Microprocessing

You Will Never Leave

A cultural shift to remote work may keep you working at home even when the pandemic passes, if history is any guide

Angela Lashbrook
OneZero
Published in
7 min readJul 30, 2020

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Only a bright laptop screen is visible in this dark room.
Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

Four months into New York City’s lockdown, I’m finally committing to outfitting my own home office.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, I worked at my husband’s desk, which has multiple large monitors, a very nice desk chair, and even one of those green-glass banker’s lamps. Now that he’s working from home, I need to design my own little work nook, which will cost a little bit of cash I’m loath to part with in these precarious times.

The investment of energy, creative thinking, and money into creating a home workspace is intimidating, but it’s never been more essential that I — and many other office workers — bite the bullet and build a home office that won’t leave us prone to distractions or with debilitating back pain.

More people are purchasing desks, office chairs, and other home office accessories than ever before. British furniture brand John Lewis reports that a recent week saw a 91% sales increase of office chairs and a 44% increase in desks compared to the year before. According to Wirecutter, interest in home office equipment like computer monitors, standing desks, and office chairs have all skyrocketed. There was such a rush on computer monitors, in fact, that one Office Depot salesperson in San Francisco told Bloomberg that “it’s just like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.”

This investment in home offices could encourage people to stay and work from home even after the pandemic is “over”—or at least whenever it is deemed safe enough for us to commute to the office. Interior design and architecture are often…

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Angela Lashbrook
OneZero

I’m a columnist for OneZero, where I write about the intersection of health & tech. Also seen at Elemental, The Atlantic, VICE, and Vox. Brooklyn, NY.