Home Office
The (R)evolution

Back in the late 1700s, Samuel Slater built the first factory in the United States to produce yarn in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  It was the beginning of a huge paradigm shift from cottage industry to industrialism. Similarly, we are in another of these historic times right now, driven by a pandemic from commercial spaces back into the home.  Tech companies have been preparing for this for some time now, but with the commercial building boom in Boston, the transition seemed to be lacking a motivator until March of 2020.  There are so many facets to the changes taking place, both good and bad: a rise in productivity, increased work hours, the blur between work and home, shrinking real estate costs, flexibility, no more long commutes, the tracking of employees online, contract tracing for in-person meetings, more productive online meetings, increased social media, stronger online presence for companies and individuals branding themselves, amongst others. 

All of a sudden, the short-term kitchen table strategy was forced to convert to an actual home office. Commercial manufacturers have quickly transitioned needed products to help workers keep their home offices ergonomic and effective.  Bestproducts.com came out with a list of the 29 Work-from-Home Essentials that include things from portable monitors and noise-canceling headphones; to scented candles and a hand-held milk foamer. 

Also moving us forward are companies like Pragli which has developed a virtual “water cooler” space that helps remote workers communicate better.  What Slack did for email, they want to do for video conferencing. Another forward thinker, Sine Wave Entertainment, introduced their new Breakroom to help accommodate a wide variety of communication needs that remote workers now have.  The virtual space replicates the actual brick and mortar office to help employees feel connected.

For now, the home office doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so it is important to embrace these new changes and lean in.



Be sure to check in with the IIDA New England calendar for upcoming virtual events offered in our community. Here's a sneak peak at some upcoming events:

  • NCIDQ Information Session // Tuesday, July 14
  • Workplace Innovation Event // Tuesday, July 28
  • Membership Coffee Chat // Friday, July 31



Did you know that according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 99% of the 55.6 million public and private schools in the United States have closed, leaving students to learn remotely?


Wire Contributors: Karen Moylan, Jillian Welenc

Do you have an idea that you would like to share with the design community or see highlighted here in The Wire? Send your ideas to 
[email protected].