In the U.S., remote working is really catching on. In fact, nearly six out of 10 employers say that telecommuting allows them to cut costs, and many employees love the flexibility of being able to work from home. But for those who continue to travel to the office every day for work, there’s a strange new opportunity to make some extra cash while your home office is empty.
Hermit Offices hopes to capitalize from a formerly untapped market. In the same way that Airbnb lets people rent their homes, Hermit Offices connects remote workers with homeowners who have unused space. While residents are away at work, workers can rent out their space through Hermit. To get started, all you need is a single room, access to amenities, adequate lighting, and broadband internet.
In return, Hermit takes care of everything else, including security, property management, and insurance. While some employers and freelancers choose to rent out virtual work spaces for remote working, Hermit claims that their rent can equal half that cost. Plus, there’s guaranteed access to a kitchen and bathroom (although no guarantee they’ll be clean). Because these properties double as a lived-in home, there could be a more welcoming feel to these office spaces, even if they don’t come with conference rooms or P.O. boxes.
Currently, Hermit is available only in London, but the company hopes to expand to other major cities in the near future. The company notes that the combination of privacy, comfort, and flexibility is a real selling point for both homeowners and workers.
The sticking point for some, of course, is whether they want to open up their home to relative strangers. And while Airbnb has become a billion dollar business, countless other peer-to-peer startups have failed miserably in trying to transfer that model to other sectors.
If you feel like renting out a home office to remote workers — or you want to improve that workspace for yourself — you don’t have to break the bank. About 35% of remodeling jobs involve the entire home, and you can make effective changes with very little effort when it comes to your home office. Experts suggest that ample natural lighting, a built-in desk, clean lines, and organizational tools can help define your space and increase productivity while working at home — or at someone else’s home.
And if you do decide to rent out your new home office while you’re at work, at least your improved space will guarantee a second steady income stream.
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