In the so-called “bedroom communities” of 1950s-1980s, office workers got up before dawn and returned home after the sun went down. So who needed or wanted a home office? But now that work is mobile, a home office is the newest trend in home design, usurping libraries, sewing rooms, formal dining rooms, guest rooms, and other “extra spaces” of decades past.
Steelcase researchers say workers with a home office tend to view it as a retreat — a welcoming place for focused, individual work — while those who make do at the proverbial kitchen table tend to feel less positive about working at home.
Another way that work has affected home design is larger kitchens. Now that many households are two-income, cooking duties are shared, requiring more space. At the same time, living rooms have become smaller; there’s just less time for formal entertaining.