The gourmet office arrived. KB Home’s package includes workstations, electrical upgrades, ultra-high-speed tech connections, custom lighting and soundproofing.
As more people work from home, the home office has gained prominence amid the COVID-19 pandemic. About 40% of Americans are currently working remotely, up from the traditional 5%, Forbes.com reports – and builders responded to the need for office space.
National builder KB Home now offers semi-customizable home office packages for buyers.
“At first, people saw the need to work from home as likely to be temporary, but now it’s clearly not a temporary shift,” says Jeff Mezger, chairman, president, and CEO of KB Home. “As many people adjust to working from home permanently, they desire a dedicated, personalized room for their office, and that’s what we have designed into our floor plans.”
The “KB Home Office” package includes features such as built-in workstations and cabinetry, an upgraded electrical package, ultra-high-speed USB outlets, charging outlets, extra data connection ports, custom lighting, extra windows, soundproofing and even a beverage center. Buyers can also add a half bath and doors that go directly to the outside from their home office.
KB is rolling out its office packages nationwide over the next two months at an additional cost of $2,000 to $3,000. The homebuilder’s average base price is about $400,000.
Builders are reworking their floor plans to design office spaces. The overall square footage of existing floor plans may remain the same, but an interior wall is tweaked or flex space repurposed to show off as an office space.
“I expect to see homebuilders as a group start to embrace this cultural shift and do what they can to make life more efficient and more comfortable for people who plan to continue working from home,” says Brad Hunter, who consults on real estate trends for Hunter Housing Economics.
Home offices likely will remain important for home shoppers moving forward, since employers like Twitter and Facebook have announced that their employees can work from home permanently. Other companies like Google are giving workers until at least July 2021 to work from home.
Source: “Developing Trend: New Homes Will Include Personalized Home Offices,” Forbes.com (Aug. 5, 2020)
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