Will a home office become the new ‘must-have’ feature?

News at Waterfords | 04/05/2020

In 2019 only 5% of the UK workforce worked from home and less than 30% of total workforce had tried it at all. The Covid-19 lockdown has changed this dramatically.

The new working from home lifestyle has caused a shift in E-commerce patterns. In March 2020 computer monitor purchases increased 172%, office chairs were up 104%, and office desks up 89%.

Technology companies have also seen a huge increase in demand. In March 2020 Zoom hosted 200 million meetings a day compared to just 10 million in December 2019. That’s an impressive 95% increase in Zoom meetings! Firms are offering free tech tools in the hope that people carry on using them after lockdown after testing their worth while confined to their homes.

If working from home becomes the ‘new norm' this may change house hunters’ priorities. 

Google trends shows a +190% jump in interest for Garden Office Pods in April. Will home offices become the new ‘must-have’ feature?

We take a look at some of our properties that feature the perfect remote working space in Hampshire and Surrey. You can request a virtual viewing of most of our properties so please get in touch if something catches your eye. There is no need to wait until post-lockdown to have a look around virtually…

Chobham, Surrey:

Set in Chobham village, this five bedroom detached home provides spacious and flexible accommodation, large driveway and has no onward chain complications. The property further benefits from a large studio/workshop at the rear of the garden. This separate building has the added bonus of power, lighting and full insulation, making the ideal home office.

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Farnborough, Hampshire:

Situated on a generous plot of approximately 0.6 acres, this three bedroom characterful cottage offers vast potential to extend and modernise. The property has the added benefit of an existing workship with separate access to the rear of the property and through the kitchen. This would make an ideal home office when modernised.

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Knaphill, Surrey:

Set on a large corner plot, this Edwardian residence has been extended and modernised to a high specification, whilst retaining a wealth of period features. The property falls within walking distance of Brookwood station with direct links to London Waterloo in approximately 35 minutes. There is a summer house / home office situated in the garden, ideal for home working. The garden also has a large decking area with adjustable canopy and a heated swimming pool.

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Working from home tips from Waterfords:

Designate a workspace

It’s so much easier to stay mentally focused on your work in you designate a specific area in your work for working. This could be a spare bedroom or a dedicated area of your property that offers privacy. A space with a lot of natural light is ideal for video calls and your general well-being.

Create a comfortable space

Make sure you have the correct equipment at home so you can be productive, comfortable and efficient. Make your workspace as comfortable as possible, whether that includes a scented candle, soothing music, family photos, or a potted plant.

Set boundaries

It’s essential to set boundaries when working from home. You are more than likely to have your partner, children, housemates and pets nearby. Give people you live with signals as to when to leave you to work quietly. For example, when the door is closed, that means you don’t want to be disturbed as you are working on something important.

Keep a routine

Set a work schedule for yourself and stick to it. It’s especially important to try and wake up at the same time each day and treat weekdays as you did when you were going to the office. For most people, the morning is a productive time to get their most important tasks done. Try to complete your more difficult tasks early in the day.


You aren’t visible in the office at the moment so communication is crucial when working from home. Communicate frequently with your line manager and colleagues and know what’s expected of you. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ can be a huge problem for staff working from home. The be a strong remote worker it’s important to reach out to your colleagues and managers regularly through phone calls and video meetings.

Don’t forget to take breaks

One of the biggest challenges when working from home is losing track of time and forgetting to pause and rest. In a traditional office setting, it’s much easier to stand by a co-worker’s desk to chat or make the tea and coffee round. Don’t forget to still have regular breaks away from your screen to stay productive and look after your health. Make a cup of tea and potter in your garden for ten minutes, play with the dog or hang the washing out to refresh!

Try not to stress

Remember that this is a stressful time for everyone, so it’s important to try and have some fun. Try to embrace the additional quality time you have at home, whether that be spending more time with your family or pet, or making your home your castle by completing all those ‘dream’ projects you’ve not had time to tackle previously.

Waterfords are still here to help you throughout lockdown. Get in touch with your local branch who are still working from home. Click here