A Working From Home Opportunity | Now’s The Time to Start
Working From Home Is What Parents Like, Survey Shows | Fatherly We have all had to make changes over the past year, and in no place has this been more uncomfortably felt than at work. While the transition to working from home was a catastrophic struggle, especially for moms, who dropped out of the workforce in scores – a new survey shows that most parents really (like, really really) like working from home now. Here’s what we know. ADVERTISEMENT According to a new Institute for Family Studies/Wheatley Institution survey by YouGov, the pandemic and the need to shift to remote work has impacted the workforce in major ways. The survey, conducted between May 28 and June 10, 2021, where 2500 American adults ages 18-55 answered questions on the preference of working from home versus the office and how the pandemic may have changed things. “More than half of parents with children under age 18 said that COVID-19 has made them more likely to prefer working from home either most of the time (33 percent) or half of the time (20 percent),” the report states. ADVERTISEMENT It’s been a challenging shift for some families having to juggle working from home and their kids doing remote schooling. And while it took a lot to make it all happen, many parents said the pandemic shifted some of their work preferences, and the shift actually held true regardless of gender. Perhaps the preference now lies in the fact that many children are back at activities like summer camp and even school, and now parents can have some flexibility in their days from home. It’s hard to say. But what is true is that moms and dads like it equally. “Fathers (30 percent) were as likely as mothers (31 percent) to say that COVID19 changed their work preference,” the survey shows. Of the moms who said they would prefer to work in general, 53 percent said they would like to work from home most of the time, or half of the time, vs. working only from the office. And a significant driving factor of this shift comes from child care, too. In the survey, parents report the best childcare arrangement for families with kids under four years old is when “both parents work flexible hours and share child care.” The pandemic and work shift also impacted parents’ preferences regarding working full time, part-time, or not working. Both moms and dads report a new preference toward part-time work, but there are different preferences along class and education lines. ADVERTISEMENT “College-educated mothers were much more likely than non-college-educated mothers to say COVID-19 has made them more likely to prefer part-time work (17 percent versus 11 percent),” the survey shows. “On the other hand, COVID-19 also makes part-time work more appealing for non-college-educated fathers (15 percent) than college-educated fathers (5 percent).” To sum it all up, parents have really appreciated the flexibility that working from home gives, especially when the workplace offers flexibility as well. Oops! Please try again. Thanks for subscribing!
People want working from home to stick after the pandemic subsides | Chicago Booth Review With widespread lockdowns abruptly forcing businesses to halt nonessential, in-person activity, the COVID-19 pandemic drove a mass social experiment in working from home, according to Jose Maria Barrero of the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology, Stanford’s Nicholas Bloom, and Chicago Booth’s Steven J. Davis. The researchers launched a survey of US workers, starting in May 2020 and continuing in waves for more than a year since, to capture a range of information including workers’ attitudes about their new remote arrangements. The survey results suggest not only that people’s perceptions of working from home have exceeded their expectations, but also that they would like to continue doing it after the pandemic ends—even more frequently than their employers are planning. These charts offer snapshots of people’s time spent working from home in the United States during the pandemic, their impressions of the experience, and their post pandemic outlook. How often people work from home Share of survey respondents’ paid full days worked from home How people spent the time they saved by not commuting to work Share of that extra time spent on alternate activities How people perceived the experience How has working from home turned out relative to your expectations? Share of responses How have perceptions of working from home changed among people you know? Share of responses How people want to proceed post pandemic Weekly number of paid work-from-home days, by workers’ earnings level Desired by workers Planned by employers Circle size is proportional to the number of survey respondents in each income group
Make Working From Home A reality
Pre-COVID, this is a question that came up later – if at all – during my conversations with job seekers.
