Semiramis.
Thus, your workspace will become environmentally friendly, more beautiful, and cleaner, and all bad thoughts in such an atmosphere will instantly disappear.
When homeowners start building an accessory dwelling unit, the question of the quality of soundproofing materials is not a priority. However, if you are going to use your ADU as a home office, then this point is as important as installing life support systems. We have already touched on the issue that when you switch to remote work, it is crucial to provide conditions for better concentration, and one of the steps in this task is the installation of a reliable soundproofing system.
The best options are cork plates, polyurethane plates, and a soundproof membrane. The cost of such materials is higher. However, it is a good investment in your peace of mind and productivity.
For people who work remotely, the standard furniture is not suitable in plenty of aspects. In this regard, it is necessary to equip living quarters designed for home offices with special furniture that makes life more productive and efficient.
You can discuss this issue in detail with your designer during the building process, but for now, the most popular options among property owners are:
It is noteworthy that in addition to the main benefit, which is related to productivity, some pieces of furniture in your home office can have a positive impact on health and overall life satisfaction from the success of work tasks.
Many homeowners feel that they do not have enough space in the home office to work effectively; however, in most cases, this is because of inefficient ways of storing things, not a small house.
The following unusual solutions will help you get rid of the clutter and congestion in your home office:
This storage solution is gaining popularity because more and more property owners who create a home office realize that they can use the space on the wall as effectively as on the floor.
This piece of furniture is striking in that, having a relatively small size, it can accommodate a ton of documentation, thanks to the presence of a large number of compartments from eight to sixteen.
Many homeowners divide office space into zones, and instead of ordinary partitions, you can use partitions with built-in shelves so that all the necessary things are at hand.
We can name at least two places in the bedroom where you can store almost all your things, namely, in special plastic or wicker boxes under the bed or in an additional unit above the main wardrobe.
We recommend creating hidden storage spaces both in the main house and in the backyard office, especially if you are engaged in private documentation. The most striking examples are the hidden space behind the painting, e.g., in the bedroom, double-bottom password-protected drawers, and a secret room inside the ADU, which you can also use for other purposes besides storage.
Overall, well-organized storage space in the home office will be an excellent basis for demonstrating productivity because if you have order in the workplace, then there will be order in your head.
Regardless of the type of accessory dwelling unit, whether it is a detached single-family home with a separate entrance or an ADU which is attached to the primary house, we recommend property owners create the most spacious area that will be mobile enough for practical and quick performance of work and household tasks.
This is also extremely important from the perspective of visits, that is, if customers come to your home office and if they do not have enough space to sit down tritely, then this can spoil their impressions. In addition, do not forget that every additional square foot is a huge boost to property value.
It is impossible to imagine a modern ADU home office without modern technologies that can automate most processes and therefore increase productivity. We will divide technologies into three categories. The first category includes technologies, the main goal of which is to create an ideal microclimate, in particular, smart thermostats, fans, and air purifiers. The second category is designed to provide perfect communication, and there is no better tool than voice assistant because, without any effort, you can create a group conference or find the right contact.
Finally, the third group is aimed at protecting your and your clients' data, and in case of any external threats, you will instantly find yourself under a reliable cyber defense shield.
What is the main feature of the chess game? Of course, the ability to think through moves in advance. Relaxation areas are extremely important for increasing productivity, as here you can escape from the work routine by drinking an oxygen cocktail, playing table football, or listening to music.
However, the decision to create this space will help you develop your business because if customers come to you, and you ask them to wait not just on a chair in the hallway but in a similar recreation area, then this will undoubtedly encourage financial incentives into your business.
Investing money in the construction of a home office is an excellent long-term investment that will permit you to start your business, increase property value, receive rental income, and also work effectively without noise from family members.
When building any type of accessory dwelling unit (ADU), it is necessary to take into account zoning regulations, all building codes regarding the permissible height and area, as well as the specifics of the local ordinance. In order not to get confused in the law, which varies depending on the city in California, and claim tax deductions, we recommend contacting a lawyer.
One of the features of the ADU is its energy efficiency, so during the construction process, you can ask the building company to install solar panels, optimize utility connections, insulate walls, and improve ventilation, since all these measures reduce energy consumption in additional living space, and hence the cost of the total utility bill.