Our homes are still our offices

News at Waterfords | 19/08/2022

Our homes are still our offices, with UK workers going into the office an average of 1.5 days a week.

Hybrid working is here to stay it seems, with more than 80% of workers stating that their firms had adopted the hybrid model according to a survey for The Chartered Management Institute (CMI). 53% of renters indicated that they would choose a rental property quicker if it was furnished to enable comfortable home working.

The UK is widely in line with other countries across the world according to the Advanced Workplace Associates survey which suggests people are coming into the office an average of 1.4 days per week, with North America and Latin America having the lowest attendance.

The average number of days spent in an office varies from sector to sector. In the CMI survey, people working in banking were spending most time in the office while those working in tech had the lowest attendance.


Planning applications drop in 2022

Interestingly, the number of planning applications submitted for residential property in England and Wales was 16% lower in the first half of 2022 than in 2021, at 218,640.

Across all regions, application numbers in June were lower than a year ago. The steepest fall was in London at 21%, compared to the South West (12%) and the West Midlands (14%).

Many homeowners sought to adapt their homes in the wake of the pandemic and the 'work from home' requirement. That spike of activity seems to have subsided this year. Consents and prior approvals for larger home extensions fell by 20% and 25% respectively in 2022 versus 2021.

However smaller adaptations like extensions, some garage conversions and certain sized outbuildings are allowable without planning permission under 'permitted development rights', as long as they adhere to strict conditions.


Is your property WFH friendly?

So as a new generation of remote workers sets out looking for a new home that won’t have them pining for an office, what can you do to make your property stand out? Here are our five tips on what makes a great home office.


1. Natural light

Natural light is always great when selling your home in Camberely, Fleet, Yateley and Chobham. But when it comes to an office, it’s worth more than the aesthetic value. That’s because home offices with lots of natural light are good for your health and productivity. Studies have found that natural light in working environments leads to better sleep, fewer headaches, and a boost in overall mood.

If you only have a small window in your home office, think of ways to maximise the light coming in. Add mirrors to the walls and consider opting for a white desk. These will reflect the light and make it appear brighter. Also, try to install light-coloured blinds that let lots of sun in.


2. A deep desk

It’s no surprise that people want a comfortable home office. If you’re a remote worker, you’ll likely be sitting at your desk for long periods. A small desk squeezed against the back wall may make the room look bigger, but it won’t give remote workers enough legroom.

Adequate legroom is one of the most desirable features for home offices right now. If you have the space, position your desk in the middle of the room. If space is limited, just pull the desk away from the wall slightly. It will make the area appear much more comfortable.


3. Plants

A golden rule for staging a home is having plants in every room. The office is no exception! But the rule for home offices isn’t just about aesthetics. Plants are scientifically proven to make people happier and healthier. They can filtrate chemicals from the air in your home to reduce headaches and drowsiness. Many studies have shown that just looking at greenery can make us feel calmer, happier and more productive.

Adding plants is one of the best ways to decorate your home office. If there isn’t enough light to keep a plant alive (or you’re a terrible plant parent!), opt for a plant that doesn’t need much maintenance or an artificial plant.


4. Storage

Think of all the things you need in a home office… chargers, lamps, coasters, laptop, keyboard, mouse, stationery, paper, notepad etc! These items can add up. If there’s one thing people don’t like in their home office, it’s clutter.

One of the best ways to decorate your home office is to add plenty of storage space. Floating shelves look appealing and are great for storage. Cabinets are excellent for messy paperwork and small baskets are fashionable for storing stationery.


5. Neutral wall colours

The atmosphere of a work environment – whether at home or in a corporate building – can have a huge impact on energy levels, creativity and the ability to focus. It’s important to pick colour schemes that are in line with your individual tastes. But if you’re looking to sell your home or stage a rental, neutral wall colours are highly popular for home offices.

Certain shades are highly recommended, and they can help reduce stress. For the best results, opt for pale greens, cloudy blues, light greys and off-whites.



Would you like advice on how to prepare your property for marketing?

At Waterfords Estate Agents, we’re experts in the local property market in the Camberley, Chobham Fleet and Yateley areas, and love giving advice on how to prepare you home for marketing.

We have been your local, trusted estate agent since 1995. Call a member of our friendly team:

  • Camberley: 01276 66566
  • Chobham: 01276 858589
  • Fleet: 01252 623333
  • Yateley: 01252 870222

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Source: Dataloft, BBC News, Advanced Workplace Associates, Chartered Institute of Management, Property Academy, The Planning Portal