Homework: The Rise of the Home Office

Families cramped together around a kitchen table, working, and learning online isn’t sustainable for productivity. Now, more home builders and interior designers are looking for ways to meet homeowners’ desire for private workspace.

One solution for existing homes is to steal off space currently part of a laundry room, pantry, or hallway. Almost any variation of a home office will add value to a home, according to REALTOR® Magazine.

Even before the pandemic, the work-from-home trend was growing in popularity. Improved technology and connectivity are allowing people to be more productive at home as employers have offered greater flexibility. But now that COVID-19 has made working from home even more prevalent - coupled with students learning online - many families are finding themselves crowded around the kitchen table or staking out various nooks to accomplish tasks on their laptops or tablets.

In a survey from 451 Research, nearly 80 percent of employers say they’ve established or have expanded their work-from-home policies, and 67 percent expect those policies to remain in place.

There is a need for more functional, designated work-from-home solutions, and this has led to the creation of home offices using two techniques: reconfiguring existing spaces or adding new square footage.

These new home office designs vary in size and location, but more important than size is creating a quiet space.

Despite some imperfect workspaces, 86 percent of North American workers who responded to a March 2020 survey from San Diego–based Global Workplace Analytics, a research and consulting firm, said they felt highly productive working from home, particularly because there were fewer interruptions than in their workplace offices.

As the effects of the pandemic have lingered, many workers have been reluctant to return to offices and classrooms, and the work-from-home trend is expected to continue.

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