Using your basement as a home office – tips
Benefits of a basement office for working from home during lockdown
A basement provides a great space for a home office. A properly converted basement will provide a dry, healthy environment that is well lite and ventilated, separated from the main house and therefore free from distractions. Even if your basement has not been converted or is a little neglected, there are a few simple things you can do to get it set up for home working.
Give the basement a good tidy and clean
Basements can all too easily become dumping grounds for household junk and things that need to be stored. Have a sort out, store what you can elsewhere or invest in some storage racks to free up the floor space. Items that need to be disposed off can be stored outside until the tips reopen although you may want to cover in plastic sheeting to keep it dry until you can dispose of it.
Clean the floor, walls and ceiling. Remove any mold with a mold cleaner and redecorate if needed (and if you can get the paint) . If you have damp patches and flaking paint, rub down the affected areas and touch up with some paint as a temporary measure. You can deal with these issues once the lock down is over.
Heat and ventilate the basement room
It is essential to get some fresh air and ventilation into the basement to maintain good air quality. It will also help to maintain some background heating to maintain 18-20oC and help keep the relative humidity in the 40-60% range. If you have a dehumidifier, then using this especially in the first few days/weeks will ensure that the relative humidity is kept within this range. Main a gap between any furniture or stored items and the walls to ensure a good circulation of air.
Maximise natural light to the basement home office
Clean the glass on your basement windows and make sure the lightwells are clean and uncovered to maximise the amount of natural light that comes into the basement. Unless you have very large lightwells and basement windows you will need to supplement the basement office with lights and lamps. There is lots of good home office lighting advice online.
Segregate the basement from your home office
If you are fortunate enough to have a large open basement, it is worth segregating off your home office to create a separate dedicated space. This can be achieved using furniture or screens, or even just hanging curtains across the room. Segregating your work space will help keep your home office separate from the home space and help it disconnecting from the office at the end of the day.