As work from home has been an encouraged adage, women have been losing out on space in most cases.
The Covid-19 pandemic has left its mark as a global pandemic and the way it has alchemized the nature and habits of our work culture. Clocking into the office now looks more and more geriatric by the hour as the work from home slogan takes a foothold in our culture. Major corporations have urged their employees to work from home and continue working from home even after the pandemic. Technology mammoths, Google have encouraged those who can work from home to carry on with this. Amazon has informed employees who work at the headquarters to stick at home until at least October. Facebook and Microsoft have also iterated similar decrees to their employees. Twitter went so far as to state that those employed can work from home as long as possible or for their entire employment stance.
With all these coinciding with schooling taking residency at home, women have found it difficult to craft their own working habitat that breeds peace, quiet, and solitude for them to get their work done. This often occurs if both partners (husband and wife) work from home together with the kids taking virtual classes. The men take up the home office or lobby as the kids consume the remaining space, leaving them to figure out the rest.
How we got here
To get a clear comprehension of this perception, it is vital to understand the history behind the home office. In the 18th century, three key areas emerged in the middle class and wealthy; the social area (dining & living room), service zone (kitchen), and sleeping area. Chamber rooms gave birth to the home office and were later referred to as a library, den, or study area.
By late 19th century, the study was accorded to men to conduct their professional affairs there. In the early 20th century, the home office was vanquished from most homes as home space got smaller and smarter and was only a reserve for the wealthy, upper-middle-class, and creative professionals. Companies began to tap into the opportune market by advertising office utilities at home like PCs and typewriters. As families were figuring out where to place this equipment, adverts would again stipulate where by advocating for the home office. This made perfect sense as it created a working haven. However, women were shown in adverts to have a small work area in the kitchen or master bedroom, hardly a private spot to get work done.
All this resulted in men dominating the home office whenever both partners are at home. Women are the ones to figure out where they can work.