‘Cloffices’ are the new home office: Why closet offices are trending


Since the COVID shutdowns began in Australia almost half the working population has spent some time working from home.  

The 2020 ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey asked people what aspects of life during COVID they’d like to continue in the future, and over a third said they wanted to keep working or studying from home at least part of the time. 

But having a dedicated home office is not an achievable option for many people, and while some are getting by with makeshift fixes, others are getting creative with tailored solutions.

Enter the “cloffice” which – according to the Pinterest Predicts 2021 report – is a popular new small-space design trend people are looking to for inspiration when planning their work-from-home setup.

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Short on space? Enter the cloffice, a dedicated office space in a closet, or wardrobe. Photo: The Stables/Catherine Heraghty

Cloffices are suitable for both the permanent work-from-home brigade and “hybrid” workers who work remotely on a part-time basis. 

They’re also enormously useful as study spaces for kids who share bedrooms with siblings or whose bedrooms aren’t big enough to include a workable desk setup.

What exactly is a cloffice?

A cloffice’ refers to an office or workspace housed in a closet or wardrobe (either walk-in or not). The term also describes work and study hubs built or retrofitted in other nooks, crannies or areas of dead space that can be shut off or screened from view.

Melbourne-based building designer Dianne Bayley of Pasco Design has noticed an increase in the number of clients coming to her for ideas on how to adapt these sorts of spaces in their homes for work, study and homeschooling.

“People are working from beds, kitchen benches and any available surface they can find in order to stake out some space – none of which is an ideal, long term solution,” Bayley says.

“We’ve discussed all sorts of options, including dedicated study/workspaces in the kitchen, living and dining areas instead of on the kitchen table. It’s a way of future-proofing their homes.” 

A cloffice is one such option that has gained increasing popularity and has garnered an enthusiastic international following on social media, particularly on Instagram, where searches for #cloffice and #clofficespace are on the rise.

Installing a cloffice in a living area

Eastern Sydney resident Tom Knapp and his wife recently worked with designer Sally Hart of Clever Closet Company to create an office space in their home.

“We often both work from home, but we were a room short, so we needed to find a solution where we could have a fully functioning office during work hours that became ‘invisible’ at other times,” Knapp says. 

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Pops of colour make for a lively and energising workspace. Photo: Instagram @mauricioarruda

“Our large dining/lounge area with high ceilings led us to the idea of having an ‘office in a cupboard’ which needed to be designed in a way that blended into the dining room.

The couple’s cloffice fits seamlessly into the space around it and houses two mirror-image workstations with bi-fold doors which work as de-facto “cubicles”, creating a level of privacy and a buffer against noise.

Space was critical in the Knapp’s cloffice, and custom-built retractable keyboard panels were used as a way to add depth to the cabinetry. 

“People assume you need a dedicated room for a home office, and what we’ve created shows you don’t,” says Knapp.

How to plan for a cloffice in your home

Like the idea of a cloffice but not sure where to start? Whether you have your sights set on a modest workspace or one with all mod cons, you need to first decide who will use the space and what tasks they’ll perform there. 

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You must consider the depth, width and vertical space of your closet or nook. Photo: Instagram @bpr_inc

And while creating a cloffice is something a confident and experienced handyperson or DIY-er can attempt on their own, getting professional help can take it to the next level.

Hart says that, when asking yourself whether a space in your house could work as a cloffice, the three key things to plan for are depth, width and vertical space. 

Other considerations include lighting (such as LED strips or strategically positioned desk lamps), proximity to power outlets (for devices and connectivity) and clever cable management (under desk systems or desk access ports).

Will cloffices feature in homes of the future?

It seems that we’ll be spending an increasing chunk of time working and studying at home in the foreseeable future. So will cloffices and office nooks be a building design feature we’ll be seeing more of?

Overhead view of woman working on laptop computer.
If working from your lounge room is no longer practical, consider a cloffice. Photo: Stocksy

Ryan Petrie of LJ Hooker Mona Vale thinks so.

“As an agent who has been selling houses for 18 years, it’s been a recent change on people’s wish lists,” he says. “They are now prioritising home offices. Previously it was all about pools and lifestyle.

“Also, when people are renovating houses to sell they are getting creative in how they appeal to the market – and a simple solution is to take a closet and turn it into a workspace.”

Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and checking out this story about “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” titled “‘Cloffices’ are the new home office: Why closet offices are trending”. This news release was posted by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local events, news and stories aggregator services.

#Cloffices #home #office #closet #offices #trending



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How to Safely Reopen Offices & Manage a Hybrid Workforce


In the wake of coronavirus shutting down offices around the world, remote work has become the new norm. So how do you make workplaces safer post-pandemic? 

