A home office
A home office

A study is a room in a house that is used for paperwork, computer work, or reading. Historically, the study of a house was reserved for use as the private office and reading room of a family father as the formal head of a household, but today studies are generally either used to operate a home business or else open to the whole family.

Layout and equipment

A typical study might contain a desk, chair, computer, desk lamps, bookshelves, books, and file cabinets. A spare bedroom is often utilized as a study, but many modern homes have a room specifically designated as a study. Other terms used for rooms of this nature include den, home office, parlour, or home library. A "study room" is more commonly a communal working area in a school, office, etc.


The study developed from the closet or cabinet of the Renaissance onwards. The advent of electronic communication, the now largely superseded fax machine and computer technology has widened the appeal of dedicated home working areas, with nearly 30% of all working adults in the United States reporting that they undertake at least some work from home as part of their primary employment.[1] Government statistics record that in Britain 4.2 million people worked exclusively from home in 2014; an increase of 31% from the 1998 figure.[2]

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a greatly increased demand for rooms suitable for working from home.

Modern work functions

The impact of the Internet has led to a transformation of the historic study with its localized functions into the present day home-office. The technological revolution enabled since the 1970s through the World-Wide Web has permitted individuals working from home to communicate, produce and compete on a global basis. Readily available services include email, e-commerce, and video-conferencing.


  1. ^ Bureau of Labour Statistics cited p39 "Basements & Attics", ISBN 1-58923-224-0
  2. ^ page 53 "The Economist" June 23rd 2018