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Our Changing Homes – Covid and Beyond

There is no doubt Covid-19 has changed how we view and use our homes and this change is likely to stay. From spending more time at home than ever before to having to work from home, teach from home and more. But on top of that there is also the clear increase in the need to move home completely so what can and should you be doing with your home to make it suitable for life in 2021 whether Covid-19 goes away or not?

Moving and Then Improving

With the stamp duty holiday, it is clear many people have acted on something they were thinking about for a while. Lockdowns have a habit of highlighting things you don’t like about your home and that leads to daydreams about a new home. For a lot of people these daydreams have become reality and they have or about to take the plunge. 

But it is important to remember that many of the same challenges still exist in any new home. Of course, if you are moving from a London flat into a 5-bed rural house then most of your woes will be behind you in terms of space. But, if you are upsizing in a smaller way you will still need to think of work space, play space and general living space. Jamie from Nexa Properties says

“It is really important to view your potential next home with life in lockdown in mind. Just because a space is bigger doesn’t mean it’s automatically more functional. Look for multiple rooms and separate office spaces rather than just bigger spaces.”

The key with looking to move is to find somewhere full of readymade solutions or...full of problems that can be solved by improvement.

Working at Home

Of course we have all felt our homes have shrank during the pandemic and many people will be looking to get a larger home to avoid that feeling but nothing brings our existing home into quite as sharp a focus as working from home. Working from home the right way is important, its not just about the space you work in its how you work. 

Making New Spaces

Working from home has put an amazing amount of pressure on house holds across the UK and the world. That corner of the dining room table was ok for a couple of weeks but now many months into the pandemic it really isn’t working. 

For some homes there simply isn’t another space to create so its all about finding more suitable chairs and trying to make good of the space available. But for many houses there is potential for a dedicated office space it’s just that it hasn’t been a requirement before. 

The first big thing to think about is outdoor space; is there enough to allow you to put in an office? The trend for converting sheds and building new wooden offices in gardens is growing by the month and for good reason. Not only is an outside office a new unused space in which to work it is also separated from the main house and for most people that is a huge bonus. 

It may not be much of a commute but walking just a few steps from work to home can help productivity, lower stress and generally make it all a bit easier to live with. There is lots to think about with this kind of plan however, single skin sheds do need some insulation and they can get very damp which can damage computer equipment and your health so do your homework when converting them. 

Getting a new garden building put in can be costly but will certainly add value to your home as well as your mental health and work life!

Converting Old Spaces

Creating a working environment doesn’t always need a new building. Looking at current bedrooms and even lounge-dining areas can yield some great ideas. Why not re purpose a spare bedroom properly with a real desk and seating rather than just a laptop on a side table. You could even be drastic and put up a stud wall at one end of a larger room and create a small study.

Don’t forget loft space either! Converting a loft can be an amazing way to create a work space that, even if working from home does become less of a thing, will still be a useful space in the future. It is always worth getting in professionals for any major work and converting a loft is certainly one of those times!

Making Home Offices Work

A home office, be it a room, garden office or a part of an existing space, has to work technically as well as spatially. So, while a lovely looking garden office may seem great if you can’t get decent internet and phone signal then its all a bit pointless. If you are a business owner with staff all working from home and creating offices while you are creating your own then it is certainly time to speak to the professionals. 

Companies like Omni3 are used to working in offices setting up business communications but are now adapting to help companies support staff from home. Things like direct routing for MS teams can make phones all work through the system as well as video, setting up VoIP phone systems and more.  

If your home office is simply down to you then shop around for guaranteed Wi-Fi coverage deals and more. In short, whether you are setting up on your own or you need to support staff comms is super important. While a bad chair can be a pain a poor internet signal can literally prevent the job from being done. 

Regardless of vaccines and lockdowns, Covid-19 has changed how we interact with our homes and changing our homes or changing home to make things easier is something most people could benefit from.

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