Dedicated room for home office

Desiree M

New Member
Do you find it necessary to have a home office dedicated solely to your VA business? My boyfriend and I are in a bit of a disagreement. Right now we share an office. We do have space in the house for a second office but it's being used as something else right now.

He thinks is unnecessary b/c everything I use is wireless so I don't need to be IN the office to work (laptop, wireless printer, etc), and he's generally not home in the daytime using the office anyway.

So I thought I'd reach out to my experienced VA friends on the board and get some feedback on how valuable you find a private, dedicated home office, or if you end up using your laptop in other rooms or locations anyway

It's just the two of us, no kids or roommies running around

Thanks!
Desiree
 

Heather845

New Member
In my humble opinion, it would be best to keep your efforts separated. I have a dedicated room for my home office and also utilize space at the local library if I need to do mailings or larger projects that cannot be contained in my office.

I frequently take calls, Skype, record features and audio, as well as blast music as I get closed to a busy deadline. All of that any the occasional singing to my corgi as the day progresses.

I would hate for my significant other to bust me singing to the dog OR (WORSE) walk in on a Skype meeting in his jammies.

Depending on your style and what you do- it may be better to compromise. You may also want to check to see if you have any time-shared professional space that you could tap into if necessary. It may also be an awesome way to drum up work.

Best of luck!
 
I have a dedicated room 80% of them time. The other 20% it is my daughters art room while I work. I used to only have a enclosed desk with doors in our main room that was my space. I love that I have an actual room for my office now. It also help me detach and focus on family when I'm away from my office "room".
 

The Perfect Word

Community Leader
I SO wish I had a dedicated room!! I have a great office, but it's out in the open. My son is grown and comes home a few days about one a month, is very quiet...and is also my subcontractor! So he's not a problem. And my husband is rarely home, but when he is, it can be very frustrating trying to work! I would say get that dedicated space if it's at all possible.
 

Birgit

New Member
I agree with everyone. I also have my own dedicated office and it does help being able to close the door when necessary. Especially since my husband works from home a lot as well, so it really helps having this physical space when the need arises.
 

Desiree M

New Member
Thanks for the thoughts, everyone! I'll really be pushing harder to have a separate work space now. Maybe I should send my boyfriend over here to read this :)
 

AuroraMuse

New Member
I think it's a preference thing.
I've worked with both..right now we are creating an office where we can both work (currently he doesn't work at home a lot but in the future he may) and it seems like it will work for us. We have worked side by side before and it worked out well. We set rules and respected each other but it was nice having him there for a little support here and there, if I had a question about something technical or needed to bounce an idea off of someone he was there. Or even something as small as if he was getting up to get a drink he'd offer to get me one too was nice to have.
But at the same time we were both ok with shifting ourselves when we needed. If I want to make a phone call in private I will either let him know and if he's on his laptop he will shift himself to another room or I will because I'm usually on my laptop (especially if I am on a call). So it works for us...if that is something you and you're boyfriend are willing to do and it doesn't take away from your work and energy than seems like a good thing.
I am also lucky that he tries to deal with my pet peeves if I am having a stressful day or won't be offended if I put on headphones to cancel out certain noises. But if a tapping of a pen will drive you crazy and he does it all the time with no intentions of stopping..that's not going to work..so it depends on you and your boyfriend.

As I write this my husband is on the other side of the room typing away as I do...and he also just saved my butt in a project I was working on. (phew) It works for us and we work together from time to time as well.
 

Erika

New Member
I think for tax purposes, you need a "dedicated office", don't you? Maybe you can get him on that technicality :) I think whatever percentage of your shared office he uses (say 50%), you can't claim the utilities on your taxes and such.

I'm not a tax person so I may be WAY off base but I think that's what our accountant told me years ago when I started working from home.

Why do you want your own space? If you need the storage for supplies, feel like you'd be less distracted/more productive, etc., then I'd hope he would understand that. Can he share the other space with his office and you keep this one? Then the other space isn't being given up, just made smaller :)
 

Desiree M

New Member
Lol, it's a whole "thing" about whether or not we really need a shared home office and a guest room, or a two separate home offices and no guest room. I'd like to have my own space for privacy, storage, organization, quiet, but he is adamant that we *need* a guest room exclusively as a guest room (in his family, hospitality is very important when people come to visit. Asking family to stay at a hotel... well, that would not go over well with the fam).

