It’s 2021, and for many of us, we are still taking Zoom calls in our bedrooms, working on quarterly reports from our couches, and clearing off wires and monitors from the dining room table to have dinner with our families. It is time to upgrade our at-home offices. More and more companies have swithced to full WFH or a hybrid model moving into the back half of 2021. In fact, many employees have requested that managers and CEOs never require full 5 day office weeks. And some CEOs are inclined to agree, productivity has increased for many employees who prefer working at home. So if you office isn’t coming back to the 5 day workweek, it is time to consider your office space.
Why You Need To Upgrade Your At-Home Workspace
Throughout the pandemic, there was a need for a “temporary” solution to WFH. Everyone expected to come back to the office and for things to “return to normal”. So for most workers, it was setting up their monitors on the dining room table, taking calls from their couch, or turning the family room into the family workroom. But many psychologists have warned about the lasting effect of these setups. Our minds benefit from assigning meaning to certain physical locations. We compartmentalize the office as the place we work and the home as the place we relax. Removing those boundaries has to lead many people into feeling like they are never off the clock. A designated work space is recommended not only for psychological benefit but also because it gives workers an opportunity to eliminate distractions. For parents, kids have struggled to understand that from 9-5, mom or dad can’t be bothered even though they are home. By creating a separate space, we can increase productivity. Best of all, you can finally have the corner office instead of the cubicle. WFH gives you the freedom to finally have the workstation that works best for you instead of what works best for the company.
The History Of Office Design
Believe it or not, decades of research have gone into designing the perfect office. CEOs, supervisors, and managers needed to find ways to maximize efficiency.
The cubicle-office design was invented to eliminate distractions while also allowing employees to personalize their own space and take ownership of their workstations. Meanwhile, managers and owners had beautiful corner offices as a demonstration of their rank in the company and as a reward for their longevity at the company.
The open-concept office was designed to increase teamwork and became popular in the early 2000s among start-ups and tech companies. It created a sense of camaraderie but also increased distractions.
Google then lead the way in the home-ification of office spaces. The cutting edge office buildings had beer on tap, gyms, nap rooms, laundry rooms, and basically everything you would find on a college campus. The idea was to make the office a place coders would want to spend more than 8 hours at per day.
Right before the pandemic, many companies were toying with the concept of high-rises that featured office floors and apartment floors in the same building. Literally cutting out the commute from people’s lives and almost creating a WFH atmosphere.
However, psychologists have often commented on the real underlying issue with office design. There is no perfect office space for a full team. Each office layout benefits some employees while hampering others. Plus each office space usually has a hierarchy baked into the seating chart. This can make employees feel overlooked and create an antagonistic view towards higher ups.
How To Design The Perfect WFH Office
If you are going to be working home for the foreseeable future it’s time to rethink your office space. Now is not the time to just “make-do”. It has been over a year and a half since the pandemic shut-down started. And a lot of people don’t plan to return to the office. WFH means you can design an office that actually benefits your work style. Consider the following when designing your new workspace:
- Privacy: If you have kids you need an office where you can get some space. A closed-off room is necessary to separate yourself from your home when you are working. Even if you don’t have kids, having a room that looks and feels unique can help your brain compartmentalize that the office is for work and the family/dining room is for relaxing.
- Personality: If you ever stepped into a manager or CEOs office you will often notice personality right away. Corner offices are known for immediately creating first impressions. Whether a candidate is interviewing with a manager, an employee is having a private meeting with the boss, or a client is talking to a supervisor, the personality of the office owner is inherent to their office design. Inject personality into your design. Choose colors you like and let your office reflect your interests.
- Preference: How do you work best? Seriously consider this. If you have worked at multiple offices, you will probably have noticed times where you were more in the zone than others. Does minimalism help you focus, or do you want sticky notes and whiteboards to put down stray thoughts as you work? Consider adding design elements that make focusing easier.
- People: If multiple members of your home are working from home you might need two separate office spaces or a shared space where you can work together. Depending on how you work with others in the room, you and your spouse or roommate should discuss how to best arrange workspace in your home.
Get A Quote On A New At-Home Office
Residents throughout Massachusetts and Northern Rhode Island can count on the team at Novus Exteriors to give you the home office you deserve. We highly recommend creating your very own corner office and treating yourself to a nice space that you will be happy to work in. Contact us to learn more about financing and free quotes for office design.