Our homes now need to strike the perfect balance between work and life.
We don’t need carefully worded think pieces spanning over 1,000 words to tell us that life after Covid-19 will NEVER be the same. In fact, our lives changed so much living with Covid-19 that the years before now feels like a distant dream.
But even with so much change already turning our lives upside down in the past 12 months, one big change still needs to be made – our homes.
We’ve got a “new normal” for homes now
Cabin fever is as real as it can get. The physical distancing and self-quarantine has led to many feeling claustrophobic irritability or restlessness. With the four walls of your home now literally becoming your entire world, it’s led many to rethink their definition of a home and their lifestyle within it.
Malaysians cite location as the biggest factor when it comes to purchasing a home. But while locations reign supreme, SCMP notes that homebuyers are now looking at homes in the suburbs and closer to nature – essentially the new homes mark a lifestyle change hearkened by the pandemic.
Property experts around the globe have also noticed a dramatic shift in the thought process when selecting a new home. Forbes points out that homebuyers are “consciously becoming more conscious”, gravitating towards bigger spaces with access to nature over a great location.
The return of the suburbs
One the major reasons for this dramatic shift towards the suburbs is the advent of work-from-home regime in the pandemic era.
According to the Financial Times, a reduced need to commute given greater remote working, more online shopping, and less socialising will reduce the demand for space in city centres and increase it in the suburbs.
In Malaysia 44% of workers surveyed by the Statistics Department (DOS) reported that they worked from home during the lockdown.
This isn’t a temporary trend, either. Experts agree that the pandemic has accelerated the global digital transformation. And with the recent launch of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, we’re only going to witness further expansion in e-commerce and increases in the pace of adoption of telemedicine, videoconferencing, remote working, online teaching, fintech and more.
My home, my sanctuary
As homes become less of a pit stop between work hours and more of a sanctuary, it has spurred a new fervour for work-life balance.
Architectural Digest notes that homes in the future will be built on a new foundation beyond being a simple nest to being a safe place to spend time and foster a healthy environment for the inhabitants.
In Malaysia, these trends are already manifesting in various new developments with Gamuda Cove’s Enso Woods being the most notable example.
Part of the larger new satellite city in Kuala Langat developed by Gamuda Land, the Japanese-inspired garden terrace homes are designed to be, well, a personal sanctuary.
Following the Japanese philosophy of “Danshari” or “decluttering”, every home at Enso Woods in Gamuda Cove has been specially conceived as a serene yet flexible space that enables greater practicality in usage.
As a digitally-connected nature sanctuary, these homes can include almost anything you want – from a home office to a hobby room, personal gym and more. This “flexi-zone” – as they put it- means that one can dine or work from home while watching the children play in the living area.
The aesthetically-pleasing minimalist layouts also allows for connectivity to the outdoor green space where one can relax on the outdoor patio or simply enjoy the views of a private garden from inside the home.
Going beyond the homes, the town also has recreational facilities catered for the community, such as a 60-acre pet-friendly Central Park, direct access to the Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands and a community pavilion equipped with zen working pods.
What’s interesting about the community pavilion is the expansion of the “work from home” concept to “work near home”. This is to meld together the flexibility of working from home together with the sociability and focus of the office – but in a completely relaxed space.
The zen-like Japanese theme prevalent in the Enso Woods designed are also strongly featured at the community pavilion’s working pods with soft wooden paneling and ample windows that frame the lush trees outside. This co-working in nature concept also expands to an urban farming plot for those who’d really like to flex their green thumbs.
So while it might be a while before we’re released from the bounds of lockdowns, at least having a sanctuary will keep us sane in the meantime.
She puts the pun in Punjabi. With a background in healthcare, lifestyle writing and memes, this lady's articles walk a fine line between pun-dai and pun-ishing.