29 Mar An ode to the lost bedrooms
It’s now been two years since the first lockdown in the UK. We are all well aware of the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on people around the world and we are likely to be seeing shockwaves for years to come. The changes to peoples’ lives over the last 24 months has been like nothing many of us have seen before in living memory (excluding those who lived through the Second World War).
We are in the business of homes and, since the first UK lockdown, we have all spent more time in our homes than we ever have done. This has led to a wholesale shift in how we view and use our homes.
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Repurposing our homes
More than 40% of homeowners in the UK made changes to their homes during the pandemic and since the restrictions have eased; this has come at a cost of almost 9 million bedrooms being converted to suit society’s new requirements. According to research by one of the leading online property portals, almost five million home offices and one million home gyms have been created in the last two years.
Among other home improvements made during the pandemic were almost a million home bars, the same number of home cinema or music rooms, and just under 700,000 dedicated classrooms. On average that 40% of homeowners spent between £1700 and £3,000 on their improvements, which equates to more than £36 billion nationwide.
Worth the Compromise?
For many, making changes to their homes was necessary in order to make space in which to work. Once the novelty of working from home full-time had worn off, the question “why” starts to rear its head.
The question of who should pay for your home office has been a bone for contention throughout the pandemic; almost seventy percent of people believe that their employers should cover all, or some of the cost of setting up a home office, with 12% suggesting they should be offered compensation for the space they have sacrificed in their home. In reality, (according to the research) just 2% of employers offered compensation, 30% made a contribution and a mere 10% covered all the costs.
Aside from the financial cost associated with having a home office, there is also the mental toll it takes on you and your family. The line between work and life begins to blur and some people have found that they are doing significantly more working hours as a result of having easy access to their work devices and servers; great for employers, not so great for employees.
For a lot of people, having to change the way they work and subsequently changing their home setup has highlighted the need to find a home more fit for purpose, with almost a third of homeowners saying this change has made them consider moving home.
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