In the 15th episode of our Leadership Lessons series, Comparably CEO Jason Nazar speaks with an expert on the topic, Envoy founder/CEO Larry Gadea, who has facilitated 1 million safe returns to the office. With a suite of products that redefine how to welcome visitors and employees back to the office, the workplace platform includes tools for check-in registrations, booking rooms/desks, managing deliveries, and capacity limits for social distancing. Envoy is used in more than 14,000 offices across 70 countries — including Slack, Pinterest, Warby Parker, Lionsgate, and L’Oreal — and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures, Initialized Capital, and Silicon Valley bigwigs like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Quora’s Adam D’Angelo, and Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman. Gadea will also share lessons learned along his life’s journey, from being smuggled out of communist Romania as a child to being recruited as one of Google’s youngest software engineers at the age of 17 to joining Twitter as one of its first 50 employees. The software prodigy will cover the following topics:

  • Reinventing your business in order to survive a badly-affected market segment
  • What you need to safely welcome workers back to the office
  • The future of the physical workplace and preparing for a hybrid workforce
  • The keys to leaving a comfortable job to start your own company
  • Pursuing a career in tech and insights from working at Google and Twitter

Complete the registration form below to watch now!

About the Speakers

Larry Gadea is founder/CEO of Envoy, a workplace platform that makes office life and work more meaningful. 

Jason Nazar is co-founder/CEO of Comparably, a leading workplace culture and compensation site that provides the most comprehensive and accurate representation of what it’s like to work at companies.

Thank you for stopping to visit My Local Pages. We Hope you enjoyed reading this news update on World and InterInternational Business news published as “How to Safely Reopen Offices & Manage a Hybrid Workforce”. This news release is posted by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our national news services.

#Safely #Reopen #Offices #Manage #Hybrid #Workforce



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Deals by foreign lenders’ Kenya offices hit Sh511bn


Capital Markets

Deals by foreign lenders’ Kenya offices hit Sh511bn


Foreign banks’ representative offices in Kenya recorded 32 percent increase in the volume of business transacted in the country last year compared to 2018. FILE PHOTO | AFP

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Summary

  • Data from the Central Bank of Kenya’s annual banking sector report for 2019 shows that the offices transacted $4.67 billion (Sh511 billion) deals from $3.51 billion (Sh384.13 billion) in 2018.
  • The increase was higher than that recorded between 2017 and 2018, when the value of the deals went up by 18.4 percent.
  • There were nine such offices in Kenya as at the end of last year, carrying out research, marketing and liaison roles.

Foreign banks’ representative offices in Kenya recorded 32 percent increase in the volume of business transacted in the country last year compared to 2018, helped by trade finance and working capital deals.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya’s annual banking sector report for 2019 shows that the offices transacted $4.67 billion (Sh511 billion) deals from $3.51 billion (Sh384.13 billion) in 2018.

The increase was higher than that recorded between 2017 and 2018, when the value of the deals went up by 18.4 percent.

There were nine such offices in Kenya as at the end of last year, carrying out research, marketing and liaison roles. They are barred from conducting commercial banking services unless they open a full-fledged subsidiary or branch.

“The value of business activities facilitated in 2019 increased by 31.89 percent when compared to 2018. The activities facilitated largely comprised trade finance, term loans, working capital, bilateral receivable discounting and syndicated finance,” said CBK in the report that was released last week.

In 2018, their activities consisted mainly of corporate finance, syndicated finance and correspondence banking.

Trade finance deals, which were the biggest line of transactions in the period, rose by Sh51.5 billion to hit Sh168.6 billion last year.

Corporate finance deals remained flat at Sh14.23 billion. Syndicated financing doubled to hit Sh93.1 billion, as did project financing which rose from Sh7.67 billion in 2018 to Sh15.33 billion last year.

Volumes from correspondence banking rose by Sh8.76 billion to Sh39.42 billion, reversing the decline of Sh13.1 billion that had been recorded in 2018 in the line of business.

Correspondence banking involves transactions originating from other overseas branches conducted through the Kenyan office where the local parties or partners are based.

Other deals—comprising term loans, borrowing base, working capital and bilateral receivable discounting— rose by Sh5.4 billion to Sh153.3 billion.

The most recent entrant among the nine representative offices is Bank Al-Habib Ltd of Pakistan, which was granted a CBK licence in April 2018.



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Putin Said to Have Two Identical Offices: One in Moscow, the Other at the Beach


Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said the presidential work spaces outside Moscow and in Sochi are not identical. “This is not true,” he told journalists on a conference call on Wednesday. The Proekt report, Mr. Peskov said, was one of a series of recent exposés about Mr. Putin’s personal life that were an “information campaign, an information attack” on the president.

“The president has many offices and no identical offices,” Mr. Peskov said. He challenged Proekt’s use of flight records to contradict official statements about Mr. Putin’s whereabouts. Presidential planes are at times based outside of Moscow, he said, but he declined to discuss specific flights, noting the movements of the head of state are classified for security reasons.

Mr. Putin has told the Russian news media that he has rejected plans to use subterfuge to protect his security. In February, he told the Tass news agency that, early in his tenure, he declined to use a body double to deceive potential assassins.

