By John Grainger, Property editor
There was a time when a lot of us did it. Then most of us didn’t. And now more and more are doing it again.
Working from home is an increasingly popular lifestyle choice, with more than a quarter of the British workforce sometimes working from home, according to the Office for National Statistics.
In fact, it’s probably fair to say there haven’t been so many people in paid employment working from home since the cottage industries of the pre-industrialised 18th century.
The reasons are clear. It’s technologically possible, it’s convenient for employees, and – importantly – it’s actually cost-effective for employers.
That’s supported by empirical research. A large Chinese trial, for example, found that home working was 13 per cent more productive, halved staff sickness and attrition rates, and saved thousands of dollars per employee annually.
At home, it’s popular with the Trades Union Congress and, lately, the cash-strapped Government.
To join in with this home-working revolution, though, you’ll need somewhere in your home to work. The following four properties all have areas that are being, or could easily be, used as a home office.
Wellgarth House is a semi-detached family house that, along with its neighbours, was converted about 20 years ago from old brewery buildings, just near the Black Sheep Brewery, on the edge of Masham.
It has four bedrooms, a carport and gardens, but one of its greatest assets is its lower-ground floor. Extending to more than 460 square feet, it is currently used as a games room/studio, but could easily provide spacious office space for a home worker (or two).
Abbey House is a grade II-listed Georgian property set back from the road in the centre of Boroughbridge.
It has three good-sized bedrooms, a single garage and gardens with a 200-year-old yew tree, maturing fruit trees including peach and fig, and a greenhouse.
It also has a ground-floor office, which could suit someone who works from home but who also needs to be near the amenities of the town centre.
For those who don’t need to be near a town – anywhere near – High Hood Gap may be the ideal choice.
It’s a secluded farmhouse in an elevated setting, accessed via a ¾-mile shared-access track from the hamlet of Heyshaw, on the opposite side of the River Nidd from Low Laithe.
It has three bedrooms, two garages, gardens and just over an acre of field enclosed by a dry-stone wall.
Home workers might be attracted by the office, whose French windows open onto the patio, as well as the range of small outbuildings, which include a workshop, storage/kennels and stabling facilities.
Finally, The Stables is a large, detached five-bedroom property, built in the mid-19th century, whose original purpose accounts for its unusual length.
Set in south-facing walled gardens, it has also been extended over the years, and in addition to the usual roster of rooms now has a children’s playroom, a games room/gym, two integral single garages and, of course, a large home office.
This is situated in the rather presidential-sounding west wing, and could be extended into adjacent storage areas.