As more people work from home, the value of a home office is increasing

With more professionals working from home than ever due to the Covid-19 crisis, buyers are valuing homes that are equipped to handle home office demands, according to a leading Gold Coast property expert.

Whether it’s faster internet connectivity, dedicated office spaces or convenient access to recreational areas to break-up work routine, local property experts are picking up on a trend towards buyers being more alert to a property’s ability to act as a home office.

Emerging trends

Knight Frank Australia Business Development Manager, Chris Litfin, said while overall property enquiries had softened recently, those still in the market were increasingly asking for properties that met the needs of home-based businesses.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around a quarter of the workforce ‘tele-works’ at least part of their week from home – a figure that has increased significantly since social interaction restrictions were put in place.

“Prior to the pandemic, Gold Coast City was already considered an entrepreneurial hub.  Our city is an innovation incubator where a high percentage of people own their own businesses and professionals across a range of industries either work from home, or from collaborative working spaces,” said Mr Litfin.

“However, since the pandemic has hit, more professionals who had ordinarily worked from a traditional office have now transitioned to working from home – a situation that is likely to continue for some time.

“We are noticing those looking to buy a new home at the moment are taking into account the fact that they may be working from home for the foreseeable future, and some of the first questions they are asking are to do with whether or not a property meets their professional needs.”

Mr Litfin said in the current digital era, those with an entrepreneurial spirit could enter the business space without massive overheads by setting up from home.

“The fast-moving digital age has made the prospect of working from home entirely more achievable, and this is certainly something that is being considered in the purchasing process more than ever,” he said.

“New properties are generally better equipped to cater to this growing trend through efficient design features, allowing for multiple use living spaces and up-to-the-minute technology capabilities.

“Gold Coast City is the perfect environment for this type of buyer – new properties are generally developed in locations surrounded by natural recreational infrastructure, creating a pleasant working environment and enhancing work-life balance.”

Work from home cluster communities

Masterplanned gated community in Robina, Vue Terrace Homes, has itself become a hub for young entrepreneurs riding the tech wave on the Gold Coast and running their own digital businesses from home.

Many young residents in the terrace home community – including home-based digital recruiters, e-commerce, authors and network marketers – have been attracted to the Robina community for its fast internet speeds, modern and open plan living areas for suitable for multiple offices, and close proximity to amenities and public transport.

Anna and Morgan Richards moved into Vue nine months ago and run their entire digital network marketing business from a three-bedroom plus media terrace home with parkland and Gold Coast City skyline views.

As digital influencers on Facebook and Instagram, the young professional couple sell Isagenix health and wellness products via their popular website and social media channels. They also provide health and business coaching to clients via videoconferencing and podcasting technology.

“We are a digital business and spend a lot of time in Zoom meetings and doing video podcasts, so one of the biggest factors when we were looking for a new home was internet speeds. As soon as we arrived at Vue, we pulled out the internet speed tester on our phones to check if we could actually run our business smoothly from here,” said Anna.

“Having our own dedicated office spaces with plenty of natural light and views is a big plus as well – if we are going to be inside the house all day, we feel like we need to have lots of light and a view to enjoy.

“We keep pretty typical nine-to-five hours, but when we take a break, it is also important for us to have a balcony to sit outside and have a coffee or some lunch.

“Location is also huge for us – it is really important that we can take a walk on the beach or through Robina City Parklands when they are finished, or go down to the pool and recreation deck for a quick swim; we’ve even been fortunate to be able to hold a few client meetings by the pool – a fringe benefit that we and our clients love.

“Now that we have found the perfect place to work from home, Morgan and I have the perfect work-life balance and no matter how long the pandemic continues, I can’t see us working from a traditional office again any time soon.”

Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Bond University’s Business School, Libby Sander, said the coronavirus pandemic would continue to fast-track many businesses into work from home mode for some time – and properties needed to adjust.

“In the future, we are likely to see more people working from home on a regular basis. We need to think about designing homes that have multiple designated work areas to support this shift,” she said.

“Not everyone will have a dedicated separate office to work from home, and in the current climate, we are likely to see more than one person working from home. In addition, kids are schooling at home in many cases as well.

“Creating a designated workspace is important for productivity, as well as physical and mental health. Working from bed, the couch or the kitchen table is unlikely to be effective.

“Fresh air and natural light provide important physical and mental benefits, and it is important to take regular breaks, so people should set aside time in their day to get outside and go for a walk.”

“Good lighting is essential, as is a well designed desk with a proper chair, and poor internet connectivity is a significant issue for many working at home at the moment.”

Many young residents in the terrace home community – including home-based digital recruiters, e-commerce, authors and network marketers – have been attracted to the Robina community for its fast internet speeds, modern and open plan living areas for suitable for multiple offices, and close proximity to amenities and public transport.

Anna and Morgan Richards moved into Vue nine months ago and run their entire digital network marketing business from a three-bedroom, two-bathroom terrace home with views to the Gold Coast skyline.

As digital influencers on Facebook and Instagram, the young professional couple sell Isagenix health and wellness products via their popular website and social media channels. They also provide health and business coaching to clients via videoconferencing and podcasting technology.

“We are a digital business and spend a lot of time in Zoom meetings and doing video podcasts, so one of the biggest factors when we were looking for a new home was internet speeds. As soon as we arrived at Vue, we pulled out the internet speed tester on our phones to check if we could actually run our business smoothly from here,” said Anna.

“Having multiple separate offices with large windows that let lots of natural light in and gave us views is a big factor as well – if we are going to be inside the house all day, we feel like we need to have lots of light  and something to look out at.

“We keep pretty typical nine-to-five hours, but when we take a break, it is also important for us to have a balcony to sit outside and have a coffee or some lunch.

“Location is also huge for us – it is really important that we can take a walk on the beach or at the Robina City Parklands when they are finished, or go down to the pool and recreation deck for a quick swim; we’ve even been fortunate a few client meetings by the pool – a fringe benefit that we and our clients love.