Design Trend – The New Normal Working From Home

Working from Home

Hi, I’m Jan Hogarth from PlaceMate Architects, I’m an architect working in Brisbane, and I spend my working life designing family homes, Queenslander renovations, and new building projects. Working from home is a trend that has become the new normal for many business professionals and homeowners. 

A New Design Trend

So today, I’d like to talk about what is a persistent trend that started during the pandemic but is not going away.

Mt Gravatt Home Office Wall

Mt Gravatt Home Office Wall

We already know that corporate and government employers are happy to have people working from home. It turns out that it is profitable to employ people who can work constructively from home in quite complicated jobs. For their employees, part of it is that they can be on Zoom calls and part of it is it’s just okay to be working from home. In addition, from a family point of view, you have less commute. Plus, you have better involvement and interaction with your family. Understandably there are many people who want to do this.

As it turns out, a home office is a value add-on to a property, because there’s a large group of owners who are looking for this design feature. So if this applies to you, I think you can unhesitatingly have one or two small offices in your home, but there are some design criteria that you should consider.

Design Criteria To Consider

Here are some design trends to consider:


PlaceMate Architects Home Office Inner City Character Home Renovation Plan

Firstly, the home office should not be attached to your living room. You want to be away from the kids and out of sight, out of mind from them.

Secondly, if you’re working from home, you should have an outlook, so you’re not working in a cupboard. You want it to be a joyous place where you can work and look out a window and see something nice.

Third, it should have acoustic separation, along with thick doors; so that you have complete privacy and you can’t hear the household conversation.

Finally, it should have decent air conditioning.

Now, that’s the baseline if it works for you.

When Do You Need Two Offices?

Barrister's Office in A New Farm Home

Barrister’s Office in Inner City Home

As it turns out, some people can’t actually work together…

One of them is tidy, while one of them is messy.

One of them is quiet and thoughtful; while the other one is loud and voluble.

And, if you’re a barrister, I’m talking to you!

So that will mean two home offices for you.

The Admin Desk

The other kind of work that happens in a house is to do with the kids and the admin for the home. This is what I would call an admin desk. Here we are, it’s a kitchen, this is a family home. 

Under Stair Desk

Under Stair Desk Access

One solution is the admin desk sits under the stairs. There are usually a couple of laptops and phones being recharged, there’s usually a calendar and a pin board in this space so that the homeowners can monitor the activity of the kids. And the crazy part of an admin desk is it’s located beside the kitchen but is not part of the same kitchen.

This is a very hardworking part of the family area and it captures all the stuff that drives you crazy in one place and keeps it under control.

The other way to think about it is to ask, “Where do technology and the internet come into your home?” Placing it beside the kitchen in a little corner under the stairs is a great idea too!

Take Aways

Some takeaways for today are to think about your home office needs before renovating. Your existing needs are not going to go away. Often, office space is great to include on your floor plan as it’s not necessarily a workspace. That goes for your admin desk as well.

So, if you’re considering a home renovation and you want to talk through these details, request a site visit, so that PlaceMate Architects can help make it come together in a really effortless way!

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