Attic My Office The Victorian House

Would You Rent Out Your Home Office?

A Facebook group of working moms in the area is discussing ideas for co-working spaces. People are thinking it would be nice to have a space to work outside of their home, $50-100/month for occasional access, something like that. Which I read at my desk on our quiet and cute 1000 sq ft. third floor, where I work all by myself. Where I am planning an office makeover with room for the assistant I don’t currently have, and where I’ll soon be turning the home’s former third kitchen into a kitchenette and crafting space.

It’s a little seed of an idea. I haven’t even talked about it with Brandon. I’m sure there’s insurance to look into, maybe legal zoning or permits to acquire. It’s an interesting option though, isn’t it?

Naveya & Sloane Showroom
Image: Naveya & Sloane’s Showroom, New Zealand Design Blog

I know a lot of people rent their homes out on Airbnb or Kid & Coe. It’s not something that I’ve ever considered all that seriously for us though — this is my kids’ home and it feels strange to let strangers sleep here (though I’ve happily slept in other people’s listings). Locals in need of a place to work though? People that live in the area that would be regulars? I mean, we’ve got some extra room.

We have extra parking spaces that we rent out too, but obviously this is quite a bit different. A quick search of “Airbnb for home offices” yielded few good results. This is totally just this morning’s thoughts and maybe it will go nowhere (people that work from home might not want to work in someone else’s home!), but it’s something fun to think about.

Would you rent out or share your home office?

Working in the Naveya & Sloane Showroom
Image: Naveya & Sloane’s Showroom, New Zealand Design Blog

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  • Roxy
    March 1, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Absolutely! This is actually a concept that I’m working toward right now. I’m looking into buying a home in our Chicagoland suburb that is zoned for commercial and residential use, so that I can convert it into a co-working studio space for myself and other creative entrepreneurs. Oh, to dream..

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Smart! I think it makes so much sense in the right situation, and yours sounds ideal. Good luck!

  • AshleyM
    March 1, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Cool! I don’t know if I would rent out my own, but I do think it would be super interesting to rent a work space in someone else’s home! (Especially yours…would be super inspiring!)

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      I mean, I don’t think *we* are actually going to do this. It’s fun to think about and in theory it could be good. The third floor is quiet, there’s plenty of space for someone to be in the same room or off by themselves, and it’s going to be cute when I’m done with it. But I don’t think it would be as great in practice! I actually kind of like working solo most of the time — I can kind of do my own thing.

  • angela
    March 1, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    As someone who works from home, I wouldn’t do this. Not in someone else’s home (but certainly would do a home converted into an office/studio type space). Part of renting out a space is to get out of the a home where people live.

    That said, along with my work from home job, I also board dogs in my home. Part of the appeal to my clients is that my regular job is work from home, so that defeats a bit of the purpose of me ever renting out a co-working space.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      Yeah, I think a lot of people are looking for a place that really feels like going to work (but without the commitment of a dedicated office when you don’t necessarily need one all the time).

  • Christine
    March 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Never. I would hate to have a stranger in my home especially if I were there with my kids. Also my office is also my sewing/quilting room so it is in “creative disarray” most of the time.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Mine is usually in the same state of disarray! The stranger thing is why I wouldn’t want to rent out our home for vacations. This seems more like a group of regulars, which is appealing, but yeah, they are basically strangers.

  • AnnW
    March 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Not with children in the house. You never know. It is too high a risk. If I had a space that had its own entrance, like over the garage, I might do it. You might be better off renting the entire house for a month in the summer to someone who wants to visit Chicago.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      There are a lot of houses in our neighborhood with coach houses over the garage (some quite nice!). That would be great for this kind of thing, or just flat out renting it as a vacation property. The only way I could rent the house out would be to someone I knew, or a friend of a friend. That kind of thing. I know people do it all the time, but I would be nervous.

  • Kim R
    March 1, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    If I had the space I would consider it. My husband works from home every day. He is in sales and a people person and he craves more social interaction. Currently we are in a three bedroom townhouse and we want to keep a dedicated guest room so it is not feasible. He has conference calls all day long that would not be conducive to sharing his office with others. If we had another room, though, I think it would work well.
    I too have stayed in many airbnb rentals BUT always in the “entire house or apartment” category. I am not comfortable with staying overnight under the same roof as someone I don’t really know.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      I like renting the entire place too. I see a lot of rooms for rent, and I always wonder how many people go for that option.

