phil-spencer

Exclusive: Phil Spencer reveals how to tackle working from home in the long run

Here's how you can create a home office in unexpected spaces

Sharnaz Shahid

With jobs becoming increasingly more remote, employees across the world may choose to work from home in the long run – a sentiment TV property expert Phil Spencer agrees with.

Over the past 12 to 14 months, many of us have found new ways to adapt – and while there was no doubt a transition period, some may go as far to argue that productivity has also increased.

READ: Should I buy a house in lockdown? Phil Spencer shares honest property advice

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We chatted with the property expert, who has teamed up with home improvement retailer Wickes, to see how you can create the perfect home office when space is rather limited.

READ: Phil Spencer's ultimate tips and guide to renting for students

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On the mindset of working from home, Phil explained: "We've been forced to use our homes. We've been forced to make our homes work so much harder over the last 14 months. It used to be a place that you sleep, rest and entertain your friends as well as spend time with your loved ones.

"But now it's, we don't entertain friends. It's very much a place where we work, and is also our gyms. For some it's become a home school as well."

Although WFH is hot on everyone's minds, Phil believes it's something everyone will now consider when buying properties. "The situation is definitely influencing people's decisions and trends," he shared. "The thoughts and choices too but I think it'll still take a few years before it all kind of flows through.

phil-spencer-posing

Phil Spencer reveals how you can tackle working from home in the long run

"It's very much 'of the moment' but I think it will remain with us. It perhaps won't be so much top of people's minds and I know going forwards in the years to come, the work from home movement is here to stay.

"I think employers are now comfortable with it and so are the employees. Although I said at the beginning, people probably resisted it to start with. But many have now found that they've been more productive and happier and are having a better work-life balance."

Phil's working from home tips:

 

Create a dedicated space

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"It's really important to have a dedicated space where you go to work and then you leave - somewhere you don't have to tidy it up. It is powerful if you are able to kind of figure that out. I've seen people utilise small spaces under the stairs and someone even used a cupboard as it's a place where you can just shut the door."

Screens

"You can get these old fashioned screens, some that you can see in some period movies – where people get dressed behind. Screening off an area can be done."

Transform your en-suite bathroom

"There are homes where there are four/five bathrooms. Children certainly don't need an en-suite bathroom, and you don't really want another bathroom to clean up, they take up space. We'll soon see less en-suites and more just little nooks and crannies or just a shower room size office created at the top of the stairs."

Natural light

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"I think natural light and a decent window view is really important. If you can get it, it's a great thing to have. You need to have a well-lit area. It needs to be your dedicated space. It needs to be private."

Meanwhile, Phil, 51, has expressed his excitement over judging Wickes' 2021 Home Office Awards, where he'll see what people have done to their spaces creatively.

"If lockdown has taught us anything, it's how to make the most of the space we have," added the Location, Location, Location star. "For many, that has meant getting creative to provide a suitable place to work and separate it from our home life.

"I've seen some amazing examples of this and as homeworking continues to increase, a home office space is likely to become as sought after as an en-suite or garage. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the innovative designs and spaces and helping five winners enhance their space further."

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