Working from home sparked the new normal in interior design for Caydon’s director of Architecture and Design, Giuditta De Santis, during Melbourne’s COVID lockdown.

Commenting on Due North, a Caydon apartment she designed that included a flexible workspace design that was influenced by De Santis' experience of working from home, De Santis also points out how she experienced first-hand the pressures placed on apartment residents in getting the work-life balance right.

“We work from our experience – most of the designers that work in Caydon’s Architecture and Design team live in apartments. You cannot imagine how many times they come in with new ideas and say, ‘I think we can improve this. We live and breathe our decisions. COVID was an experience outside of the normal routine, but it’s helped us learn and adjust the way we think and design, from the apartments to the gym space – absolutely everything,” says De Santis.

“One item we have taken away from the COVID experience is that we need to make life more flexible for residents of our buildings, even as we now start to return to a level of normality.”

“If you don’t have a defined workspace, it’s tough to concentrate and maintain a work-life balance. In my building, we’ve now installed a few desks in one of the lobbies after requests came in from residents that they wanted more space to work from. Having the separation of your work and personal life that coworking space offers is increasingly important and means you don’t have to compromise your home set up,” says De Santis.

“The workplace was becoming more flexible prior to COVID, but it was mostly specific to industries like IT and graphic design, where people can work separately. Even with creative groups, it’s often better if you’re in a room brainstorming, so working from home wasn’t really an option we had considered until we were forced to. But the reality is that once you’re forced to do something you find a solution and that has worked really well for us.”

“Employers have learnt to trust their employees – they can see that over the last six or seven months their employees have been working hard. That has led to a change of mentality we may never have had without this pandemic. Our offerings need to reflect changing trends and add value for people that are working from home. For instance, one trend we are going to see is renewed demand for inbuilt desks,” she says.

Image: Supplied