Are you one of the eight in 10 employees who want to work from home after the Covid-19 situation is over? Well, I can’t say I’m surprised by the numbers. Working from home – and in fact exercising and socialising at home as well – has become the new normal. And even as we re-emerge from our shells and look cautiously around at the post-Covid landscape, we can’t deny that this period of isolation has helped us to slow down and spend time on the important things.
It’s like a picture on Instagram that I saw the other day. An artist had drawn two worlds: one depicting pre-Covid normality as we know it, and the other filled with trees, animals, and people connecting with each other. The caption was: “What if we moved forward instead of going back to normal?”
Can we even go back to what we were before? There are definitely some who would say yes, but truth be told, I quite like this idea of a tentative new world where we adopt an improved way of living. I can see a new reality where we can immediately spend time with family after knocking off at 6, catch up with friends more often over video calls, and treat everyone’s time mindfully and respectfully at work.
It’s a new ideal where the restrictions of the pre-Covid world don’t quite apply as much as before. Already, meeting online is becoming the norm, and companies are conducting surveys to see if flexible work-from-home arrangements are feasible.
For us, this shift means that the correlation of function and space in the home will change. Our homes will have to be more flexible than ever, and for those of us without the luxury of space, the concept of allocating rooms to specific purposes will no longer work. A living room is no longer merely for recreation, nor a study room solely for office work. More than ever, we need to be creative in reimagining the layout of our home.
This is where the importance of planning our furniture comes in. Loose furnishing instead of built-in may become more popular since it grants us the flexibility of rearrangement. Open-plan concepts and extra storage, already popular design requests, are also going to be more in demand than ever now that fluidity of space is essential.
Demand for functional and stylish home office furniture, and better IT infrastructure like fast Wi-Fi, is also going to rise. As more companies look to flexible working arrangements, the idea of working from home will no longer be a temporary measure, but a permanent lifestyle change.
These changes may take place very slowly, but they’re definitely already starting to happen. One thing’s for sure: the Circuit Breaker has altered our perception of norms that we’ve never had reason to question before. It’s now up to us to decide whether we want to swing back into the way things were, or bravely move forward into a new era of possibility.