Blog

Creating the Ideal Work from Home Extension

Date

08 Feb 2022

By

Simon McAuliffe

The last two years have seen more people working from home than ever before. Whilst some may still be in the office in a part-time capacity, others are now fully remote, and many employees have had to adapt to new ways of working, particularly at home. Lockdown has taught us all that perching on the edge of the dining table or hiding upstairs in the bedroom certainly isn’t ideal. 

With this new way of working here to stay for many of us, some people are looking to take proactive steps, and install a work from home extension – a dedicated space in which they can be productive and comfortable. Extending has become a popular option for many, with 42% of homeowners saying they would prefer to expand and improve what they have than have to search for a bigger house. 

According to a survey carried out by MoneySuperMarket, this is a common reason homeowners decide to call in the contractors: the survey found that 31% of us extend specifically in order to create a home office or business space.

And, according to studies conducted around the work environment and productivity, the most important factor contributing towards a person’s ability to focus is their physical environment. Furthermore, research from architecture firm, Gensler, has shown that a well-designed office space can yield a 20% increase in employee productivity. The impact of a well planned, designated workspace is clear, which is particularly pertinent for those planning a new extension to accommodate this.

 Designing a work from home extension

Man working in an airy. light home office

A new extension, no matter what its purpose (working, cooking, relaxing), is a large undertaking that requires a lot of careful planning. The function of the new space needs to be considered, as well as the size, shape and dimensions of the extension.

When designing a glazed extension, these considerations become even more important because, when working with glass, there is little room for error. 

Fortunately, with the right experience, glazing is more secure, safe and adaptable than ever before. Specialist glass suppliers, such as Cantifix, are now able to manufacture record-breaking large glass panels, or create expansive structural glass walls with minimal framework – meaning whatever your vision for a home working extension, in the right hands it can become reality.

Size may no longer present many limits – but what about the shape of a glazed extension? Fortunately The introduction of innovative invisible corners’ means that an extension can take advantage of every view with no obstructions, in a room of any shape, by fusing together two panels of glass using an undetectable join. The result is a pure glass corner of crystal-clear glazing, which allows for any shape of space – no matter how quirky – and provides an almost illusionary quality to any extension.

This means that when it comes to designing a work from home extension, the possibilities are endless in creating a size and shape that works for you. The beauty of this is that you can create a flexible, multi-functional, dynamic space that adapts as you need it to. During the day, you can use the extension as a quiet work-from-home office space, whilst in the evening, it might transform into a heart-of-the-home kitchen area. Alternatively, you might choose to have separate sections of the extension for different functions, with clearly ‘zoned’ areas.

How to light a home office

Man sitting in a work from home extensionA recent survey by Staples revealed that 80% of office workers said having good lighting was important to them, with two-in-five (40%) saying they have to deal with uncomfortable lighting each day. A third of respondents said that having better lighting would make them happier at work. So, when it comes to setting up an office at home, it seems that most people are already recognising light is one of the crucial factors in staying focused and inspired. 

However, it’s often overlooked – and the effects of this are worrying. Bad lighting can cause headaches and eyestrain, whilst dark spaces can sometimes even result in cases of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression – especially when we begin to navigate the shortest and darkest days of the year.

So, as you begin designing your ideal home working extension, you should consider light. And, out of all the different ways that you can use light in your home office space, harnessing natural light is the most valuable way to improve your space and boost your productivity levels. The importance of natural lighting cannot be underestimated.

First of all, natural light is the thing that controls our circadian rhythm – this is essentially our 24-hour body clock, which responds to the stimulus of light. Interestingly, studies have shown that those who sit by a window at work get roughly 45 minutes more sleep a night than those who work under artificial light, which is all influenced by our circadian rhythm. In this way, exposure to natural light promotes a healthier sleeping pattern which is key to good physical and mental health. Let’s not forget that natural light is also the best source of vitamin D, so this is another contributing factor towards a healthier, more productive you.

Furthermore, research by Cornell University shows that a space illuminated by daylight can create a happier, more alert worker, with examples demonstrating that those exposed to daylight experienced a 51% drop in the incidence of eyestrain, a 63% drop in the incidence of headaches and a 56% reduction in drowsiness. 

When it comes to your new work-from-home extension, if you can, think seriously about installing skylights or floor-to-ceiling windows, such as the new Solstice Glass offering from Cantifix. This is the first ever glass designed specifically to harness the health benefits of natural light, not only allowing more light into your home but also providing a better quality of daylight in order to have a positive effect on your alertness and productivity.

Connecting indoors and outdoors

Home office with frameless glass roof and wallAnother significant benefit of a glazed extension is the access it provides to the outdoors. This is particularly beneficial for those creating a new remote working environment within their home, as an expansive view of the outside can create a greater sense of wellbeing which, in turn, can lead to better focus and productivity.

In the winter, the expansive glazing can provide a window to the outside world, with no restrictions, but with all the warmth and comfort of insulated glass. In the summer, it’s possible to open up the whole of the back wall – either with sliding or bifold doors – to provide a harmonious link between inside and outside.

Not only does this expand your living/office space, meaning you can accommodate more visitors, but it’s also good for health (through greater exposure to fresh air and daylight).

‘Zoning’ in an open plan, multi function extension

Working from home extension with sliding glass doorsNow, more than ever, spaces are required to work harder – they need to be more flexible, accommodating for a combination of ‘live, work and play’ applications. A dedicated home workspace is vital to productivity and concentration, and a beautifully designed glass office is a great solution. 

However, your glazing supplier will be able to help you design a space that works both practically and visually. With a variety of options, including opaque glass panels, switchable panels, or even glass floor panels to create clearly differentiated zones, it’s possible to create a small and quiet private workspace, or a bright and airy glass office.

With more time for you and your family, your home office can become a multi-functional space for you all to enjoy when the working day is over. A space to relax, to spend time together and enjoy – but when the working week comes, you have the ideal office set-up to ensure a productive day.

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By combining our 3 decades of experience with the finest cutting-edge technology, here at Cantifix, we can create a glass office or workspace that is comfortable, creative, and conducive to productivity. Our experts will work with you to create a glazed extension with the perfect mix of light, space and garden views.

The seamless connection between the outside world and your workspace makes these glass extensions spaces of inspiration, and they’re designed with you at every stage.