From the earliest days of the pandemic, everyone realized how essential a pleasant and comfortable work-from-home space is to efficiency, productivity and creativity. Those factors are still top-of-mind for consumers, since the number of people working permanently at home is expected to double this year. This is one of the biggest lifestyle trends right now. No wonder Zonda, a research company that specializes in new-home data, reports that a top ask from prospective buyers is for not one, but two home-office spaces.
The first space is more traditional: a dedicated room, a loft or bonus room. The second “office” is much smaller, typically an underutilized space in a closet, under the stairs, or a nook in the hallway. Furniture companies are already providing furniture to fit these tighter spaces.
Regardless of size, consumers are inspired to kit out their offices out in ways that go beyond expected tech and furniture. That’s why housewares items are popping up on so many lists of WFH essentials:
- CNN recommends starting with a good breakfast, so a sandwich maker is on their list
- CNET says making coffee becomes a sacramental practice when you work from home
- To go with it, Cosmo suggests a stylish mug
- The NY Times says a white noise machine takes up very little space, yet it makes a big difference in being able to concentrate when kids, or even pets are also in the house
- Refinery 29 likes diffusers
- NY Magazine’s list includes this aesthetically pleasing humidifier
- Wired magazine says a water bottle to help you stay hydrated is an absolute essential
Plants have appeared on too many lists to count. In addition to being attractive, they help clean the air, connecting them with the Wellness trend. COVID-19 has made clean air an even bigger priority. As a result, the air purifier category has been supercharged.
The bottom line is that many housewares products have legitimate WFH connections that consumers care about in ways they haven’t before. They will continue to do so as many families move house in search of permanent office space. Don’t be afraid to exploit these connections in every sales pitch, POP initiative and packaging design, at least through 2022.