The new home: Here’s how lifestyles will change post COVID-19
Up until the pandemic, a normal work-life routine in most of our lives ran like clockwork: it was a predictable pattern of exercise, work and outgoing activities, including time with family and for ourselves.
But this very normal behaviour was soon to change in such a way that everything would be disrupted for months to come.
Ever since COVID-19 pushed us within our homes, we humans have been adapting to a new lifestyle, a lifestyle that is focused around our homes. These very bricks and four walls – once epitomising family, rest and relaxation – have now expanded their definition to include every other activity we used to busy ourselves with.
In a nutshell, our homes have become our new life.
Redefining home in a million ways
Although abrupt, Work-From-Home has presented a shift in the working paradigm for many businesses, many tech giants see this as a new cultural trend, ready to carry it forward for more than 1 million employees in the IT sector even after lockdown ends.
Work from home is the new normal
But for those sitting at home – admittedly for longer durations than before – a new observation has taken precedence. Our clockwork routine has found its roots within these four walls, giving a new face to old practices, whims and moments. And people have realised that their homes aren’t fully equipped to continue this change in lifestyle.
Let’s take a look at what’s missing and how to overcome it...
Where’s the 'study'?
A designated space for work and study is necessary
The rush of an imminent lockdown resulted in employees resorting to personal computers. On a similar front, kids had to retreat with the only option of online classes through video conferencing applications. But what about the desks left behind? The heavily-scribbled notepads and stationery, or the ergonomic chairs? Can simply having a conference app create the same attentiveness of a classroom? The need for a structural place to carry out office work and studies will arise, a need that people will want to take care of. Rather than relocating to dining tables (the ad-hoc workplace) or beds (which only trigger backaches) the answer is to create a dedicated study.
Foremost in this requirement is a study table with drawers and shelves to keep laptops, desktops and books at the centre of our focus. Drawers and shelves allow one to organise books, notes and stationery with easy-access. A pin-board can help in organising thoughts, tasks and small notes creatively. An ergonomic chair completes the setup, thereby creating an attentive environment away from disturbances.
Outdoors – From a distance
A balcony brings the outdoors into the home
When pushed within homes, the touch with the outside world was lost, or so people thought. Within a few days, however, the suspended structures looking out from apartments – mostly utilised to dry clothes – were being used as a place to exercise, have fun with family, socialise from a distance and even support the Corona warriors in this battle. People had rediscovered 'balconies'.
Balconies present a favourable avenue for people to continue what they always enjoyed, without breaking social distancing. For this very reason, people will want to facelift their balconies for greater comfort, tranquillity and the essence of outdoors. Grass carpets, along with potted plants, can be a great way to introduce a touch of nature.
Paired with rattan, wicker or wooden chairs, this spot can become the perfect place to exercise, enjoy family time, snacks, tea or even chit-chat with others from a safe distance.
Living the entertainment
An entertainment area in the house will give you space for some family time
Ever since personalised entertainment – in the form of Netflix, Amazon Prime and various streaming services – has hit the market, cinemas haven’t seen the same activity they once used to. People have had access to more shows and flicks, all tailored to their taste in genre. With the pandemic settling in, social distancing has disrupted the crowds of movie-goers.
But this means that our living rooms have to compensate for our binge-watching habits. While internet and a TV set bring every form of visual entertainment to our fingertips, this new way of living with personalised entertainment requires personalised comfort and structure too.
People can opt to house their TVs within TV units with mounted speakers. Plush sectional sofas, along with extra seats of lounge chairs, bean bags or pouffes can spread comfort to every member of the family, creating the perfect, cosy and personalised home theatre.
Corners for new habits
Create a reading nook
During this course of lockdown, everyone has picked up a lot of new habits – such as reading. Some have taken a new liking to retreating into a corner and enjoying “me-time”. But shuffling throughout the home does not necessarily give that peace much longed for. A personal corner is needed, not only to enjoy books, but also for some private time alone with your thoughts.
This is the perfect opportunity to build yourself a separate “personalised” corner, equipped with objects that lend comfort and serenity to your time. An empty corner can be repurposed for your personal comfort. Mounting shelves, or perhaps purchasing a bookshelf, can give a new home to the books you already have –and the ones you will be collecting to continue this new habit. Get a plush lounge chair and an ottoman to let you sink in with your thoughts, and relax under a warm lamp with your favourite read.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, it is quite clear that life won’t return to the same normal. Work-from-Home has, and will, change how we spend our time within our homes.
Humans have always depended on a constant work for earning, socialising for living, entertainment for refreshment, and peace for the soul. These activities define our nature, so why should they ever come to a halt?
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)