Make money from your home by turning it to an office workspace
You could earn hundreds of pounds a year by hiring out your living room to businesses. Find out how to turn your home into an office workspace.
July 14, 2016
Turn your home into an office workspace
In a world where a garage can sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds, it’s not surprising that people are increasingly looking for ways to make the most of the space they already own.
The short-term rental market has boomed in recent years thanks to rising interest in sharing space. The room rental company Airbnb have made a huge success of showing how fun and lucrative opening your home to paying guests can be. The founders cottoned on to the fact that more people would rent their homes on a temporary basis if the process was made easier.
But you don’t even need a spare bedroom to make money from your home. Almost everyone has unused rooms in their homes during the day and they can rent it as an office workspace. For example, your sitting room could be used for meetings while you’re at work or working from home in a different part of the house.
This style of letting, known as peer-to-peer renting, is a great way to make extra cash and meet people if you are also working from home. New tax breaks have also added to the appeal. From April next year, anyone renting their home on an ad hoc basis gets an annual tax-free allowance of £1,000.
Online platforms such as Spacehop, Vrumi and Officeriders help facilitate peer-to-peer renting: they connect homeowners with people who are looking for workspace. “People have been doing it for years but new technology has made the process more accessible,” says Chelsea Carter, of Vrumi.
These websites allow people to book space whenever they want and there is no obligation to hire it for more than one day. Matt Beatty, of Spacehop, says that the on-demand aspect appeals to “freelancers and start-up companies. It is a more efficient, flexible and cheaper alternative to traditional offices where you are tied to long leases and more practical than working on your laptop in a coffee shop.”
How you rent your space will be entirely up to you. On Vrumi, people rent their home as a single workspace, with the average space costing about £105 per day. On Spacehop, people offer desk space in their homes to a certain number of guests, with the average costing £16 per person.
So, how much do companies charge? Vrumi’s fee is 15 per cent but it is split equally between the host and guest. Spacehop charge hosts £1.90 plus 1.9 per cent of the rental fee per day and guests 7.5 per cent.
Unconventional workspace is more in demand these days thanks in part to the tech and creative start-up sector. This sector has relied on shared workspace as a way to reduce costs, and, as the industry has grown, it has started a trend for co-working hubs or workspaces.
More freelance and self-employed people are seeking space they can share with others. Working from home has its upsides but many people find it too isolating or distracting. Some hire space at co-working hubs or team up with other people working from home.
Peer-to-peer services such as Airbnb and Vrumi are connected to an idea called the sharing economy. The concept can be loosely described as making better use of the resources you have, so more people can benefit from them. In short, share more, buy less. A car-pooling service is considered a shared economy initiative, whether it is run as non-for-profit or by a start-up company that is worth billions of pounds.
Renting your home as an office space is a great way to make your home pay its way but you’re unlikely to make a fortune. And don’t be surprised if you don’t instantly receive floods of offers. What your space looks like and where your home is located will play an important factor in how many bookings you get.
For more details of how renting your home as an office space works, tax implications and things to consider, see our fuller guide.
Written by Claire Carponen
With thanks to Vrumi for the images