How the Coronavirus pandemic could change our homes forever

13 Aug 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our homes have been serving as makeshift workplaces, schools and gyms. And many of us are spending more time in them than ever before.

People often choose their particular home because of its location – perhaps it offers access to good schools or an easy commute to work by car or public transport. But with fewer people now commuting and more people working from home, where people choose to live and how they want their houses to function may change after this prolonged period of lockdown.

It’s likely that for many families, this period has also highlighted that when they are all in the house at the same time, it can be hard to find any personal space. A popular trend in recent years has been for open plan living. This, however, relies on a “phased” pattern of occupation, whereby different members of the household occupy the home at different times of day. This is very different from the “concurrent” pattern of occupation – whereby all members of the household occupy the home simultaneously – that lockdown has made more prevalent.

Being able to supervise children while working may be beneficial for some. But for others, the lack of privacy afforded by these large, open plan spaces has no doubt presented challenges. Particularly when, for example, you might want a quiet corner in which to hold online calls.

People who work from home may use their heating more to maintain a comfortable working environment. So an increase in the number of homeworkers could see a renewed focus on thermal comfort and the energy efficiency of their homes.

A growing preoccupation with exercise and health could also see more people thinking about the impact internal environments can have on our well-being – prioritising natural light and access to nature. This could lead to reduced reliance on electrical lighting and greater demand for gardens that encourage biodiversity.

The experience of lockdown will, no doubt, have a lasting effect on us all. And many will be rethinking the kind of life they want to live post-pandemic, along with the role their homes could play in this.

Source: The Conversation

See latest COVID-19 updates on government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za.