The pandemic has transformed the way Americans work, and some employees are contemplating workspace changes if remote working becomes permanent.
The tiny home movement put the spotlight on small homes typically 400 square feet or less that would be ideal for homeowners who have downsized. Inspired by that idea, nearly two-thirds of remote workers — 62% — said they would consider buying a tiny office or ‘backyard’ working space for their homes, according to a new survey by business services provider IPX 1031.
With some workers having little room for a traditional office in their homes, tiny offices could provide a less expensive option to moving.
Workers prioritize office space
Throughout the pandemic, employees across the country have been working from home and children have adjusted to taking classes online through virtual learning. As a result, many people developed a new appreciation for having a private space at home to do their work. In fact, an earlier survey found that more than half of homebuyers — 53% — would choose a house with a home office over one with an extra bedroom.
However, not everyone can pick up and move just to have a home office. Instead, some would be willing to pay to have a tiny office added to their property, according to the IPX 1031 survey.
More than a quarter of respondents — 26% — said they would not spend more than $8,000 on a tiny backyard office setup. However, nearly 3 in 4 respondents — 74% — would, in fact, pay more:
- 17% would pay between $8,000-$8,999
- 20% would pay between $9,000-$9,999
- 23% would pay between $10,000-$19,999
- 10% would pay between $20,000-$29,999
- 4% would pay upward of $30,000
Some workers are even considering turning a tiny office into an investment, with 68% of respondents saying they would consider renting out a tiny office in their backyard to other remote employees.
Workers want tiny office amenities
When asked what features they most wanted to include in a potential backyard tiny office, windows were the No. 1 desire, chosen by 68% of respondents. That was followed by:
- 66% who want heating and air conditioning
- 54% who want a bathroom
- 53% who want a quiet setting
- 34% who want solar power
- 33% who want an ergonomic setup
When it comes to the size of a tiny office space the sweet spot for the largest percentage of respondents is 200-299 square feet, with nearly a third — 30% — making that selection. That was followed by:
- 24% who said 100-199 square feet
- 20% who said 300-399 square feet
- 10% who said 400-499 square feet
- 9% who said 500 or more square feet
Methodology: IPX 1031 surveyed 2,006 Americans with a median age of 38 between Nov. 1-5, 2020. Among respondents, 15% earned under $20K; 22% earned between $20K-$40K; 25% earned betweened $40K-$60K; 21% earned between $60K-$80K; 9% earned between $80K-$100K, and 8% earned more than $100K.