Demise of the nursery: A fifth of parents admit to changing the nursery into a home office during the pandemic

Working from home became common during lockdown. 

But for many parents it meant juggling work tasks with childcare as new research reveals how the Covid pandemic led to a decline of the traditional home nursery or playroom. 

The research, by Munchkin, found that with space sometimes at a premium and flexible working arrangements more common, nearly a fifth (19%) of parents had transformed their nursery or playroom into a home office or working space instead. 

More than a fifth (21%) said they worked at home with their baby or toddler next to them all/some of the time – meaning there was less need for a dedicated child room. 

A further 23% said that they spent more time working with their child next to them than before the pandemic due to flexible working, with 21% working longer hours because they were juggling it with child care. 

These changes to home life are understandable, given that 70% of parents worked more from home during the pandemic or enjoyed more flexible working arrangements.

This new-found flexibility also meant over a half (56%) of parents spent less money on childcare, reducing financial pressures, although 22% were prepared to spend more on technology/equipment to make working from home and looking after their children easier. 

With such a radical shift in the way many of us are now working, the research also reveals that a dedicated work space is a key factor for one-in-five (21%) of parents when considering a new home. 

Almost a third (32%) said they would need extra space for their children in a new property, while almost a fifth (19%) would look to purchase a house with open-plan living, meaning they can keep one eye on their baby at play whiletyping away at their office desk. 

With many working parents having to balance career and childcare, it perhaps not surprising they are seeking home technology to help. 

Almost a quarter (23%) of mums and dads researched by Munchkin admit they prefer baby products that enable them to multi-task, whilst 22% say they would spend more money on baby technology to help them balance both duties. Over one in ten (14%) even go as far as to confess that they believe technology helps them to be a better parent. 

Commenting on the research, Ben Jacob-Smith, managing director of FreeMoov Property, says: 

“The property market has seen a rise in popularity in open-plan living, due to it’s internally inclusive feel bringing friends and family closer together in one room. The requirement to have one space to live, work and play has become more apparent during the pandemic, where financial pressures have been at the forefront of shaping key decisions around the home. 

“Unsurprisingly, some parents have repurposed nurseries and playrooms as offices to facilitate an effective working-from-home set-up. 

“The importance of nurseries and playrooms have had to play second fiddle in comparison to the family’s main priority of maintaining sustainable incomes and for many families, nurseries and playrooms have had to be repurposed as offices to facilitate an effective working-from-home set-up”. 

With many working parents having to balance career and childcare, it appears they are seeking home technology to help. Almost a quarter (23%) of mums and dads researched by Munchkin admit they prefer baby products that enable them to multi-task, whilst 22% say they would spend more money on baby technology to help them balance both duties. Over one in ten (14%) even go as far as to confess that they believe technology helps them to be a better parent.”

Sophie Pickles (Parenting Coach and Early Years Expert)- in partnership with Munchkin comments: 

“With the rising cost of childcare, it’s no wonder that parents who need to work from home want to save money by having their baby or toddler with them. The flexibility of being able to work from anywhere in the house means that there’s now no need for a dedicated playroom – so rather than being cooped up in one room, little ones can be with mum and dad in the kitchen, living room or office space whilst they work. 

“This brings benefits for parents and children and creates a stronger bond between them. Children suffer less separation anxiety and become more independent when parents can watch over them, made easier with products such as the Munchkin Swing which provides a safe and comforting spot for babies, so parents can still get on with tasks. 

“There’s also less pressure on parents to create the perfect social-media or ‘Insta-worthy’ nursery for their child, which is a good thing when they’re already so busy juggling work and home life.” 

For more information on the new Munchkin Swing, visit here