Over Half of Recent Movers Seek Improved Home Office Space, Survey Finds

Article: A recent survey conducted among 2,000 individuals primarily or entirely working remotely has revealed that more than half of those who recently moved did so, in part, to acquire a better home office setup.

The study, commissioned by Office Depot and conducted by OnePoll, explored the evolution of remote work over the past few years. Prior to the pandemic, respondents reported working outside the office from locations such as hotels (43%), friends or family members’ homes (36%), and coffee shops (28%). Some even worked from their cars (28%) or enjoyed the beach while working (8%).

However, the rise of remote work has shifted the focus towards home offices. Currently, the majority of respondents (63%) primarily work from a dedicated home office.

Interestingly, the lack of a designated workspace at home becomes a greater concern for those sharing their living spaces with roommates. Among respondents living with others, 25% reported needing more space due to sharing a workspace, and 31% mentioned challenges in dividing the time spent in that shared workspace evenly.

Creating an effective home office space that fosters productivity requires both time and financial investment. On average, remote workers have spent around $1,700 of their own money on equipment or tools to enhance their comfort while working from home. Furthermore, 30% of respondents claimed to have “remodeled” their workspace at least three times since transitioning to remote work.

According to the survey, the most underrated products for establishing a productive and enjoyable work environment include an adjustable chair (24%), a spacious desk with storage (22%), organizational tools like planners or desk organizers (10%), and a laptop stand/riser (9%).

Despite remote work not being ideal for everyone, respondents highlighted several advantages. Dressing comfortably (57%), eliminating the daily commute (54%), and having control over their own schedules (53%) were identified as the top perks.

With 77% of respondents spending at least half of their time in their home offices compared to other rooms, individuals are increasingly seeking ways to personalize and optimize these spaces.

Kevin Moffitt, President of Office Depot, noted, “As fully remote and hybrid work models continue to gain momentum, we expect people will continue to invest in optimizing their home offices.”

The survey indicated that more than a third of respondents (35%) would be unable to perform their job using the same home office setup they had when they initially transitioned to remote work.

When it comes to establishing a dedicated home office space, motivations include making work easier or more efficient (63%), creating a comfortable workspace (52%), minimizing distractions (43%), and requiring more room for work-related tasks (37%).

However, a significant portion of respondents (44%) expressed discomfort with their current work-from-home setup, considering their home to feel like a workplace. Moreover, 68% agreed that their home office space still requires improvement.

About 70% of respondents identified items they have yet to purchase that would enhance their work-from-home experience, including storage solutions (36%), office décor (34%), a larger desk (34%), an additional monitor (30%), or a high-quality camera for video calls (27%).

Moffitt emphasized the importance of a comfortable and efficient home office environment, stating, “The positive impacts of a comfortable and efficient home office environment cannot be overstated.”

Survey Methodology: The survey was commissioned by Office Depot and conducted by market research company OnePoll. It involved 2,000 remote and hybrid employees who primarily work from home. The survey took place between March 20 and March 23, 2023. OnePoll team members are members of the Market Research Society and hold corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).