Today, it’s one of the first questions that they ask. It’s also become a standard question on our client intake forms. It’s such an expected line item for candidates that not having a clear policy can put your business at a real disadvantage. Fully Remote, In-Person or Hybrid: What Do Job Seekers Want? There’s been a lot of attention given to how a year plus of remote work has changed our expectations for the workday. In a competitive talent market, candidates aren’t afraid to say “no” to companies that don’t align with their needs. In a few cases, I’ve spoken to candidates that strongly prefer to be 100% remote. Others are the opposite: they want to be in the office meeting with people in-person. But the vast majority of candidates I speak with prefer a hybrid approach. For many candidates, hybrid work weeks offer the best of both worlds, providing invaluable work-life balance. They gain flexibility to address personal needs or skip a lengthy daily commute. For example, consider a candidate living in downtown Chicago who doesn’t have a car. Commuting to a suburban office five days a week won’t make sense but coming in one or two days a week might be an option. Companies that are willing to consider more flexible policies benefit from a deeper talent pool and more satisfied employees. Why a Work From Home Policy Matters for Hiring Success Recently, I worked with a candidate who accepted a new position. The company onboarded him fully remote and told him they planned to return to a hybrid work week. He believed the hybrid setup would be two days in the office and three at home, which he was excited about. Soon, though, the company said it would actually be four days in the office and one day working remotely. This caught him off guard. With a commute of over an hour each way, the time burden just didn’t make sense. The candidate had to move on from the company because of that miscommunication. I don’t fault the hiring manager for this outcome. They told the candidate what they anticipated would happen, but then senior leadership changed the policy. Unfortunately, the company lost a great new hire in the process. This is why it’s imperative to have a clearly defined work-from-home policy and be transparent about this policy throughout the hiring process. If changes do need to be made, it’s better to move from restrictive to more flexible rather than the other way. With so much in flux at the moment, candidates are considering a number of factors when making job decisions, and in general, the more flexible your business can be, the more attractive your company will look. Beyond Flexible Schedules: Adding Other Benefits to Your Work from Home Policy A work from home policy can encompass much more than a hybrid schedule. It may include a stipend for a home office, complimentary laptops, monitors and phones, or access to furniture like a standing desk or ergonomic chair. You may offer additional training or resources that other companies don’t. The perks can also be tangentially related to working remotely. For example, at Lucas Group, we offer mental awareness programs and resources. The pandemic has taken a toll on mental health, with four in 10 adults reporting symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. If your company has initiatives to address mental well-being, be sure your candidates know about them. Remote work flexibility continues to be in high demand. Has your company made permanent changes to its work from home policy? I invite you to share what’s been successful for your business in the comments below.
13 modern home office ideas so you can start “Working From Home” in style
Livingetc Modern home office ideas are at the top of so many of our wish lists at the moment. With working from home becoming more of a permanent fixture, it’s time to ditch working from the kitchen table, or the sofa, (or from bed on the laziest of days) and get your home office set up spot on. A dedicated workspace, whether it be a whole room or just a nook, is key to productivity and helping with the work/life balance so you have a space you can ‘leave’ at the end of each day and your office space isn’t encroaching on your living space. Modern, minimalist designs do lend themselves to workspaces so we’ve pulled together all our favorite modern home office ideas (don’t worry they aren’t all stark white spaces) to help you start creating the ideal office space. Even if your office is in the corner of your living room, there are plenty of looks here that don’t need an entire room to work and can help your office space feel separate from the rest of the space.
1. Make a statement with lighting
Home offices are very practical spaces, they need to be in fact, but that does mean it can be tricky to add in any decor that doesn’t serve a function. But lighting? That can be both functional and stylish, so make it a feature of your office and choose something statement – an antique chandelier to contrast the clean lines of an office space, a Sputnik light to give a cool retro vibe or a rattan shade for a soft boho element. Lighting doesn’t always need be purely practical in a modern home office, just be sure that you have some task lighting in the form of a desk lamp as well an ambient lighting overhead.
2. Choose an inspiring color scheme
Green is a shade that’s known for its calming, productivity-inducing qualities so it makes sense that it’s a really popular shade for modern home offices. Olive greens, sage greens, and even deeper, more moody, forest greens would all work as part of a color scheme, but we are a little bit obsessed with the high-gloss finish of the walls in this home office (yes, lacquered walls are making a come back and we aren’t mad about it), it gives the green a contemporary twist. ‘One might think that too much color in an office space would be distracting, but it’s actually more inspiring and motivating.’ says Helen Shaw, Director at Benjamin Moore. ‘Blues and greens are a great choice for anyone who needs to boost their concentration whilst working from home. Both are naturally tranquil shades that act as restorers of balance and harmony. If your workload or even just the current day-to-day is overwhelming you, blues and greens are a green choice for calming the mind and encouraging focus.’
3. Keep it simple with an all white scheme
You just can’t go wrong with clean neutral shades in a modern home office, as Helen says ‘ Whites and off whites allow you to begin each day with a clean slate and a clear mind, but it also affords you the ability to switch out little details as your taste (or the seasons) shift, providing a brand-new space with little effort each and every time. Highlighting focal areas such as bookcases or woodwork in a complementary color draws the eye, adding interest.’ So it’s a versatile choice that you can easily switch up when you are feeling like a change, which when you spend every day sat in the same spot could be pretty often. Break up the walls of white with prints and add some personality with décor on your desk so the space doesn’t feel too clinical.
