In this new roaring era of working from home post-pandemic, many families are finding that having an office ADU has become basically a necessity! These backyard homes have proven to be the perfect flex space for remote working individuals to have their own private work space free from distractions. This goes double for those with energetic kids or nosy family members. Not only do they provide extra square footage, but they can also be fully customized and outfitted with the essentials for any professional.

Ready to build your own custom office in your backyard? Don’t forget to add in these must-haves.

Floor to Ceiling Shelves

Photo from The Spruce

If there’s one thing we always drive home to clients, it’s that you can never have too much storage in an ADU. Turn an empty wall into something truly functional with floor-to-ceiling shelves. This low-cost addition can make a big difference between a cluttered and clean living space. The vertical storage not only maximizes the use of available space but also adds a modern and organized aesthetic to your ADU.

Whether it’s displaying cherished items, organizing essentials, or creating a home library, floor-to-ceiling shelves provide a versatile solution that enhances both the functionality and visual appeal of your ADU.

Murphy Bed

Photo from Futon Land

Why do you need a bed in your office? You’re telling us you’ve never wanted to take a snooze during a lunch break?

All jokes aside, while your primary intention for the ADU may be for working, having a murphy bed in the unit provides a lot of flexibility. A murphy bed is a bed that can be flipped up and stored against the wall, completely hidden when not in use. If you have visitors during the holidays, they can be housed comfortably in the ADU. This multifunctional addition transforms the space from a dedicated workspace into a guest room with ease. It’s the perfect solution for maximizing the utility of your ADU, ensuring that it serves both your professional and personal needs without compromising on comfort or style.

Sound-Proof Walls

Sound-proofing not only shields your workspace from external disturbances but also ensures that your professional environment remains undisturbed by activities elsewhere in your home. This is especially crucial during virtual meetings, phone calls, or when dealing with tasks that require concentration.

As important as it is to keep noises out, sound-proof walls also keep confidential information in. For Walter, a psychologist in Los Angeles, this was of utmost importance for his office ADU. The ADU was designed with privacy in mind, featuring thick walls and noise blocking doors so that Walter’s patients are assured that their appointments are completely confidential.

Consider sound-proof walls as an essential element in your office ADU design. It’s an investment in focus, efficiency, and the overall quality of your remote work experience.

Natural Light

According to Forbes, “bad lighting is associated with a range of ill-health effects, both physical and mental, such as eye strain, headaches, fatigue and also stress and anxiety.”

In the realm of office ADUs, the significance of natural light cannot be overstated. Beyond merely brightening up your workspace, natural light plays a pivotal role in enhancing mental well-being and fostering productivity. A well-lit environment has been linked to improved mood, increased alertness, and reduced stress levels.

Integrating ample windows, skylights, or glass doors in your ADU design not only provides a visually appealing atmosphere but also allows the benefits of natural light to flood your workspace.

Privacy Screens or Fence

With all of those windows bringing in that juicy natural light, you may be wondering about privacy. Adding a fence or privacy screen can easily solve that issue. When designing an ADU, its just as important to think about the exterior as it is the interior.

A well-placed fence or privacy screen not only addresses concerns about onlookers but also contributes to defining the boundaries of your ADU space. Consider incorporating greenery or aesthetically pleasing materials into your privacy solution, ensuring that it complements the overall design of the ADU.

Take this Berkeley garage conversion ADU for example. With the bedroom window facing directly into the backyard, the homeowners incorporated a stunning succulent wall to maintain privacy for both parties without limiting natural light for the ADU.

Maxable Tip: You can also angle the entrance of the ADU away from the primary residence for privacy coming and going from the ADU.

Appealing Backdrop

Photo from Walls Republic

If you often find yourself in Zoom meetings, this next tip will be important. When deciding on the floor plan of your ADU, think about where your desk will be placed and where your camera will be facing.

For instance, you don’t want a bright window directly behind you as it can cause backlighting issues, making it difficult for others to see you clearly on camera. You also don’t want a lot of clutter behind you.

The best setting is to sit with your back to a wall with a light source anywhere in front of you. You can leave the wall blank if you want something simple and clean, or you can add artwork or wallpaper to add some pizzazz. Either way, make sure you take desk positioning into account when working with your designer on the floor plan.

Relaxation Space

Photo from The Gloss

Your office ADU doesn’t have to be all about work. Incorporate a space for you to unwind in between emails. This can be a yoga corner, a breakfast nook for enjoying your coffee, or even a patio to get some sun on your skin.

Designing a dedicated relaxation area within your ADU provides a sanctuary where you can recharge and destress, promoting a healthy work-life balance.

Build Your Office ADU With Maxable

Yearning for that office ADU? Get connected to the ADU professionals you need to get your project started with Maxable. We’ve worked with thousands of homeowners to bring their ADUs from vision to reality, whether that’s large two-story stand-alone ADUs for bringing family together, to stunning farm-house chic garage conversions for passive rental income.

Tell us a bit about your ADU dreams and we’ll get started matching you designers and builders in your area.