Post-Coronavirus World to Bring Surge in Demand for Home Offices
As I write up this article, I'm lying on my couch, laptop on my lap, trying my best to filter out the screaming kids in the child daycare right next door - not what anyone would call an ideal, productive working space. Clearly, I'm not alone in this, as a recent survey conducted by Zillow showed that only a third of the respondents currently work from a home office*. The rest have been like me, repurposing bedrooms, living rooms or patios into an office space.
*‘Home office’ here refers specifically to a quiet, separated room used as a workspace.
While measures to eliminate COVID-19 continue, the situation in the coming months, or even years, remains highly fluid. With that, it’s understandable for us as humans to plan ahead - when asked what Americans currently working from home as the biggest driver to move to a new home, the top reason selected by 31% of respondents was “to live in a home with a dedicated office space”. This was followed closely by the desire “to live in a larger home” (30%), and “to live closer to friends and/or family” (29%).
Sellers in the market have caught on with this trend, with data showing that 8.2% of all for-sale listings in April specifically mentioned a home office as a selling point. This marks a 10% increase from the previous year, and industry experts believe this will drive a significant change in how homes will be designed going forward.
As Skylar Olsen, senior principal economist at Zillow, had shared, “remote work allows for precious time savings without a commute and potentially more affordable living away from job centers, but it can come with productivity and sanity costs without the proper tools. Those costs can be mitigated by certain home features, namely a quiet and secluded place to work, so we may see a growing premium on homes with room for an office or other place to comfortably work, which could in turn shift the types of new homes that come on the market."
So just to wrap things up, what makes a good home office? Home builders and interior design experts suggest a space that priorities natural light and ventilation, alongside better insulation to ensure privacy and boost focus. Interested to find out more? Here’s a useful guide by Ecwid to help you design the optimal home office that could possibly be driving up the value of your house in the coming years.