Four walls: The great divide

Four walls: The great divide - Twenty years ago, the personal computer was being trumpeted as the crack of doom for the office block. Soon, we'd all be working from home.

by RORY ROSS, a freelance journalist and property owner

Twenty years ago, the personal computer was being trumpeted as the crack of doom for the office block. Soon, we'd all be working from home.

That hasn't happened, but many of us fantasise about clearing out the spare bedroom and putting it to some sort of business use. The motives for working at home have never been so many: heavier workloads in different time zones, teleworking, central-office downsizing, the cult of the small business, advances in IT, childcare considerations, disability, illness, the drudgery of commuting or a desire to go it alone.

According to the Henley Centre, 9% of the British workforce toils at home all the time, 30% some of the time, while 46% of British professionals keep some sort of office or work area at home. Yet most homes are designed for relaxation, not work. So where do you draw the line between workspace and homespace?

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