What Is a Home Office?

What Is a Home Office?

4 Min.

Working from home has become a popular option for many self-employed individuals or those who work remotely for an employer. It provides a dedicated space to work and allows for flexible scheduling. However, in order to claim the home office deduction, taxpayers must meet certain requirements. They must use a part of their home or a separate structure on their property exclusively and regularly as their primary place of business. It's important to note that employees who work for a company are not eligible to claim this deduction.


In a person's dwelling, a dedicated area for official business purposes is called a home office. This space serves self-employed individuals or engage in remote work for an employer. Qualified taxpayers are permitted by the IRS to assert a home office on their tax return, enabling them to deduct specific home-related expenses during the tax filing process.

Evolution of Remote Workspaces

Individuals, whether self-employed or engaged in telecommuting for an employer, establish home offices equipped with essentials like a desk, chair, computer or laptop, internet connectivity, and software such as Zoom for remote collaboration.

Launched in January 2013, the widely used video conferencing app Zoom witnessed a significant financial upturn, generating $4 billion in revenue in 2021, an impressive 53% increase within a year, particularly following the business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enhanced internet accessibility and other resources have opened doors for full-time remote work for individuals and small business owners, including consultants, lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents. This shift often translates into tax benefits, offering a feasible alternative to traditional office spaces.

As rental expenses soar, businesses increasingly rely on home offices to curb costs associated with renting and furnishing professional office spaces. This trend is particularly evident in major metropolitan areas like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, where Brookfield Asset Management Inc. reports a more than 30% increase in rents for "quality" office buildings in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Before 2020, telecommuting gained popularity across various industries, experiencing a 216% growth between 2005 and 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this trend, reshaping the American work landscape. According to a Pew Research survey, while one in five worked from home before the pandemic, 71% of those individuals are now predominantly working from home all or most of the time.

Benefits of a Remote Workspace

The Efficiency of Home-Based Work

Embracing a home office offers various advantages. Working full-time from home not only eradicates commute-related expenses but can also yield annual savings ranging from $600 to $6,000, covering travel costs, clothing, and work attire.

Flexible Work Arrangements and Work-Life Balance

Individuals operating from a home office can independently manage their tasks on a flexible schedule, with employers frequently endorsing time flexibility. This fosters an enhanced work-life equilibrium, improving employee health and well-being. Such improvements can translate into cost savings for employers, either in monetary terms or increased productivity.

Tax Advantages for Home-Based Businesses

Business-related use of a home can yield advantages, such as the home office tax deduction provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Qualification for this deduction necessitates the home being the primary business location, allowing for eligibility even if some business activities occur outside the residence.

While employees of companies cannot avail themselves of the home office deduction, those who are self-employed, independent contractors, or small business proprietors working from home may qualify.

To avail of the deduction, the IRS specifies that only the portion of the home exclusively used for business is eligible. This must be determined based on the percentage or square footage of the home, considering qualified expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, and other relevant costs.


Designated within a residential setting, a home office is an official workspace for individuals engaged in self-employment or remote work for an employer. This space caters to the needs of those seeking a work-from-home environment. Employing a home for business purposes introduces potential benefits, notably the home office tax deduction facilitated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This deduction offers financial advantages for individuals utilizing their homes as a primary workspace.

Home Office