Well, the pandemic certainly has a lot to answer for but one of the main things that resonates throughout the country during these crazy times, is that working from home has become the new norm…
I was sitting next to a friend at a wedding recently who said that the pandemic was the best thing to happen to him personally. He realised he didn’t need to go into the city every day to work but could work most of the time at home with a small amount of time in the office. This change made such a positive impact on his and his family’s life.
It seems that my friend is not alone – we have had a huge increase in interest from clients that are looking to redesigning existing home offices to suit their homeworking needs. These spaces pre-pandemic, were often a half-hearted attempt of an office – usually a room overrun with teenagers studying for exams and the seldom used gym equipment gathering dust in the corner and doing a great job of doubling up as a clothes horse.
Now the brief is very, very different! With the husband or wife or both working from home, the need for a designated space for printers, scanner and filing cabinets rather than cluttering up the kitchen or dining room has become a necessity. The addition of sofas and coffee tables for a small entertaining area to sit with clients and extra touches like display spaces to display hobbies which could be anything from golf trophies to collecting comic hero figures. All these elements are reflective of the client’s personality and passions and help to give the space character.
We have been asked to supply different desk areas …. from partners desks – one person either side to elevating desks that can adjust to sitting or standing position. These work very well for architects and graphic designers, who are drawing plans and prefer to stand to do this. Chairs are also, hugely varied … from chairs built with special comfort for bad backs to large occasional chair style for lounging, the choice is endless!
Not everyone has the room inside the house for a home office, so we are increasingly being asked to create an office garden room. Which you tend to need planning for. We offer our clients a complete end to end solution, from help with the relevant planning regulations to the end design and tailoring the right space that works in their garden… Some garden offices are simply an open plan office, and the kitchen and WC facilities are still used within the house, but for those who have the room, an office that include a guest WC and kitchenette within offer the full package. Some builds even morph into a man cave complete with a bar or gym for those after work activities! The possibilities are endless.
Office garden rooms are more difficult in the winter when bad weather makes the trek down the garden not so exciting but glorious in the summer when the sun is streaming through the windows and especially if there is some decking outside for a sneaky sun lounger session!
So working from home has many advantages – apart from advance tasting of tonight’s dinner and being there to take in all the Amazon deliveries that your wife or husband normally hides! Just the fact you’re not having to commute into town on a daily basis is a huge relief but perhaps the biggest advantage of all is being around and having more time for your family… the downsides are the dog wants you to walk them whilst your about to land a huge deal and you could be asked to take out the rubbish mid pitch… but on balance it’s a far better way of life for all and the added bonus -think of all added hours you are working instead of commuting! The pandemic really does have a silver lining.
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