Homework: Towards housing responsive to flexible work lifestyles
Our cities In Aotearoa New Zealand are based on the garden city model that separates work and home, and in the attempt to meet housing needs, suburban sprawl is increasing this divide. As a result, many houses are empty during the day, and workspaces are vacant outside of work hours. Covid-19 has heightened the changing nature of work, home, leisure, and their relationship to one another. Telecommunication has aided the relocation of work into the home as restrictions on the built environment fluctuate with each outbreak. Periods of mandatory home lockdowns have pushed work into the home space.
When restrictions have been lifted, post lockdown data has suggested that work has not returned to pre-pandemic activity and indicates that there is an increase in workers engaging in remote work as a permanent integration into their work lifestyles. Low density detached housing does not support the intensification of conflicting activities of contemporary work, home, and sociability. The self-contained standalone home in Aotearoa New Zealand is criticised in relation to feminist theory for its reinforcement of gender roles and inwards projection of home.
Lockdown has revealed the positive outcomes of the integration of flexible work lifestyles into domestic life. In contrast ‘stay at home’ restrictions have exposed the difficulties of the parallel and overlapping work, domestic and leisure activities on the work/home hybrid space condition. The thesis documents implications of working from home for the future of housing to accommodate both needs of work and home. The research investigates the workhome hybrid typology and tests the architectural consequences of the overlap.