During a period of time with restrictions in place, working from home became the dominant mode of work and people have needed to think about the fourth wall differently. The fourth wall being the space that separates a performer, or in this case worker, from an audience.
People no longer relied on the features of their laptop alone. Facial connections became vital, and so did the construction of identity for meetings of special formality.
Choosing a painting, a library of books, a set of prints or a sculpture as a background are all conscious acts that make work conversations better. New cameras, additional monitors, and standing desks were also conscious changes in the design of the workspace at home.
Our work at home setup has the potential to be better than our office setup.
The experimentation and maintenance of a new work space that is self-driven and self-maintained can happen on a much faster basis than what an office environment can sustain.
Where we work, and how people around us act can determine our own behaviour. Spaces within the home each have a social life of their own. This meaning was assigned to them before widespread work from home happened. Those prior associations need to allow for the future uses of the space.
There isn’t one single place for working while in the home, but there is a hierarchy.
People use different parts of the home for different purposes. Function and creating change gives opportunity for a break. Moving to a different environment in the home creates a different function and feeling of work.
Design in context: How can we help people experiment with moving their work from home set-up to different environments, and test new variations.