Office designers are designing workplaces that look like homes as a way of tempting homeworkers back to the office.

Known as “workplace as home”, this style can be seen in Manchester at the 196 Deansgate development, which features kitchens and lounges that make workers feel at home. The new offices at Circle Square are homely and informal, with places to socialise, relax and eat.

“Workplace as home” office spaces can also include sleep pods. For offices open 24 hours a day, this means that in theory, workers would never have to go home.

Leanne Wookey from design team tp bennett says that this design is chiefly to do with creating a working environment that feels comfortable and safe. Speaking to North West Place, she says:

“It is less about designing offices to look like homes, and more about creating inviting spaces that offer the ability for someone to control their environment in the way they can at home, to meet their individual needs.”

Other designers, however, are not in favour of offices being too cosy and homely, and criticise the “workplace as home” environment, believing it could stifle the productivity and creativity of cosseted employees and deny them the opportunity to separate their home and work lives. Designer Jasper Sanders says that homes are for relaxing, eating and sleeping in, which are not the functions of office space.

What designers agree on is that premium quality well-designed office space in Manchester, complete with first class facilities, can only help attract home workers back to the office.