Fri. Dec 4th, 2020

How remote working is changing our homes – with open plan living going out of fashion

The survey of 1,000 people to accompany the report found more than half (57 per cent) expect to work from home on average three days per week in the future – with 13 per cent expecting they’ll be doing five days per week from home.As a result of the seismic lifestyle change, more than a quarter said they have repurposed a room for a home office and one in five has created a space where they can spend time alone.Another 17 per cent have made a home gym and/or yoga space, to work on their physical and mental health while confined to the home.To help younger people with homeschooling, another 15 per cent have dedicated a space in their homes especially for education.The survey, conducted by OnePoll, also revealed almost a third of Brits have created a space in their home to take video calls.To ensure their home looks good on camera, a fifth said they had bought house plants, while23 per cent had splashed out on cushions and 13 per cent had bought artwork or photographs. Consumer demand is now expected to shift towards lighting – with home offices needing to be in perfect shape as the days get darker.John Lewis has reported a 419 per cent increase in plant sales and a 35 per cent boost in artwork demand.Small designer desk sales are up by 73 per cent while string furniture is also proving a success – with sales soaring by 65 per cent.And luxury stationery has been one of the biggest winners in the move towards working from home, after notebook and journal sales up 207 per cent and calligraphy pens sales up by more than 400 per cent.Fionnuala Johnston, a partner and senior designer at John Lewis, said: “Desk lighting is likely to become the next focal point for the nation’s ‘Insta-desks’.“Adjustable angle-poised options will prove popular for finding the most flattering on-camera looks.“Lighting used to be all about ambient, now we have multiple people working or studying in one space, so you need more fit-for-purpose task lighting, especially as the nights draw in.”The department store says 60 percent of its virtual home styling consultations are now focused on the living room.Sales of smaller side tables are up by a fifth, with the popularity attributed to the third of workers who need additional space as they do their job from the sofa.There has also been an increase in demand for noise cancelling headphones.Johnathan Marsh added: “After several months of change, UK homes are working harder than ever before, having become offices, gyms, schools, restaurants and more.“Nothing so ground-breaking has shaken our use of the home since the rise of open plan living, which began in the seventies.“Although sparked by urgent needs in the midst of the pandemic, this new perspective on a modular, flexible approach to living within our own four walls, is here to stay.”To view a write up of the John Lewis Flexible Living Report please visit