Making the home work for work

Establishing a new deal about productivity.

The idea of work has run past a stage in how we understand productivity and creativity. However, there is still no clarity about who will work where, for what periods of time, and according to which incentives. It’s estimated that 1.7 billion knowledge workers populate this market, so expect plenty of innovation to emerge in this space. The coming years will change assumptions about talent recruitment and retention, as well as the industrial design of products that are currently brought to customers through the contract furnishing market.

There are opportunities for innovation to create new objects such as the perfect chair for working from home. The partitioning of space that helps create a division between work and home life. The desk that transitions from one aesthetic to the other.

Whatever becomes the dominant model of the corporate office one thing is certain. Success will hinge on making the home work for work in the first place. You can witness this movement for yourself. Follow the #RemoteFirst hashtag to witness a groundswell of employees asking for a different bargain in their work arrangements. With so many factors up in the air, it can feel hard to know what to make bargains with. At the same time, The people in HR we speak to struggle to balance the demands that new talent impose on them.

A work from home bargain is now a priority for 63% of US job seekers, for instance. A McKinsey Report, April 2021 indicated that 52% of employees prefer a more flexible working arrangement than not. And that change in preference made it a good time to reimagine the role of an on-site model. Especially for talent scouts attracting the best talent, and for managers who want to feel present in the workflow of their direct reports. In order to draw up a good bargain, a good place to begin with is an annual budget per employee. Much like is done with medical benefits, gym memberships, or other workplace amenities.

Design in context: New work models will continue to emerge, but all will revolve around one main insight: If the home doesn’t work, remote and hybrid working doesn’t work either.