By now, employees around the world have spent weeks working from home. For some office workers, these weeks of social distancing may yet stretch into months. Nearly everyone has had to adjust to new demands, new distractions and a new work environment.
Like it or not, this is the time of the mandatory, if temporary, home office.
Though working from home under these conditions is less than ideal, the situation has brought out people’s resiliency, creativity and adaptability.
Workers, by necessity, are developing new work patterns and routines, finding new ways of ordering their days — perhaps getting up extra early to meet online with colleagues in other time zones or carving out time in the middle of the workday to hang out with immediate family members who are also staying home from work or school.
Employees working from home are also experimenting with new spaces and postures in which to accomplish their tasks. Though many at-home workers find value in setting aside a dedicated workspace, others feel more comfortable moving from spot to spot in response to the task at hand — for example, they may participate in conference calls and online meetings behind a closed bedroom or office door but answer emails while sitting in the living room or at the kitchen island.
Those who are suddenly working from home likely miss the predictability of the office and the social connections they can make with co-workers over a cup of coffee. Yet they may find, when the office doors reopen, that they’ve grown attached to some of their at-home routines.
And though they may miss using an ergonomic office chair or gathering in a spacious work café while at home, they may miss a few of the warm, familiar elements of home once they return to the workplace.
This is a good time, then, to reflect on what those comfortable physical elements of home might be — and how designers can help introduce them to the workplace when employees are back in the office. Here are three elements to consider:
1. Lounge seating. No one would recommend sitting on a sofa or lounge for the entire workday, yet the relaxed postures lounge seating allows can provide a welcome change of pace. Employees who’ve become accustomed to using a comfortable chair or sofa at home may welcome the same options back at the office. The space pictured below features the Millbrae Lifestyle 3-Seat Lounge, Millbrae Coffee Table and Massaud Work Lounge.
2. Area rugs. The warm, soft feel of an area rug is an easy fix for an office workspace that might feel a bit cool and bare after this work-from-home interlude. Pictured below is the hand-loomed Patch Rug from the Nanimarquina Collection for Coalesse, paired with Lagunitas Lounge System seating.
3. Gathering table. For many at-home workers, the dining room table serves as the nucleus. It’s a large, communal space where housemates can work side by side, each on their own projects. The camaraderie of the dining table translates well to the workplace, where team members gather to problem-solve and collaborate. The space pictured below features the Potrero415 Table and Enea Café Wood Stools.
What has your work-from-home experience taught you? What do you miss about the office when you’re working at home, and vice versa? Leave us a comment below.
Need help? Let the Coalesse
Concierge Team assist with