The home office, the powerhouse of the future.
Updated: Feb 11, 2022
There is a revolution taking place right now. It's going on all around us, it has been a long time coming, but recently it has gained a lot of momentum. The transformation that I'm referring to is the "remote working revolution" and it is redefining the dynamics of the traditional workplace.
The convergence of modern technology, high speed communications, the paperless office, the high expense of living in big cities, long hours commuting and the catalyst of COVID, has accelerated this paradigm shift. From developing digital skills, incorporating professional-grade video conferencing solutions, to investing in cyber security, technological improvements have resulted in companies seamlessly doing business remotely. Old mindsets clung to the cynical idea that "working remotely was remotely working" but research has consistently proven that employees who work from home are anywhere from 14% to 24% more productive.
This new reality is changing the way in which we are productive in our workplaces and the way we stay connected with our family and communities. It is allowing the possibility of living anywhere while still fully contributing. We are living in an age where we have more opportunities literally at our finger tips than any other generation before us.
"Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" -- Mary Oliver
The remote work model and the enormous potential for improving our lives has been nurtured by organizations and businesses that have invested huge sums in remote working infrastructure. It is time to leave behind what isn't working anymore and start out on a new path. The new frontier begins at home.
The average commute today is 45 minutes each way, which means 7 1/2 hours a week is spent just on commuting. People are so stressed by the time they get into work that often, frustrated at the outset, they are not in the ideal head space to engage with other people, be creative, productive or collaborative. For society, there's a huge benefit in reducing congestion, reducing driving times, saving wear and tear on our infrastructure, and reducing pollution. By embracing the remote work experience, there are also secondary savings occurring, like the cost of car maintenance and skyrocketing fuel prices, large sums spent on appropriate work clothes, and the significant savings related to the cost of coffees, snacks and lunches are making a big difference to the pocketbook. This can range in the many thousands of dollars per person every year.
7 1/2 hours is a huge time savings corresponding to about 1 full day of work. It gives people the opportunity to spend more time with family, do things they like or pursue a wellness routine they might enjoy. Today, companies that go the extra mile to offer workspaces and technology that foster a sense of wellness and belonging-both in the office and at home- will have an advantage when attracting and retaining valuable employees.
The home office is the new superhero.
The continued trend toward remote work means home offices are leveling up. Now that this model is here to stay, people are more engaged in redesigning their home office space for optimal performance. Interior design is playing an important role in creating the most comfortable and ideal working conditions as well as upgrading one of the most important functional areas of the home. Every aspect is being well thought out, like desks that are large enough to accommodate all the electronics you will need, comfortable office chairs and even lounge spaces where you can take that five-minute reset before your next call or meeting.
Since offices are evolving into central features of the home, there is also a trend to not be constrained by the traditional generic office model. More personalized, reflecting personal tastes and styles, people are surrounding themselves by their passions, like collector items, inspirational art pieces, or even incorporating elements of nature throughout the office space. Using materials like wood, bamboo, or stone, or including waterfalls, fish tanks or plants have been shown to reduce stress, improve focus, boost creativity, and improve overall well being. It doesn’t stop there—increasing natural lighting and improving airflow and air quality have also been at the forefront of some of the essential improvements in home office design today. Even noise reduction is a design consideration when outer distractions can interfere. These types of features have often not been incorporated or even considered in the generic office model.
"The road to success is always under construction." -- Lily Tomlin
At Whiteoak Construction, we pay attention to every detail. As John D. Rockefeller said "The secrets of success is to do the common things uncommonly well". As part of our mission, we build fabulous home offices inspired and personalized by your dreams and specifications. Remote working isn't the future anymore...it's here and now!