Workification of home...

... and the homification of work

This is how we describe the trend in workplace design becoming more informal (think Google) and the growth in the workforce needing or wanting a place to work at home.

In part these changes are being driven by legislation. In 2014 the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees, not just those that have children under the age of 17 or responsibilities as a carer. But the working landscape is changing as well. There are now over 2 million men and 5 million women in part-time employment and if women were to set up businesses at the same rate as men, there would be an extra 150,000 start-ups in the UK each year, many of which could well begin in the home. 

33% of those polled in a recent YouGov survey for Opportunity Now felt that greater flexibility would make them more productive and 43% said that it would help them with stress. Is working from home the answer to work/life balance?  If so, what does this mean for businesses and employees?  How easy is it to create a space to work effectively at home? And just what is it that drives wellbeing and productivity - more flexible hours and locations or a cosier, less factory-like work environment?

We monitor these workplace trends, and understandably they influence our product development, demonstrated by the introduction of Stage, our adaptable home-working space, which integrates desk, shelving and storage.  We’re always keen to hear about and share real-life examples of these trends and challenges in workplace design and culture, so this coming September we’re hosting an evening event to do just that. Experts will be joining users, designers, architects, HR professionals and specifiers to debate, discuss and share their experience and views on the upsides and pitfalls of a location independent workforce and the workification of the home. 

Jeremy Myerson academic and author in people-centred design and innovation will be leading a panel discussion followed by drinks and an opportunity to network. Jeremy holds the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the Royal College of Art and in 2015 he joined Unwired to set up The WORKTECH Academy, a global knowledge network looking at the future of work. His panel includes:

The designer: Sebastian Conran, CEO of Sebastian Conran Associates and co-founder of Inclusiviti Ltd and Consequential Robotics. From stacking shelves at Habitat to start-up, Sebastian's life has been focused on understanding how things are made and sold, as well as ingeniously designing innovative, stylish and satisfying products. 

The People person: Kirstin Furber, People Director and Member of the Executive Committee at BBC Worldwide. Kirstin has over 20 years experience in HR and is now responsible for building a cohesive global culture to deliver business results across 14 countries with 2000 employees. 

The retailer: David Barrett, Head Furniture Buyer at John Lewis. Over the past fifteen years David has worked for some of the high street’s biggest retailers including M&S and Debenhams. At John Lewis, one of the UK’s biggest furniture retailers, he has helped hone their home and home-office offer.

The start-up:  Amelia Coward, Creative Director and co-founder of Bombus. Amelia studied textiles at The Royal College of Art and then spent several years working in the commercial textiles industry. In 2003 she started Bombus ‘around the kitchen table’, so knows what it’s like to work at home. Amelia is also a Partner at the

Interested in attending this event?  Email us at with your details