Remember when we all thought working from home would only last a few weeks? While some offices have begun reopening after lockdown, it seems WFH will continue to play a large part in the working week for many people. But if you're missing the office, Panasonic has announced an office cubicle for your own home – and we're not sure how we feel about it.
Working from home can be a distracting affair, but Panasonic's 88,000 yen (around $835) Komoru is designed to create a designated workspace inside your own home, adding some much-needed separation between work and, er, life. Check out the best desks and best office chairs for more WFH setup options.
Komoru promises 10.8 square feet of workspace, and is surrounded on two sides by a 120-centimeter wall. These are perforated, allowing you to decorate them with plants, posters, toys and whatever else you used to make it feel like you weren't at work.
On one hand, the Komoru desk seems like minimal and classy solution to the challenge of creating a productive workspace at home – especially for those without a spare room, or tons of real estate to play with. While the walls won't offer complete privacy for a delicate Zoom call with your boss, the desk certainly looks like it could offer some handy separation.
On the other hand, there's no denying that the traditional office cubicle is synonymous with a sense of corporate drudgery. It seems almost perverse to bring one into the home – especially since they're usually designed to sit among rows upon rows of identical boxes (and if multiple housemates buy one, perhaps that's what could happen). If the WFH revolution is truly here, perhaps desk design shouldn't feel quite so lifted from the office of yore? We might start to wonder if we're living at work rather than working at home.
Still, like social distancing and face masks (here's where to buy a face mask), working from home is definitely part of the new normal – but if you're yearning for a hint of the old normal, this cubicle-inspired desk could be for you. It's only available in Japan right now, but time will tell if it makes its way overseas. And if you're still navigating the many challenges of WFH, head over to our guide to working from home more productively.