By Dave Adams
Director of Marketing, BDI Furniture
COVID-19 has caused many hardships around the world, but for better or worse, the resulting lockdowns and quarantines have shifted focus back on home life.
Even with things slowly opening again in some places, we’re likely stuck in this quasi-limbo until a safe vaccine is widely available and administered.
For many people, our homes have become our dominant places of being. They’re now our restaurants, movie theaters, beauty salons, concert venues, schools and workplaces.
Early in the pandemic, the most immediate and dramatic shift was in the need for home office spaces to meet the sudden demand for work-from-home (WFH) and remote learning environments.
Even post-pandemic, the way that people work will likely shift, and there’s no sign that they’ll be returning to the old way of doing business anytime soon. In fact, consumer buying trends show that this trend may be here to stay.
Also, various news reports show that large companies such as Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft and others will make some WFH positions long-term or even permanent.
WFH has forced people to evaluate their home office spaces, or lack thereof. In recent months, the key to working from home for many has been creativity and creating workspaces where there was no space.
But as people adapt to this new normal, they are now searching for more permanent solutions, which is translating to an investment in high-quality home office furniture and décor that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.
So what is driving consumers’ purchases, and what should you consider before you acquire new office furniture?
Not everyone has the room for a dedicated home office: the new corner office may be the corner of your bedroom. Smaller scale desks and writing tables are not only a space-saving solution, but they are also an economical way to make the most use of available space.
However, if you do have the space and the budget, an upgrade to a modern, electronically powered standing desk could provide your home office with a unique combination of function and style that also promotes healthy activities while working.
With Mom, Dad and even the kids working from home, it’s understandable that not everyone may get their own dedicated workspace. For this reason, there’s been a surge in small and mobile laptop tables that allow people to work productively anywhere in the home.
In addition, modular office furniture can turn normal shelves and cabinets into an adjustable office system that can be customized to fit your situation, your space and your needs.
FEATURES ARE IMPORTANT
Technology has shifted what consumers need from home offices today.
However, for an efficient and organized home office, consumers still need integrated storage for supplies and accessories, especially to reduce clutter in small spaces.
And as we all know, more technology means more cables and cords. Look for desks and other office furniture that have built-in wire management to keep your workspace clean and clutter-free.
The home office aesthetic is distinctly different than that of the corporate world. In your typical corporate space, you may spend most of your workdays in a standard, cookie-cutter cube farm. Yet the consumer typically demands greater style when it comes to the home office, so fine details like richly finished wood surfaces, scratch- and glare-resistant desktops and premium hardware are expected.
Your home office gives you the chance to create a space that better fits your personality, while also blending into the decor of your home. A space that you look forward to captaining each day and being seen within during Zoom calls — without the need for background blurs or virtual environments — is what today’s WFM consumer really wants.
While we eagerly look forward to emerging from this pandemic, now is a great time to evaluate your home office space. And whether you return to your corporate space in the future or stay working from home, you’ll have a functional and aesthetically pleasing space to call your home (office) for years to come.
Dave Adams is vice president of marketing of BDI, a premiere designer and manufacturer of innovative home furnishings. Visit them at bdiusa.com.
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