Hybrid Living: Five Trends of the “New Normal”

2 February 2022

Veronika Nedashkovskaya

Head of Content

For the past two years, the world has witnessed unprecedented events that have dramatically accelerated global digital transformation and a major shift to virtuality. Remote work, contactless services, home offices, and online events suddenly have become our “new normal.”

A person is working from home and seeing their colleagues on the laptop screen, hybrid living, home office, future.

According to Samsung’s Hybrid Living Futures report, 63% of consumers in Europe have switched to hybrid living in the past eighteen months. And 57% of European respondents say it has increased their productivity.

During multiple lockdowns, people had to reimagine the notion of work-life balance. Equipment for home workspaces, changes in daily routine, and keeping up with fitness habits quickly transformed from concerns to tech and lifestyle trends.

WFH Tech Products

Freelance and remote positions had existed long before the COVID-19 outbreak. However, in 2020, millions of “offline” people were forced to switch to a new working model. Within just a few months, a whole new business niche emerged. The expression “work from home” got abbreviated to WFH and quickly became a trend. People found themselves missing their comfy office chairs, coffee machines, and, most importantly, tech products allowing them to do their jobs remotely.

Companies had to repurpose parts of the budgeting to provide their employees with WFH allowances as “hobby” devices often didn’t meet the remote work tech requirements. Apart from apparent laptops and PCs, WFH busy bees now need special equipment for their home offices:

  • Laptop stands;
  • Extra computer monitors and mounts;
  • Microphones and webcams;
  • Portable storages;
  • Cable and charging adapters;
  • Multi-port hubs.

WFH tech products are aimed to enhance working experiences. In the light of recent events, business leaders have realized that not everybody enjoys the 9-30 meetings and that giving people more flexibility can significantly boost productivity and motivation.

Innovation Insights

  • WFH tech bundles 
  • 12-stream networking routers 
  • AI-powered video conference systems

Modular Home Office

Home offices are not only tech products to enhance communication and maintain work processes. For many, it’s essential to organize a separate office space to have a psychologically healthy work-life balance. According to Samsung’s Hybrid Living Futures report, 57% of respondents across Europe need to separate their professional and personal lives. However, many remote employees, especially in developed countries with high rental prices, don’t have the luxury of having a separate room as a home office.

This situation has sparked the trend for modular home offices. They are sets of furniture pieces designed specifically for private properties to use limited space efficiently. People can find a suitable module depending on available square meters. It significantly saves time as you don’t have to look for each piece separately making sure that measurements fit together.

Moreover, many modules have a focus on isolation. While it’s a privacy and safety concern for such systems in public co-working spaces, it also becomes important for households where both partners work from home in a limited space. Adjustable home office solutions help remote employees use precious square meters more effectively.

Innovation Insights

  • Isolation-focused office furniture
  • Modular WFH systems
  • Home office cubicles
  • Modular room partitions
  • Modular home office furniture systems

AI Delivery

The recent global events have changed the service industry, most probably, forever. The on-demand economy dictates the rules, while retail businesses must adjust to the instant e-commerce conditions. For the most part, it means the quick adoption of cutting-edge technologies. Companies implement artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms, and robotics to streamline operations in supply chain management. Although it’s a controversial topic (as many believe that it will lead to the extinction of many jobs in the industry), the process seems to be irreversible.

Contactless, autonomous delivery of parcels, food, and groceries already exists. Drone delivery has a lot of advocates as it’s environmentally friendly, economically profitable, and eliminates human risks. But there’s more to it. The British company Mole Solutions is designing underground logistics systems for transporting goods. Such a pipeline could deliver goods as quickly as drones, regardless of the weather. The system has already passed a series of tests and may soon become a new form of transportation for logistics companies.

Innovation Insights

  • Scalable supply chain technologies
  • Autonomous robot delivery startups
  • Robot-powered delivery centers
  • Hyperlocal logistics platforms

Health Hubs

Work is not the only aspect of everyday human life that has had to go through a transformation. Fitness and sleep trackers are not a novelty for many consumers with healthy lifestyles. But these devices also evolve. Health hubs help users track their activity and seamlessly integrate health-related routines into their schedules, whether it’s at-home fitness, tracking chronic conditions, or managing daily medicine and supplements.

As the global pandemic severely affected the medical sector, many people have become hyper-cautious. Skipping routine checks with your GP is a negative part of the “new normal.” In these circumstances, health hubs are designed to be integrated with telemedicine services. This way, people don’t have to leave the house for every minor concern and yet can get professional medical advice.

Innovation Insights

  • Health-focused smart home hubs
  • Virtual medication management features
  • Medical advice dispensing voice assistants
  • Smart wellness mirrors
  • All-in-one health tracker hubs

Influencer Housing

As the world shifts towards virtuality at incredible speed, Gen Z consumers become the driving force behind the changing market demands. Today, influencers attract investments, collaborate with billionaire corporations, and generate sizeable profits. Although most of them also work from home, influencer housing is gaining momentum as a trend.

Essentially, content or “collab” houses are designed to be a perfect space for a photo and video shoot. Designers and brands offer young media influencers opportunities to socialize, express themselves, and exchange knowledge “through elevated, or even branded, experiences.” Moreover, content houses are evidently lucrative. 

Innovation Insights

  • Social media-ready houses
  • Influencer-specific house designs
  • Esports team houses
  • Social media influencer houses

Final Thoughts

The global pandemic has broken down cultural and technological barriers toward the pervasive adoption of remote working and, as a result, hybrid living. While not everyone enjoys the current shift, many people improve performance and find better work-life balance in these models.

The need to accommodate new tech requirements inevitably created a new niche product market. Whether it’s offering people efficient modular furniture for home offices or providing them with health hubs with smart home integrations — the recent trends emerge around hybrid living and the idea of the “new normal.”

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