  • Jeannine Foss
    March 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    No, I couldn’t do it for a lot of reasons. I run errands off and on all day long. What if I need to leave and someone is upstairs working in my office? My house is full of artwork, jewelry and expensive camera equipment. If I had to lock up my things I wouldn’t feel like I was living in my own house anymore. I also have two 4 year old kids who run wild in the house all day. I’d have to make them tone it down in order to accommodate a working stranger – no way, it wouldn’t be fair to them. I can think of at least 5 other reasons off the top of my head, no it couldn’t work for us.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      “If I had to lock up my things I wouldn’t feel like I was living in my own house anymore.” YES. Good point. I tend to be on the trusting side, and I would just think the people renting would be inherently honest, but obviously that may not be the case.

  • Amy
    March 1, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Yes! Someone please do this! I get so crazy board at home alone all of the time! I’ve taken to spending my days with the Gilmore Girls

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Ha! Not a bad way to spend time, but maybe not the best if you’ve got things to do!

  • Em
    March 2, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I don’t think $100 is worth the effort all of this would entail. Plus, you could never truly relax in your home if a stranger was using it as a work space.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      No way, $100 isn’t worth it. I was trying to think about what *would* make it worth the hassle. Is it $1000? Is it covering the mortgage? But then yeah, if I’m not up there working and someone else was, how weird would that feel?

  • Mark Walden
    March 2, 2017 at 11:19 am

    A friend is part of a coworking group that rotates through each others’ homes – not a moneymaker, but a form of community with no financial cost. Seems like a great idea to me! And FYI the OPRF Chamber of Commerce (where I work) partners with the OP Public Library on a free coworking space there, 9-5 the third Monday of every month.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      That’s nice! That’s a really great idea, actually. And I heard about that at the library from a couple of people, but have never gone. I think I actually do prefer working on my own.

  • Kelly McCants
    March 2, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I would rent out my home office, if we created a separate entrance. I ran Modern June out of my home office for nearly 6 years before renting. I liked having the extra people around, but I’d want my privacy on days when I didn’t need to work.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      I think that’s how I would feel. Nice to have others there while I was working, but what about if I wasn’t doing a 9-5 thing that day, and other people are?

  • Whitney Patterson
    March 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Yes! I don’t have space to rent out, but I love the idea of being part of a co-working space. I live in Seattle, and all of the options I’ve seen are much more expensive than I’m willing to pay. I think if the house had a dedicated workspace (not just hanging out in someone’s dining room with their kids running around), I would love it. My husband works from home, too, but he does not appreciate my attempts to chat most of the time, and it would be nice to be around other people :)

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      My friend in Seattle had a beautiful coworking space, and my jaw dropped when she told me how affordable her share was. I think it was a completely lucky find though! Yeah, the house would have to have a dedicated space, or even a separate entrance / structure (like the coach house idea mentioned above), where you can’t hear the noise and distraction of family life.

  • JenW
    March 6, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Meh, I probably wouldn’t rent out office space in my home. Half the benefits to working from home to me is the freedom to work how I like. Play the music I want, at the volume I want, and when those times roll around where I need to focus extra hard and formulate reports I tend to listen to the same song (or 3-4 songs) on repeat endlessly. I do NOT want to concern myself with being a considerate office mate. I want to be an inconsiderate office mate and not feel bad about it. :) I like that I can participate on telecons while folding laundry and spread out as far I I’d like.

    • Making it Lovely
      March 6, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      I love it. Relish in the freedom to be an inconsiderate office mate!

  • Sandra
    March 16, 2017 at 6:23 am

    I think renting out your extra home rooms as office space is very good idea. You can charge working professionals little bit higher than you would a regular tourist. Besides having a secured long term rent income is any something all realtors aim for.

  • Mandy
    March 16, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Actually, this is a great idea! I’d be happy to rent some space in my house, if I have any. That way you kind of socialize AND get some extra cash.