I'm trying to work out a compromise where it's an office maybe with a pull-out couch, but he's not sure he wants to change the room, get new furniture, etc, until we know if my business is going to be successful or at least more than very PT. I looked into shared office space nearby, but it's extremely limited and would at this time eat my profit and then some.

He really isn't coming across well here; however, he is extremely supportive (just slightly less so in this one area).

I believe you are right about the tax purposes, Erika, so I will add that to my list of "pros" of having a separate office!
 

Susankelly

New Member
I love being single for a variety of reasons but this is surely one! My entire home is my office and other than the dog I don't have to worry about bothering anyone.
 

Emmeelue84

Member
I do have a current space dedicated as my office and prefer to work in there but it wouldnt bother me if my husband shared it with me since he is hardly ever in his.
 

AuroraMuse

New Member
hmm..well, its understandable for the most part.
Can you possibly purchase a inexpensive small desk and fit it in the spare room and keep the bed in there too? maybe even one with wheels you can move into another room if needed.
Or dedicate some a small area in another room like the living room? Since he will probably be working in the office you can agree that the other room is yours during certain hours.
Just thought I'd share some ideas.

While I think its nice to have a guest room and my family (as well as my husband's family) is the same way so we were raised that way as well. We don't have the choice for a guest room at this point and it wouldn't be a priority when we purchase our own home. But we do often have guests (and quite a few at a time too). Between the couch bed and air mattresses we get by pretty well. (and if you want to offer a bed you can offer your own and you two sleep on the couch), so maybe that's something that can work for you.

Good Luck!
 

Coline

New Member
Desiree,

I had an accountant tell me that if you use that room as a dedicated office, it is a tax write-off. The rules are a bit complicated, but this may be something you want to talk to an accountant about before you make a decision.

Coline
 

Coline

New Member
I think that the privacy is nice when you have a phone call or video call with a client; that is just one benefit to having a seperate office.
 

Coline

New Member
I think it's a preference thing.
I've worked with both..right now we are creating an office where we can both work (currently he doesn't work at home a lot but in the future he may) and it seems like it will work for us. We have worked side by side before and it worked out well. We set rules and respected each other but it was nice having him there for a little support here and there, if I had a question about something technical or needed to bounce an idea off of someone he was there. Or even something as small as if he was getting up to get a drink he'd offer to get me one too was nice to have.
But at the same time we were both ok with shifting ourselves when we needed. If I want to make a phone call in private I will either let him know and if he's on his laptop he will shift himself to another room or I will because I'm usually on my laptop (especially if I am on a call). So it works for us...if that is something you and you're boyfriend are willing to do and it doesn't take away from your work and energy than seems like a good thing.
I am also lucky that he tries to deal with my pet peeves if I am having a stressful day or won't be offended if I put on headphones to cancel out certain noises. But if a tapping of a pen will drive you crazy and he does it all the time with no intentions of stopping..that's not going to work..so it depends on you and your boyfriend.

As I write this my husband is on the other side of the room typing away as I do...and he also just saved my butt in a project I was working on. (phew) It works for us and we work together from time to time as well.
It's nice being able to work from home with your husband; I am in the same situation, my husband and I work together in the business, and he has helped me out on a few projects. He has a lot of tech expertise as well. But, we have some ground rules, like if I lock the door when I'm on Skype, he doesn't bother me, and vice-versa.
 

AuroraMuse

New Member
Totally makes sense Coline! Glad to hear you found a way to make it work. It usually only works if you set ground rules just like that.
I just let my husband know (or put up a sign) and he respects it, as do I for his needs. Currently it works. Other than needing to make phone calls & skype (especially at the same time) I really like working together, takes the loneliness out of working alone and feels supporting.
 

Desiree M

New Member
Thanks everyone! Aurora, that's a great idea with the sign, and it's heartening to hear other couples have made the shared office space work!
 
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