The Covid-19 pandemic forced organizations around the world to quickly adapt to a remote reality in the largest work-from-home shift ever. Meetings suddenly became Zoom meetings, with video calls happening 50 percent more than before Covid-19, according to a report by Owl Labs. After six months of working from home full-time, one in two U.S. workers won’t return to a job that doesn’t offer remote work as an option.
More than half (54 percent) of all remote workers admit to judging their colleagues’ office decor or furniture during virtual meetings, according to a survey of 2,004 Americans commissioned by Oliver Space and conducted by OnePoll. But it goes both ways — 64 percent said they were so concerned about being judged themselves that they decided to upgrade their own spaces.
During Covid-19, there have also been unexpected benefits and challenges — people are saving almost $500 per month on additional expenses. Since early 2020, nearly half of remote workers have purchased new home office furniture, while 40 percent of all respondents have redecorated at least one room and 33 percent have bought new living area furniture. The survey also found that it took an average of three months until respondents got tired of the decor and furniture in their home and decided to buy some new items instead.
Of the 1,385 respondents who’ve worked from home during the past 18 months, 85 percent of them regularly do it somewhere other than a home office. Instead, the most popular non-office work locations are living rooms (28 percent), bedrooms (20 percent) and dining rooms (15 percent). Remote workers often repurpose other household furniture such as chairs (37 percent), coffee tables (35 percent) or dining room tables (33 percent) to make these DIY work environments more comfortable.
“As much as possible, you should define a space that will be dedicated for work, so that you can keep some separation of working hours and non-working hours at home,” Rebecca Andrews, Head of Merchandising at Oliver Space said. “A small fashionable desk paired with a stylish dining chair will still look cute in your living room — it doesn’t have to look like traditional ‘office’ furniture.”
After more than a year and a half of working from home, seven in 10 remote workers have become so comfortable that they’re reluctant about going back into an actual office. Staying at home isn’t just a work luxury, either: 44 percent claimed they were homebodies both before the pandemic as well as now. Nearly as many (61 percent) said they are more comfortable at home now than they ever were before the pandemic began.