Home Office Survey Results 2021

New research highlights opportunity for kbb industry as home workers plan to build dedicated workspaces

After a year of kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms being used as home offices, new research has revealed that 40% of Brits currently working from home are planning on creating a dedicated workspace in their home within the next 12 months.

Since March 2020, kitchen and dining areas have become the temporary work stations of many would-be office workers, with one in ten using kitchen worktops for work space and 31% regularly working at their dining table. Over two-fifths (43%) of respondents also said they often work from a bedroom, and 8% have cut their commute to the bare minimum by using their dressing table as their desk.

This improvised approach has served many home workers well for the past year, but over half (55%) of respondents stated their biggest complaint was working in a space used for other purposes. Not being able to shut away a workspace at the end of the day was a frustration for 42% of respondents. Desk space (42%) and lack of storage (46%) were also identified as common bugbears, emphasising the importance of optimising space with functional features.

With Brits now expecting to spend over half (54%) of their week working from home, many are preparing to do something about it. One fifth of respondents are planning to reconfigure an existing room to create a dedicated home office area. With kitchens, dining spaces and bedrooms often doubling up as workspaces, a clear opportunity has been created for kbb retailers to advise homeowners on the best way to create a more permanent working from home solution.

For many kbb retailers recovering from the recent lockdown, it will be positive news that 68% of respondents said they would visit a retailer at some point during their planning process.

The purpose of the survey (of over 2,000 people) was to inform kbb industry of how new working practices are impacting demand for flexible living spaces and how this trend will impact their customers’ needs.

For example, 83% of recipients said being able to put away or close off the workspace at the end of the working day was very or somewhat important. Combined with a desire for a workspace that is compact (78%), the results provide a strong mandate for concealed home office designs, created using sliding or pocket door systems, particularly in multifunctional living spaces.

When describing their ideal home office in more detail, home workers identified good lighting as their top requirement, with 89% rating it as a crucial design factor. After a year of video meetings, technology was also highlighted as a key consideration, with respondents choosing phone charging points (84%), power sockets (83%) and ways to hide cables and wires (77%) as important factors in the ideal home office.

Storage was another key area of focus for 77% of respondents, as well as adjustable table height, which was a factor included by almost a quarter of respondents.

These survey results highlight a huge opportunity for the kbb sector, after a year of significant challenge. With many home-workers saving money on commuting and cancelled events, it is evident that home offices are an area that many are considering to invest in.

Alongside the 21% of home workers who are exploring ways to reconfigure living areas to accommodate a dedicated workspace, our survey found 30% are considering building work to create a home office area, freeing up kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms.

At Häfele, we offer a range of high-quality components, such as sliding door or pocket door systems that are ideal for partitioning off living areas, such kitchen or dining spaces, bringing flexibility to the definition of a room. These innovative systems allow homeowners to have access, or hide away, a dedicated office space and help enhance the work-home-life-balance. There are also space-saving benefits to these systems, as they take up around 1270 mm less operating space per door versus a traditional hung option.  

Maximising the storage within units is another great way to save on space. The pioneering hingeless flap fitting, Free Space, creates more storage room within cabinetry by eliminating the need for large cover caps and requires an internal installation depth of just 63mm.

We also offer a range of cable management solutions, such as cable organisers and outlets, and handy pop-up power sockets that fulfil the home worker’s need for practical and tidy spaces.

A huge opportunity for kbb retailers is also in lighting. It was clear from the research that adaptive lighting was the biggest factor for home workers, and fortunately it’s now easier for kbb retailers to fulfil that need.

Our modular plug-and-play furniture lighting system, Loox, can be easily incorporated into designs to create a practical, well-lit working space. App controlled, it can also be adjusted for different times of the day and lighting conditions, providing the user with control over atmosphere; ideal for the transition between workspace to living area.

As the market demand for home office spaces rises exponentially, here at Häfele, we are committed to working with our customers to offer a range of products and services to help. Loox, when combined with our Lighting Design Service for example, makes our furniture lighting some of the easiest to install in the UK market.

According to our research, the following factors were rated as most important to home workers when creating the perfect home office space:

  • Good lighting that I can adapt depending on conditions: 88.60%
  • A quiet space away from distractions: 88.50%
  • Charging points for my phone: 83.90%
  • Being able to close off or put away the workspace at the end of the day: 83.40%
  • Lots of power sockets: 83.35%
  • A large workspace for my computer: 80.70%
  • A flexible workspace that I can use for other functions in my home: 79.15%
  • A compact workspace that doesn't take up too much room: 78.05%
  • Storage for paperwork / files: 77.35%
  • Ways to hide cables and wires: 76.90%
  • A workspace that complements the style of my home: 76.05%
  • Adjustable table height: 72.50%