I have a home office. Due to the need to keep confidential files absolutely confidential, I always lock the office door whenever we have friends or family visiting. I intend to do the same when my sitter comes, What advice do you have for how to talk about this locked door with my sitter?
You can simply include that info in the Welcome Guide in the section about your house; that’s where I’ve seen it mentioned on one of my sits and I was fine with that. I don’t think there’s a need to bring it up in person, unless the office has an attached bathroom, electrical panel, or something along those lines that might necessitate emergency access (in the event of a water leak, power outage, etc.). In that case, I’d recommend locking your confidential files within a cabinet or safe instead of blocking access to the entire room.
It’s quite normal for home owners to do this, it’s your home and entirely up to you. I don’t blame you at all.
Just explain to the sitters in the Welcome Guide and in person, they shouldn’t be offended at all.
If a HO walked me round their home and pointed out the bedroom I would be using and the general living and bathroom areas, I would then not go into any rooms not specified in that. If a HO said a room was their office I’d automatically think it wasn’t my place to go in there and wouldn’t be surprised if it was locked.
Currently on a sit with a locked office for the same reason as you’ve mentioned. HO simply said, “So the office is locked because of our work and confidential stuff, sorry.” (I think they apologized because when we initially did the walkthrough they maybe said we could use it…I actually can’t remember.) I didn’t think anything else about it. One less room to keep track of!
One HO locked her home office and told me about it in her Welcome Guide and in person. You have every right to lock a room in your house that the sitter does not need to enter.
I sat at a couples house recently and I didn’t even go into the rooms that were not my bathroom or bedroom. There’s no need to. I wouldn’t have a problem with a locked office myself.
I agree with the other comments; I’d have no problem with a locked door. In fact, if there’s no reason for me to enter that room (pets go in there, water/electric/alarm), then I’d welcome it being closed off during my stay. It’s less square footage to clean at the end
We have a locked office.
Don’t feel awkward about it at all.
I did a sit with a locked master bedroom. No problem for me.
@MagicalFarm I can totally understand where you are coming from, but let me ask you this…do you really need to inform them of it at all? We ALWAYS locked our bedroom and office and never felt the need to divulge this information as the sitter should not be looking around in areas that are not included in the general “living” area. There is no reason for a sitter to even try to look in those rooms. Everyone has a right to their privacy, even if someone else is staying in your home. I feel it would be no different that rummaging through a sitters suitcases…no reason to do so and also would never even think of doing it. Privacy is a right we all have!
There is the argument of “what if there was a broken pipe, water leak, etc.”, but we always had a hidden key for emergencies and if there ever was an issue, we would advise where to find that key. That never happened though.
Do not worry about offending someone. It shouldn’t offend someone who feels no need to be entering those rooms anyway.
I don’t think there is any need to mention it unless there is something in the room that may be needed during the stay eg the main fuse box or water stop tap.
Our way of thinking is that if we open a door then we are obliged to clean that room so only doors that lead to rooms that we need are touched!
We were asked once (in a huge home) if we’d need access to the office or should they lock it? They also said they’d thought about locking their (huge) bedroom & (massive) ensuite! & would that be OK?! We said Ofcourse!! “Please feel free to lock any room we won’t need access to- less rooms for us to take care of!” It was sweet they asked but we’d have been fine just being informed!
In general -if we don’t need access to a room- extra bedrooms etc- we close the doors- if not already closed and forget them. We spent 8 years as full time motorhomers so any home with more than 3 or 4 rooms is already far more than we need!
We do love the space though- large rooms with high ceilings -so in the UK we specialise in sitting in country mansions to get that Lord & Lady of the Manor feeling for a few days! And afterwards we happily drive off into the sunset and continue our carefree lifestyle leaving all that responsibility behind!
I did a sit recently where the man worked from home. Door was open but I see no need to go in there. When I couldn’t find the cat, I did go in and call it but I didn’t touch or even look at anything. There is no need to. I didn’t also go through the HO’s personal drawers. If it’s locked, it’s locked. No need to explain other than it’s your office and remains locked. There’s no reason anyone should go in there and if it’s locked, animals can’t hide there either.
As a sitter, I have no problem with locked rooms. As others have stated, I fully understand why you would need or want them to be locked and don’t think it’s necessary to even bring it up. Unless I would need access, I wouldn’t enter a room in a house. If the door was closed, I can’t see any reason I would enter a room. We’ve had sits where we didn’t even go upstairs as our room and all the rooms for the pets were down stairs. Our current sit has a locked room.