March 24, 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic had a serious impact on the home office furniture market in 2020, according to a new report, by AMA Research. Despite a move to homeworking, demand for home office furniture is expected to have declined by 8 percent in 2020; however this can be contrasted with the 17 percent fall in the total office furniture market.
Workstations, desks and tables account for the largest proportion of the home office furniture market, with sales reaching an estimated £71m in 2020, or 42 percent of the overall market value. However, sales of seating products have shown most growth in recent years in both volume and value terms, with sales reaching £68m in 2020, or 40 percent of the market.
The majority of home office furniture is currently distributed through the Internet, mail order and catalogue outlets, accounting for an estimated 62 percent of the market by value. The retail outlet channel is the second largest with 18 percent.
Laura Pardoe, Product Manager at AMA Research comments “the enforcement of home working for many during 2020 has accelerated a trend towards more flexible multi-environment working that began over twenty years ago. As companies and employees adjust to the benefits, and otherwise, of home working there is a reshaping of the office furniture market to accommodate changing consumer preferences for products and supply channels. This provides new opportunities for importers and also for those able to address the needs of compact, quality furniture designed to ergonomic principles, and able to work in a new supply model with businesses.”
Employees are likely to make their office furniture requirements more permanent
Growth in the home office furniture market is expected to increase significantly in 2021, with pent up demand being released, as an increasing number of workers are told they can work remotely for some of the working week. As a result, employees are likely to make their office furniture requirements more permanent, rather than using existing domestic furniture, which tended to be used during the uncertainty of the pandemic.
Once this immediate demand is sated, the home office furniture market is expected to remain fairly static in the medium term although further growth is expected in the small office sector, as firms create smaller regional hubs, to be used by employees on an ad hoc basis. Major office rental firms have suffered badly during the current crisis, but their fortunes seem likely to be revived in the medium term, as more part time remote working becomes the new norm.