Working from home has definitely become the new normal for a lot of Britons. For many, working from home will become a permanent lifestyle change as businesses in the city close their offices. Home improvement retailer and garden centre Wickes has been on the lookout for new home office set ups on social media, while helping many customers build their working from home space.
However, lockdown has made it clear that not everyone has the luxury of a separate home office.
Whether it’s a garden room, a work space in the kitchen or an under-the-stairs office, Wickes is looking to celebrate those spaces and reward the best and most creative.
Wickes will be rewarding five lucky winners with vouchers to put towards their next home project.
TV property expert Phil Spencer and interior designer and A Place in the Sun presenter Ben Hillman will both be judging the awards.
Express.co.uk was lucky enough to speak to Phil about the competition, and where he sees the home office in the future of the housing market.
England is working its way out of lockdown, with pubs, restaurants and other venues slowly beginning to reopen their doors to the public.
But despite lockdown rules being eased, Phil said elements of working from home such as home offices, may remain in place.
“I think the experiences and the work from home element will leave its mark on the housing market but we won’t see that for another few years,” he explained.
The property expert said homeowners not wishing to commute as far to work will “leave its mark” in terms of where people will live and the houses they choose to buy.
He added: “In a lot of places which were full of second homeowners – in the more far-flung places – if they’ve got good broadband and somebody selling that house or flat can demonstrate that working from home is perfectly doable and achievable in a dedicated space, then that’s going to impact values and popularity.
“Equally, in the other way, somewhere that is a dormitory town full of commuters and is quite expensive and therefore the properties are more expensive per square foot, I think they won’t be as popular.
“There will be a shifting around of values.”
Phil said it’s also important for sellers to not leave an extra room, which could be turned into a home office, to the “buyers’ imagination”.
He added: “You must really spell it out for them. This is where the home office can be.
“Dress it up, make it look like an office.”
When it comes to judging the Wickes Home Office competition, Phil said he’s looking forward to not only seeing the “big and glamorous” office spaces but the “creative and the well-thought out”.
He continued: “We have all had to use our homes so much harder and so much more recently.
“I think a lot of people will have learned how to do that and this is what the competition should flag up – some good examples of how people have done that.
“I think we’re going to see some really fantastic results where people have used creativity and thought.
“We’ve had to think outside the box – everybody has.”
“It will be just as great to see that clever, creative use of a small space, as it will be to see a double bedroom that’s been made into a double office,” he added.
Visit Wickes’ Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page and follow the guidance on each channel to share a picture of you in your working from home space, using the hashtag #WickesHomeOfficeAwards.
Entries are open from 07:00 on Monday 19th April and close at 23:59 on Monday 17th May (inclusive). Click here for more information.