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Home Office Trend Forecast for 2019

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    Home Office Trend Forecast for 2019

    The home office has emerged as one of the most important residential amenities, thanks to an uptick in both self-employment and flexible working trends.

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    News - 10.01.2019

    Whether they’re working for themselves or others, 25% of Australian's are calling home “the office” at least one day a week. Among them, 2.8 million self-employed people consider home their primary place of work, according to consultancy Global Workplace Analytics. With the number of at-home workers on the rise, the need for workspace is constant and evolving. We asked Jo Mawhinney, director of product, brand and experience at Living Edge for her take on the trends driving the home-office sector.

    Make sure you take advantage of our annual special offer. We want to help you start your new year right by introducing a new approach to your home office environment guaranteed to improve your productivity and comfort.

    Q1. What are some of the hottest trends in home office furniture for 2019 - ie which shapes, profiles, colours and materials in desks, chairs and storage can we expect to see coming through?

    Jo: It’s not quite a ‘trend’ so much as it is a complete revolution, but today we are seeing more of a softer approach to designing office furniture. I think this is because residential design has been having a profound impact on the design of commercial products like task chairs that are being reimagined with a homier aesthetic. The Aeron Chair by Herman Miller is a perfect example of this: with soft, organic lines and a generous seat form, it’s clear that people crave the comfort that they experience at home when at work too. 

    Designs such as the Cosm Chair and the famous Eames Task Chair (both by Herman Miller) allow for additional options in altering colours which allows you to select the appropriate finishing details that will suit any interior setting. I think that we are going to see the home and office environments continue to blur. This is great news for people wanting to design a home office now that there are more options than ever at their fingertips.

    Q2. What are some of the key influences on home office design this year? 

    Jo: We’ve been watching the influence of the home environment affect design in workplace settings for years now – you can see this in the prevalence of more luxurious design details in today’s offices. But what I think is particularly interesting is the influence of more research and development in this space. Ergonomics, for instance, has improved exponentially in recent years, allowing us all to have the perfect support at hand during our work day, no matter where we are! In traditional offices, this kind of focus on wellbeing is really taking off, and it makes me optimistic that more and more of us desire better health and happiness in our home office too.

    We are also seeing that the way people work is resulting in a less regimented idea of an office space. Today it’s all about creating flexible spaces that can be reconfigured for different uses – and this is also true in the home where available spaces for home offices tend to be small and need to adapt to accommodate so many different needs that entire floors in office blocks would normally cater to. It’s true that it’s not the size that counts – it’s all about making good design work harder for you and your needs.

    Q3. What about trends in kids' desks and chairs - which looks can we expect to see in 2019?

    Jo: Kids of all ages are spending a lot of time on the computer or sitting at a desk so we are seeing a growing demand for better quality seating as parents try and minimise the damage that poor postures bring about. We are starting to see higher quality seating being chosen for kids’ study areas and as these are often in family living areas it is again important aesthetically that they don’t overpower the interior.

    But we’re also seeing more and more thought being given to other elements in kids’ study areas such as the correct lighting. With ocular health in Australia needing improvement, many of us are looking to curb the early onset of eye conditions in adolescents with more appropriate lighting solutions that alleviate strain. Dyson’s new Focus lamps have proven to be very popular in this regard.

    Q4. What makes for a great office chair - ie what are the features to look for?

    Jo: We’ve already spoken about the importance of ergonomics, but it really can’t be overstated. A common misconception that many people have is that ergonomics is a one-size-fits-all approach. This is just not the case. It’s important to select seating that is appropriate for your body, to offer you the perfect level of support. The Cosm Chair is also a good example of this. The chair’s frame and fabric suspension work in tandem with an auto-harmonic tilt feature – this means that it responds intuitively to the person using it, their unique contours and movements, delivering uninterrupted support and thermal comfort for years to come. Even elements like its hourglass-shape help to give areas of high and low tension to provide comfort to wherever it is needed most. You also have to pay attention to the other furniture that is being used alongside chairs. A desk like the Herman Miller Airia desk that is optimised in terms of table top height, with sloped shark-nose edges makes sure that users aren’t straining their spine, neck or shoulders which can lead poor postures, back pain and musculoskeletal diseases.

    Q5. Have you seen any cool storage or tech ideas for home offices, ie desks with speakers or built-in phone rechargers etc? Something else? 

    Jo: The most common tech we see being integrated is effective cable management. The issue with integrating tech into furniture is that is tends to make the furniture obsolete as soon as the tech is updated. We believe well designed furniture should last many years so it’s best to concentrate on providing the capability to hide wires or run power to where you need it most. The Herman Millar Carafe Table by Australian designer Charles Wilson offers this in the form a of versatile table suitable for working or entertaining along with thoughtful storage features that allow you to hide your work when you want to transition to using the desk for dining or entertaining. Also, a lot of desks now have integrated storage, like the Aria Desk and Cabinet with its handy drawers, shelf space and cable management options.

    Q6. If you work from home, do you think it's showing your home office some love with great furniture, storage and lighting? If yes, why so?

    Jo: Of course! Creating a space that you enjoy being in is essential for creating the right work environment at home. It’s all about making sure you feel comfortable, prepared and at ease to give you a productive and healthy home office space. We often hear that people find it hard to focus at home so it’s important to put effort into creating a space that helps you get in the zone – and stay in the zone. More natural lighting and greenery ensures better light and air quality to give you sustained focus and clarity of mind throughout the day.

    Make sure you take advantage of our annual special offer. We want to help you start your new year right by introducing a new approach to your home office environment guaranteed to improve your productivity and comfort.


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