Developers exploring home design tweaks to support remote working

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WITH working from home expected to remain a fixture going forward, some developers are exploring design tweaks to upcoming and future residential developments to support remote working.

These could include more flexible spaces or having function rooms on-site which can double up as a business centre to host meetings and conferences.

In response to queries from The Business Times, City Developments Ltd (CDL) said that it is looking at incorporating features to cater to home-based work for its upcoming and future projects, including Irwell Hill Residences on Irwell Road and the Liang Court redevelopment project.

Irwell Hill Residences is poised to launch for sale in the first half of 2021 and the residential component of the Liang Court site – a joint venture with CapitaLand – sometime this year.

Design features under consideration include more flexible spaces to accommodate a home office, additional smart home features for better air and water quality as well as configuring balconies such that they could also be used for a dining or exercise area.

The developer also sees the need to enhance the lobby and incorporate a concierge service to create more of a corporate feel as those working from home may need to meet business associates or receive deliveries from their workplace. Meanwhile, function rooms could be fitted out with power points and WiFi facilities to serve as a business centre, while meeting rooms and conference rooms could also be rolled out to support residents who are working from home, CDL added.

Chew Peet Mun, managing director (workspace & residential), at CapitaLand Singapore, said: “For future developments, we are exploring ways to maximise space efficiency and flexibility, while allowing for clear demarcation between personal and work life.”

CapitaLand is also looking at beefing up data infrastructure for 5G technology and increased bandwith demand to meet the needs of work, study or leisure.

Some of its private residential projects have already incorporated features to cater to remote working, Mr Chew added. Studio, one- and two-bedroom units at One Pearl Bank in Outram, for instance, are kitted with a swivel table so the breakfast nook can be converted into a workspace.

Meanwhile, GuocoLand highlighted that its premium business homes concept at Midtown Bay at Beach Road gives home owners the flexibility of turning their apartment into a home-office hybrid.

Design features include a 3.2 metre ceiling as well as a neutral design scheme for wardrobes to deliver a professional feel. The high ceiling allows home-owners to build a loft area for their personal space if they choose to, which would free up more space for working.

The 219-unit Midtown Bay is one of the two residential condominiums at mixed-use development Guoco Midtown, which will also feature a 30-storey office tower with 770,000 square feet of premium Grade A office space as well as three retail clusters.

In addition, home owners can book the office suites and private dining rooms at Guoco Midtown’s five-storey Network Hub to host business meetings and entertain clients. Over 70 units have been sold to date at Midtown Bay at an average selling price of nearly S$3,000 per square foot, GuocoLand said.

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