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Work/ Life Balance

Smith also notes that isolation is an important factor for most people trying to run their business in a home environment. “It is not realistic in the long term to expect to work at your kitchen counter with distractions from family members including children and pets,” he says. “It is very possible this new way of working may be changing the way we do business in certain parts of society. At the very minimum, people should be prepared to have a plan that works for them and allows them to accomplish what they need to without additional aggravation.” Smith also cites the extra effort that goes into a customized network would allow a guest network to be set-up for visitors as well as children, allowing the business to be independent of the taxing effect of casual internet use.

Karl Ivester, owner of New England Shutter Mills, has had a recent idea for an at-home work solution that he has been discussing with Smith. Ivester, with locations in Lawrence and Harwich, manufactures architecturally correct and functional wooden shutters, and therefore is no stranger to construction and fabrication. Ivester and Smith have discussed a potential temporary mobile office that would be delivered to a homeowner and parked on their property—Ivester refers to it as an Express Executive Suite.

“It would provide a turn-key solution for those that need to have a dedicated work space that doesn’t suffer from the distractions in the house,” Ivester explains. Smith goes on to say, “The options for technology can range from connecting to the existing broadband in the home to dedicated service that would be ordered, allowing secure networks to access things like virtual private networks.” While originally conceived for business owners who needed a place to work while on vacation, Ivester now sees the application to be valuable for the entire family and is considering additional sizes that would provide a workspace for a couple of people.

Until now, a well-appointed home office might have been considered a luxury. But the times, they certainly are changing, and luxuries have been known to become necessities. Angela Kimball, the other half of A.P. Kimball considers the company fortunate to have been able to bring some homeowners’ dreams to life. “We completed a home office for a very special homeowner who had an incredible second story view overlooking miles of Buzzards Bay,” Kimball recalls. “They wanted to be able to take advantage of that view and the husband was a business professional. He asked us to convert the space into an office that felt like the interior of a boat.” The A.P. Kimball team was successful in realizing their client’s vision as the space now boasts a barrel ceiling paneled in varnished mahogany, innovative built-ins, and teak and holly inlaid flooring.

Regardless of the demands people are juggling; or the needs they may discover are unfulfilled; or the dreams of an environment that will foster productivity and creativity; the home has become a far more important part of everyone’s lives.

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