The HomeWork Assignment: Designing a New Generation of Offices

Home | The HomeWork Assignment: Designing a New Generation of Offices

By Joseph Napierkowski, Owner of Joseph Williams Interiors and ICID Raleigh Ambassador

Photos by Daniel Calvert Photography and Space by Cynthia Quarantello Realty

Hey, let’s face it! The way we work has been turned upside down, shaken, stirred and then some. Cubicles, those nine-to-five work schedules, and location-dependence? Pfft, those are so yesterday! We’re now in the era of “ResiMercial” workspaces—think residential comfort meets commercial functionality. Fancy way of saying “making your office feel like home.”

Now, why is this important? Simple! We spend so much of our waking hours at work, shouldn’t we make it as enjoyable as possible? So, let’s turn on the lights—natural light, that is. Research tells us that 78% of employees say access to natural light improves their overall happiness. Who wouldn’t want to be happier at work, right?

But here’s the kicker—over a third of employees feel they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace. Just imagine! A well-lit office can reduce eyestrain by 51%, headaches by 63%, and drowsiness by 56%. It’s like your office just became a health spa!

But let’s not stop at just light. What about creating an environment that feels more like a home than an office? Enter the “HomeWork” offices. This is no ordinary design shift. We’re talking about a revolution here! A space that encourages connection, collaboration, and wellness, and also comes with the flexibility that our modern work-life demands.

In the HomeWork office concept, every design choice is purposeful. We’re not just swapping out office chairs for couches or adding a coffee machine. We’re creating a space that can adapt to different needs throughout the day. Imagine a conference room that can be transformed from a large meeting area into two separate work tables—talk about a magic trick!

And it doesn’t stop there. We’re also focusing on shared spaces that encourage connection and collaboration. We’re creating a living space that doubles as a lobby and meeting area. Plush seating, warm lighting, and inviting decor—making the office a place you’d love to hang out in. Trust me, the result is an office space that feels warm, inviting, and conducive to focused work. Who wouldn’t want to work in a place like that?

This, my friends, is just the beginning of the ResiMercial revolution. As we navigate through the changing landscape of work, we’re bound to see even more exciting developments. But for now, let’s take a deeper look at how to implement these HomeWork offices, shall we?

The HomeWork Movement in Action

Now, we’ve been talking about the HomeWork concept, but you might be wondering, “What does that look like in practice?” Well, buckle up, because we’re diving into the details!

Versatility is the name of the game in the HomeWork office design. In this day and age of remote and flexible work, we need spaces that can do a bit of everything. Remember that magic trick I mentioned earlier about the conference room that can transform into two separate work tables? That’s versatility in action! It not only makes efficient use of space but also encourages a sense of shared ownership, fostering that all-important team spirit.

But it’s not all about work, work, work. We also need to create shared experiences and maintain a sense of team cohesion. And that’s where communal spaces come in. These are spaces that promote connection without sacrificing comfort. Picture a living space that doubles as a lobby and meeting area—plush seating, warm lighting, inviting decor, and all. It’s the perfect spot for an impromptu brainstorming session or a moment of quiet relaxation during a hectic workday.

And let’s not forget about the beauty of natural light. Research has shown that natural light can boost mood, focus, and overall well-being. So, why not fill the office with plenty of it? In a recent HomeWork office project, large picture windows were installed throughout the office, flooding the space with daylight. The result? An office that feels more like a sunlit living room than a traditional workspace.

But the HomeWork concept isn’t just about what you see. It’s also about changing our attitudes towards work itself. A study found that jobs that allow employees to work remotely receive seven times more applications than in-person roles. Also, nearly 40% of global candidates report that workplace flexibility is one of their top three considerations. This flexibility, which is a cornerstone of the HomeWork concept, can boost productivity and job satisfaction. In fact, 43% of respondents said that flexible working hours helped them be more productive, and 30% said that having less or no commute time allowed them to be more productive.

In conclusion, the HomeWork concept is not just a design trend—it’s a response to the changing dynamics of work in our post-pandemic world. It’s about creating workspaces that workers are excited to spend time in, spaces that blend the comfort of home with the productivity of an office. But enough theory—let’s get practical and explore how we can bring the HomeWork concept to life in our own office spaces!

Building Your Own HomeWork Office – Joey’s Top Tips

Okay, now that we’ve got all the theory down, let’s get our hands dirty and see how we can bring this concept to life in your own workspace. Get ready for Joey’s top tips for creating your very own HomeWork office! P.S. These tips work for home offices as well!

1. Flexibility is Key: Start by thinking about how you can make your space more adaptable. Can a conference room double as a creative brainstorming space? Can the lobby serve as a quiet reading area when it’s not bustling with visitors? The goal is to create a space that can morph to fit different needs, much like our homes do.

2. Foster Connection: Consider how your space can encourage interaction and collaboration. This could be as simple as arranging seating in a way that invites conversation, or as ambitious as creating a communal lounge where people can connect and unwind.

3. Let the Light In: Natural light can do wonders for mood and productivity, so try to incorporate as much of it as you can. If you’re limited by the building’s architecture, consider using light fixtures that mimic natural light.

4. Comfort Matters: Who says offices have to be stiff and uncomfortable? Add some cozy touches like plush seating, warm lighting, or even some greenery. Remember, you’re trying to create a space that feels like home.

5. Support Work-From-Home Needs: With more people working from home, think about how your office design can support this shift. This could mean creating quiet zones for focused work, or dedicated spaces where remote team members can touch base when they come into the office.

6. Stay Flexible: Last but certainly not least, be open to change. The way we work is constantly evolving, and your office design should be able to adapt to these changes.

There you have it, the top tips for creating a HomeWork office! As you can see, this isn’t about simply making offices more comfortable—it’s about reimagining what an office can be. It’s about creating spaces that inspire, spaces that bring joy, and spaces where people feel connected. And the best part? It’s all within our reach.

So, the next time you find yourself wishing your office felt a little more like home, remember the HomeWork concept. Remember that you can create a workspace that is as inviting and comfortable as your living room, but with the functionality and structure necessary for productive work. And, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a little help bringing your HomeWork vision to life. After all, there’s nothing I love more than helping my clients create spaces that bring them joy.

The HomeWork concept represents a transformative shift in the way we perceive and design office spaces. It’s a shift that has been a long time coming, spurred on by the rapid changes in our work lives. The goal is clear: to create office spaces that are as inviting and comfortable as our homes, but with the functionality and structure necessary for productive work. It’s a challenging balance to strike, but with thoughtful design and a keen understanding of the evolving needs of workers, it’s a challenge that we can rise to meet. After all, isn’t it time our offices felt a little more like home?

Meet Joey Napierkowski of Joseph William Interiors. A charismatic designer known for his distinct style, he’s frequently featured on CBS 17 and in various publications. As ICID World’s Raleigh ambassador, he’s a local design influencer. Learn more: