Transformation in the way we use our homes?
20 May 2020
20 May 2020
Whether due to self-isolation or home working, we are spending significantly more time in our homes with family and friends, with limited forays outside the confines of the home and garden/terrace/balcony, if available.
Companies across the UK have closed their offices, and enabled their employees to work remotely from home, where possible. It is too soon to appraise the success, or otherwise, of remote working on the viability and profitability of companies, but will these current enforced changes in lifestyle, lead to a reassessment in the way we work in the future. Reduced office costs, and time and money saved in daily travel to and from work, need to be balanced with the loss of face to face contact, and the way forward may be a split between home and office based working practices.
Home working requires the appropriate technology, including a good broadband connection, portable devices, such as a PC, tablet or laptop and information storage and transmission using broadband and cloud storage. All of which if not universally available to all people in all locations, are now readily available.
If, in the future, more of us are to work from home more often, perhaps we should consider how this will be facilitated, to provide dedicated spaces within the home that encourage efficient working. Working from the kitchen table, or from a desk in a bedroom in use, may not engender a professional working environment.
Over twenty years ago Prime Meridian worked with an innovative developer to build a small number of houses that addressed this issue. Each house had a “flexi space” on the ground floor, which was a physically and acoustically separated area within the building. The space had a connected bathroom, which made it self contained from the rest of the house, so that visitors and clients could attend meetings without entering the family part of the building. The houses sold well, and it was interesting to see how the flexi space was used. Some did use it as a home office, although others used it as another living room, and even as a guest bedroom suite. However, this was twenty years ago, when technology did not give most of us the means for efficient home working.
We are looking afresh at how our homes, both new and existing can be designed to accommodate an efficient and safe home working environment.