4. Add personality with a gallery wall
Speaking of prints, gallery walls make for great additions to home offices because they can add a load of color, pattern and texture and yet take up zero floor space. They are also easy to change, so again you won’t tire of the look the longer you spend in the space. We’d always recommend testing out your choice of prints and the layout by creating a gallery on the floor first so you can see how it will all work before you go hammering holes in your wall. And don’t just stick to prints either, hats, tickets, plates, bags, mirrors, we could go on, so many objects can look at home in a gallery wall so get creative.
5. Get the position of your desk right
While we may not all be blessed with an ocean view, getting the position of your desk right so you feel inspired and productive is key to designing a modern home office you actually want to spend time in. The obvious choice is positioning your desk in front of a window, natural light does wonders for helping you focus and can provide a nice backdrop for your laptop. However, if you don’t have a window in your office, or it looks out onto the street, placing it as close to a natural light source is still important but instead, try facing your desk into the room with the window behind you or place it perpendicular to it. Just make sure you have the right window treatments to reduce the glare on your screen.
6. Try centering your desk
This is a great home office layout if you share the space or have meetings where more than one person needs to get around the table. Having your desk sit front and center means you can make use of both sides or you can choose a circular design to squeeze in extra seating when you need it. It also makes the space feel more relaxed and informal and fills the sea of floor space you often find in home offices as all the furniture is usually pushed up against the walls.
7. And think about your choice of chair too
As your back has probably already let you know, don’t buy an office chair purely on looks. You’re potentially going to be spending hours sat at it, so think practically first. Pick something supportive that suits the way you work and try and ensure it has armrests – they might be bulky but they ensure the comfiest seat. That’s not to say your chair can’t be stylish too… ‘An office chair has to be comfortable, but it is important to get the level of comfort right. A leather armchair for example would fit in a library feel, acting as a sanctuary to read and reflect, where an upright swivel chair suits written desk work. And do not be condemned to a black foam seat, go for a chair in mid-century velvet upholstery or a cantilever with interesting lines.’ advises, Martin Waller, Founder of global design brand Andrew Martin.
8. Bounce light around with mirrors
Home offices are often the smallest rooms in the house, and they can often be light-starved too, but you can counteract the darkness and make the space feel more open with the oldest interior design trick there is – mirrors. ‘When it comes to decorating your home office, there are lots of clever tips and tricks. I have a thing for mirrors, especially those with barely-there brass frames. They’re so simple but are super versatile and can make the space look much bigger. Mirrors generally are great for smaller spaces as they’ll bounce the light around. Positioning a mirror opposite natural light will instantly create the illusions of a much larger space.’ says Charlie Marshall, Founder of Loaf.
9. Divide a home office with a curtain
If you don’t have a dedicated room for an office, so work from a living room or bedroom, be inspired by this modern home office idea. Simple, but effective using a curtain to divide up a space can give that separate feeling, making your office space feel like its own ‘zone’ that you can leave at the end of the day. And it needn’t be a permanent fixture in your home, you can always pull the curtain back when your home office isn’t in use to open up the room again.
10. Go for a minimalist look
Really what else do you need in an office about from a desk, a chair and good lighting? So for a really contemporary home office idea strip it right back and just float a desk with a couple of chairs in the space and hang a statement pendant above. The look works particularly well in rooms that have original features like elegant high ceilings with original moldings or, as can be seen, here exposed beams, just to add some interest and texture to a very simple space.
11. Breath life into a modern home office with plants
As well as adding literal life to a room and cleaning the air, house plants are a lovely way to add texture and color. Bring in some large palms to tower either side of your desk for an instant uplift. And if you have a small home office, arrange hanging plants on your shelves or add a couple of small pots to your desk.
12. Make a modern office cozier with a large rug
It can be tricky to make a modern home office feel cozy as practicality needs to come first, and yet you still want it to be a warm and welcoming space for you to work from. Rugs are a simple way to add this coziness without taking up any room, as Charlie Marshall says, ‘introducing a rug is not only a practical solution but also a fantastic way to introduce a splash of color into a scheme. Adding a stripe or Berber-style pattern can completely reinvent the space. Opt for neutral tones and lighter shades if you’re looking to keep the room feeling light and airy. Finish the space with your favorite artwork, framed photos, and some freshly cut flowers and you’re on to a winner!’
13. Mix and match styles for a contemporary eclectic look
Blending styles in a home office is a really easy way to make them feel more personal and adds to intrigue to the room. Hunt around for second-hand pieces that will be practical but also add style. See how in this office a Mid-century desk sits with a contemporary office chair, antique painting, and a quirky cowhide rug, all of which is set against the backdrop of a very traditional deep blue. It works as a functional home office and yet is full of character.