As we move forward into a new normal, we know that one way the Covid-19 virus has changed our lives is the dramatic increase in the number of people who will be working from home.
Global Workplace Analytics notes that prior to the coronavirus pandemic only 3.6 percent of U.S. employees worked from home. By the end of 2021, that figure may skyrocket to 25-30 percent.
When the outbreak started, employers and employees grappled to find ways to work temporarily from home during the lockdown, and, with the help of virtual meeting platforms and the ability to interact and collaborate with customers and associates in real time, many then realized that working from home could actually become a more permanent situation. This has given rise to the need for a new approach to creating and improving work or study space in the home.
Indeed, as the New York Times recently wrote, “As chief executives hunker down during the pandemic, homes offices have become the new corporate headquarters.” Company presidents and CEOs and others in top and middle management positions are finding many advantages to a custom-built home office with all the trimmings.
But why stop there? With the future of school openings remaining uncertain, many parents are considering virtual schooling for their children. Giving kids their own dedicated home study space helps the entire family to stay organized and on-task.
While there used to be a place where we worked, a place where we lived, and places where we would go to play, today those lines have blurred. “A thoughtfully designed custom home can easily be all three,” said Steve Murray, President of luxury homebuilder Murray Homes. “Your custom home can easily incorporate a state-of-the-art home office from which you work remotely, run a business, and host virtual meetings. If you prefer not to leave your home office on your lunch break, we can design inspiring indoor/outdoor workout/play spaces which complement the decor and flow of the main living area of your home.”
Today’s top architects and builders are incorporating all of these elements into their designs, renovations or add-ons, resulting in multi-functional homes adapted to a different way of life.. Of course, the ability to work productively from home for longer periods of time requires good design and functionality. The home offices created by Murray Homes offer all the high-tech amenities of a corporate office in a personalized, comfortable setting. According to Murray, home offices should focus on functionality, performance and security, while incorporating the latest design aesthetics. This includes connectivity, acoustics, ergonomics, design, lighting, technology, and furnishings.
As for the office space itself, Murray Homes has a multitude of creative design solutions. Whether you are adding a loft, transforming another room in your custom home to your office, creating a work/live flexspace or adding a room with a separate entrance, Steve Murray and his design team can come up with the solution that best meets your home office needs.
When it comes to connectivity, the hub of the home office is high-speed internet (300+ mbps) linked to a desktop computer, laptop, and/or video-conferencing monitor. A hardwired connection is essential since even the strongest WiFi networks are subject to connectivity issues and with more and more corporate meetings happening using video-conference platforms having the best possible connections is crucial to creating an effective home office experience. “A cleverly designed home office with hardwired ethernet connection points will eliminate those issues and provide a better overall video and audio experience,” Murray said.
Giving people the ability to collaborate without compromising their privacy is equally essential, and Murray Homes offers advice as to which programs work best for security.
Acoustics might not initially seem important when designing a home office, but most of us have experienced the embarrassment of the dogs barking at the mail carrier, or your kids fighting over a game right outside your door during a video-conferencing call! Installing sound-buffering panels will muffle other household sounds, creating a quiet working environment and limiting external interruptions. There is an exhaustive range of gadgets available on the market, the most fundamental of which is a high-quality video camera and microphone. From there you can enhance your experience as far as your budget allows. Enable teamwork from anywhere with a new Surface Hub 2S, an all-in-one digital whiteboard, meeting platform, camera,1 far-field mics, crystal-clear speakers, and a brilliant 4K+ resolution screen which brings remote teams together and integrates into any workspace.
A sound bar might be just what you need to ramp up your home office audio experience and eliminate poor quality tv and audio sound.
Each Murray Homes custom office or flex space is designed uniquely for you and your individual needs. Will you be holding meetings? A separate entrance might be in order. Need a place to get creative? A comfortable chair or sofa might do the trick. Do you spend long hours at the computer? Ergonomic furnishings and a stand-up desk are worth considering. Each office is designed to reflect who you are, how you conduct business, and what your customers expect from you.
Many of the elements that go into your corporate office also apply to your child’s study space. Nowadays all children, from preschool age to high school, need a quiet, dedicated space where they can do their schoolwork.
For younger children, a desk with laptop and printer are key, located in a space that is separate from where they play or relax. Parents will want to make sure their children are comfortable while doing their studies, so the proper chair, pillows, footrests and laptop stands are a must. Parents can help children keep clutter under control with a variety of creative storage areas and bins. Art supplies need their own space too. A small table for messy/creative projects will help keep those materials away from the desk. Ideally, you might want to include a place for collaboration, where children and parents can work together on projects or school work without taking over the dining room table.
For older children, the designers at Murray Homes create spaces that reflect who they are and what they enjoy doing. There is no cookie-cutter design. Each space is unique to the tween or teenager or college student for whom it was created.
Two elements you won’t want to forget in your child’s custom study space are lighting and sound. Just like in your home office, children need a quiet space so they can concentrate. Headphones, a white noise machine, and an insulated door or space divider will help create the right environment for learning.
Murray Homes loves getting input from the younger members of the family - they often have the most creative ideas - and if parents can accommodate at least some of their wishlist, kids will want to use and claim it as their own.
As you consider the future of remote work spaces and the need to create multi-functional spaces within your home, Murray Homes is equipped to provide the design, functionality, and ideas to enable you to work where you live.
To find out more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941.906.7000