The Rise Of The Home Office

April 15th, 2021 - by Brad Gillespie

We’re used to glam kitchens, bathrooms and green features being at the top of property buyers’ wish lists.

Now, home offices are trending in a post-COVID world, as many Australians have begun working from home more often, or on a permanent basis.

In the past, home offices tended to be something of an afterthought or a bonus feature, but not anymore – now they’re at the forefront of many buyers’ minds. Data from domain.com.au has revealed massive surges in searches for “home office”, and related terms, in Victoria and New South Wales.

If you’re looking to sell in Sydney’s inner city, you should absolutely consider adding a home office space. Luckily, this can be achieved in many ways, whether your property is a one-bedroom unit or a full family home with a yard and a garage.

Study nooks and home office “zones”

Stylists have swiftly mastered the art of bringing the home office vibe to all kinds of Sydney inner living spaces, including smaller units. In fact, it’s rare we sell something right now, without giving a hint of a “work from home” solution to would-be buyers.

Workspaces can be easily incorporated in a kitchen, sunroom, bedroom or living room. Sometimes borrowing unused space from a hallway, entry, under the stairs or on a landing can be a great way to add value by increasing the functionality of the space.

Stylists are masters of setting up a small narrow desk with a chair, adding a computer monitor or laptop, framed photographs or prints, a lamp, a plant or small vase of flowers and voila! Enhance the look with shelves positioned directly above for easily accessible storage or display space. Painting, patterning or wallpapering the width of the wall space behind this set-up works magic to distinguish the space from the rest of the room.

We’ve also seen the return of the loft bed, with a desk underneath.

Study in a cupboard

If you’ve been working from home for any length of time, you’ll know that it’s hard to switch off and disconnect from work. In fact the inability to psychologically and physically separate your home life from your work life can be one of the biggest drawbacks.

Desperate times can call for desperate measures, but can also inspire innovation. Enter the now-trending ‘study-in-a-cupboard’ concept. This ingenious idea creates a home office that can be easily closed away once the workday is done. Closets and cupboards also allow more storage space for unsightly office clutter, such as printers, files and all those tangled cables.

No cupboard? No problem. Installing a curtain the width of the space as an office “wall” can achieve the same effect, as can folding concertina partitions or screens, which are easy to install and move around later.

Dedicated home office rooms

If you have extra space, such as a sunroom or second bedroom, instead of the traditional kids’ bedroom styling, you could go for a home office look complete with bookcases, rugs, filing cabinets, armchairs and artworks.

Positioning desks up against windows instantly creates a bright airy feel, rather than a cramped space, particularly if the space is small.

Another good inclusion to consider are sit-stand desks as these are not only hugely popular these days thanks to their ergonomic nature but they are often also surprisingly streamlined and affordable, particularly if your room has double as guest or kid accommodation.

The full Monty

Every home worker, entrepreneur, sole trader or small business owner’s dream these days – particularly if you have small children at home – is a fully separate home office/business space.

If you are lucky enough to have enough outdoor space, there are many excellent options would-be buyers will love. Think a room over a garage, a garden shed, ready-made pod, studio, or a whole tiny home in the garden that’s a dedicated business space. Naturally, if you go this route, you’ll need to investigate council and development application requirements. Start your search at the NSW Government’s Planning Portal.

This type of home improvement can really add appeal, with the extra space being able to double as a kids playroom, guest accommodation, second living room, or a hobbies space.

And, finally...

A space to work from home is now top of many buyers’ checklists and you can create one quite easily with enough imagination and planning.

Whatever you’re after, searching Instagram or Pinterest for phrases such as ‘small home office’, ‘study nook’ or ‘study in a cupboard’ will provide endless inspiration.

If you’re looking to buy or sell in Sydney’s inner city, contact us today.