Can I have a home office with sofa bed?
Many who work from home in their home office simply don’t have an extra room designated exclusively to serve as a home office. And so the questions comes up “can I have a home office with sofa bed”?
what expenses you are able to write off as home office tax deduction
Your work quality, motivation and mind set
When starting to work from home in many cases you simply may not have the choice when it comes to deciding between a guest room and an office. Maybe you never have an extra room however you would like to have the ability to put up guests.
Or, you might have guests coming very infrequently. Therefore, even if you do have the space for a guestroom, it wouldn't seem practical to devote an entire room for your guests.
So the simple solution might be just to put in pull out couch in your home office.
How does having a sofa bed in my home office affect my tax deduction?
As mentioned, placing a sofa bed or pull out couch into your home office can affect your tax deduction for your home office.
Since home office tax deductions are very complex we strongly advise to talk with a tax expert. But we want to give you some basic guidelines of what to consider when placing a pull out couch into your home office.
As a general rule, the IRS says that home office deductions are only possible if you use the place designated to serve as home office “Regular and exclusively” AND its the “Principal place of your business”.
Now what does that mean? Well basically exactly what it says. For many who work from home its not a challenge to meet the criteria “regular” as they spend anyway almost every days many hours working from home. But with regards to “exclusively” it can become tricky.
So if you set up your office in the bedroom or kitchen, the space is not exclusively for conducting business. That means that you can not claim home office deductions for this room.
The same is true if you put in a sofa bed or pull out coach in your home office, to use it as a temporary guest room.
That means that a guest bedroom with a pull out couch or sofa bed and a dresser on one part of the room, and a computer desk on one side does not meet the criteria for a home office deduction.
But there is a way round it - you still can have a couch in your home office.
The good news is that the IRS acknowledges that not everyone has a complete room to serve as home office and therefore ruled that a home office does not have to be a complete room.
So you still can have a sofa bed in your home office if you set it up in a way that there is a clear distinction between the place you use regular and exclusively for your business and the area - with the sofa bed - that you use also for private matters.
In you tax deduction you only than can claim the area that is used and designated as home office and leave the area with the sofa bed out.
For a detailed description on how and what exactly qualifies as home office deduction please see the official IRS site (Home Office Deduction, Business Use of Your Home, Worksheet To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home) and ask a tax expert.
Can I have sofa bed in my home office and still be productive?
If you use the sofa bed or pull out couch simply for guests or occasionally for short nap it may not have a negative affect on your work.
But resist the urge to use the sofa bed as your work place. Sitting on the couch with a laptop on you lap is not a good work environment and can ruining your posture.
In fact experts are warning that a couch or sofa bed is the worst place to work. Of course is first may seem very comfortable. But in time you can damage your back and shoulders and it can lead to severe pain.
Even if you are using special laptop holders or a back support to make working from your sofa bed seem fine, it still can lead to a lack of productivity. Because we are used to have change in environment when going to work, it inspires us or puts us in a working mode.
But is we just sit - or even worse lying down - on our comfortable sofa bed we don’t have that change that mentally prepares to work and being productive.
A sofa bed is a place where we calm down and rest and therefor it does not inspire us to work and the lines between work and rest become blured.
In addition to a drop in productivity, residing on your sofa bed daily over a long period of time may also cause worse emotional conditions.
According to experts, staying in bed all day - even with the intention to work from there - could lead to make us feel, idle, demotivated, and more drowsy. This can then cause emotional health problems like low moods, stress and potential melancholy from too little stimulation.
Of course, these side effects will not develop if you just occasionally rest on your sofa bed and read something during your work. But its good to have clear structure and not using the sofa bed or pull out coach regularly to work.
How can I layout a home office with sofa bed that works?
After talking about sop much about the downsides of having sofa bed in your home office it’s time to speak also about the positive aspects.
A sofa bed in your home office can make you feel more comfortable and cozy. It gives the work environment a personal touch. And changing your position occasionally and sit on your couch from time to time can relax your muscles and make you feel more relaxed.
But its important to keep the couch clutter free. So tidy up from time to time. Otherwise the clutter can distract you and block your mind from being creative and productive.
See also our article on the clean desk philosophy: THE CLEAN DESK PHILOSOPHY: INCREASE THE PRODUCTIVITY OF YOUR HOME OFFICE
As mentioned before you also want to make sure that your have a clear distinction between your work place in your home office and areas you use for private matter as it may affect your home office tax deductions.
That does not mean that you need to have wall or a permanent structure to separate these two areas.
But using the sofa bed as seat for your computer desk is a bad idea.
Having a sofa bed in your home office can work if you are aware of the challenges and keep in mind that the sofa bed does not automatically become work work place just because it’s located in your home office.