By Sandy Dodge
As the popularity of remote work has reached new heights in recent years, the needs of homeowners are changing. Home offices and workspaces have never been higher on buyers’ priority lists and sellers are finding ways to make their homes appeal to a remote working audience. So, what does this mean for the home office moving forward? How will it continue to evolve? Only time will tell. In the meantime, it’s more important than ever to curate a home office that fits your needs.
The Evolution of the Home Office
Whether you have a proper home office or work at a chair in your kitchen nook, what’s important is that you create a dedicated space for your work. This allows you to focus by limiting distractions that may arise from other areas of the house. It also brings a sense of work-life balance to your home by physically separating the spaces. Even if your space is limited, design your workspace to feel like its own designated spot by facing it away from an open room or pointing your workstation toward a window.
Continued Remote Work
For those who have worked remotely and will continue to do so, you’ve likely gotten a grasp of how your home workspace can best fit your unique needs. Perhaps you decided to ditch the desk chair for a yoga ball or switched out that old desk lamp for a therapy light. But now that remote work has become your long-term reality, it’s time to think about how the space will fit your long-term needs.
Gone are the days of your home workspace being an afterthought. Working from home long-term means that your home office is now one of the most-used spaces in the house, so it’s important to keep it organized. Declutter the space with efficiency and productivity in mind, prioritizing the items that are essential for your job. We work well when we feel well, and an organized space can help reduce anxiety and work-related stress.
As your remote work continues, it may be time to make investments that you were previously on the fence about making. Whether it’s a second monitor, a supportive floor mat under your chair, a new design on your wall for your Zoom background, or a standing desk, now that you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s important that your home office provides you with all the tools you’ll need while inspiring you to do your best work.
Returning to In-Person Work
For those whose days of a fully remote work schedule are coming to an end, your home office needs will evolve, so it’s important that the space reflects those changes.
- Full-Time: Returning to in-person work full-time means your home office will be vacant for extended periods of the day. Because you won’t be using it nearly as much, you have the freedom to either keep it as is or convert the room into something else. If you’ve dreamt of having a game room, a home gym, a playroom for the kids, or creating your version of a home theater, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
- Part-Time / Hybrid / Flex: A hybrid or flex work schedule allows for flexibility with your home office. Paring down your workspace and transferring some equipment to your desk at work will help you declutter. Outfit both workspaces to fit your needs to avoid lugging equipment back and forth. For example, if one location is primarily meant for attending meetings and the other is for working on projects, you can curate each space accordingly.