This year, verifying Mr. Putin’s whereabouts has only become more difficult as he has taken extraordinary precautions against the virus, even by the standards of other heads of state.

Russian journalists who cover the president in the Kremlin pool have seldom seen him up close since March, reporters have said. Visitors are required to quarantine for up to two weeks before coming within breathing distance. And even then, before meeting Mr. Putin, they have to walk through a disinfecting tunnel — a structure resembling an airport metal detector that sprays a fine mist of antiseptics.

The president has conducted so many televised meetings by video link that state television over the summer ran a special report on the site, noting the microphones and screens available for meetings — and identifying it as located at the government residence outside Moscow, not by the seashore.

One site that republished the story, T Journal, elicited hundreds of comments from readers poring over photos of Mr. Putin, suited and seriously conducting state business, seated in similarly appearing offices. Some found signs of a ruse.



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Diego Maradona dead: Doctor Leopoldo Luque manslaughter investigation, offices raided


Diego Maradona’s doctor was on Monday being investigated for involuntary manslaughter four days after the Argentina legend suffered a fatal heart attack, the Argentine news agency Telam reported.

Police raided Leopoldo Luque’s surgery and home in search of possible evidence pointing to negligence, according to television images and judicial sources, the agency reported.

Maradona’s long-term doctor and lawyer have criticised the Argentine legend’s medical care before his death.

Maradona, 60, suffered a heart attack at his home in a private residential estate in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where he had been living since having brain surgery two weeks ago.

In a stinging statement released on Thursday night, lawyer Matias Morla claimed the first ambulance took half an hour to arrive as attempts to revive the football great failed.

Morla branded the delay “criminal idiocy”.

“Today is a day of deep pain, sadness and reflection,” he wrote.

“I feel in my heart the departure of a friend whom I honoured with my loyalty and companionship until his last days. I made my farewell with him in person and the wake should be an intimate occasion.

“It is inexplicable that for 12 hours my friend has not had attention or control from the legal health personnel.

“The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was CRIMINAL IDIOCY.

“This fact should not be overlooked and I am going to ask that the consequences be investigated until the end. As Diego said, ‘You are my soldier, act without mercy’.”

Maradona’s long-term doctor Alfredo Cahe has also questioned the decision to move the Argentina icon from hospital on November 11 following his brain operation.

Cahe was Maradona’s doctor for more than 30 years and the man behind the decision to take him to Cuba in 2000 to treat his cocaine addiction.

He told Argentine news show Telefe Noticias: “Diego wasn’t looked after as he should have been.

“He should have been kept in hospital, not taken to a house which wasn’t properly prepared.

“I’m in a state of complete shock. I’ve had so many ups and downs with Diego for 33 years and he’s just died in an unusual way.

“I have a lot of doubts. I don’t know why he was taken to that house.

“When he left hospital it didn’t seem logical to me. He should have stayed in a place with a good infrastructure, like when we took him to Cuba.”

Cahe visited the 1986 World Cup winner while he was at Clinica Olivos on the outskirts of Buenos Aires following his recent operation for a bleed on the brain.

– AFP, The Sun



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Empty offices prompt fears workers won’t return


Any change in commuters’ behaviour or company policies around employees working from home will have a significant impact.

In a bid to rescue its ailing economy, Melbourne Council met with the city’s top 10 employers last month and asked each for a “CEO pledge” – that they will return their workers to city offices.

Companies in Sydney held back because they saw what was going on in Melbourne.

Richard Fennell, JLL

The companies – ANZ, Optus, PwC and NBN Co among others – agreed to target getting 70 per cent of their workforces back into the city once the Andrews government lifts work-from-home restrictions.

“Without intervention, there is a risk that office worker numbers in Melbourne will remain low for an extended period of time,” the council said.

Businesses across the spectrum are “uncertain about what they’re going to do,” said Savills Australia’s head of office leasing Mark Rasmussen.

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“A lot are deferring decisions so they can have a better idea of where they’re going to be in 12 months time.”

Two-thirds of Victorians believe office workers should now be able return to COVID safe workplaces, according to recent Roy Morgan polling.

But many won’t be sitting at their city desks until the start of the new year, at the earliest.

Premier Daniel Andrews last week said the government was keen to get people safely back into offices as soon as possible, but the days of workers flocking into the city were over.

“The notion that every worker will be spending every hour where they used to work is gone,” he said.

While Melbourne’s occupancy is the nation’s worst, hollowed out CBDs can be seen around the country. Office occupancy in Brisbane is at 61 per cent and 77 per cent in Perth.

Even now, after months of unrestricted movement, Sydney’s office towers remain less than half full, at around 40 per cent capacity, said Richard Fennell, JLL’s head of property and asset management.

Mr Fennell attributes the slow return of workers in the harbour city to Melbourne’s second wave and its extended lockdown.

“Companies in Sydney held back because they saw what was going on in Melbourne,” he said.

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Both cities will fill up faster once Melbourne’s restrictions are lifted, he predicts. “I think it will go faster simply because organisations are not worried about a second wave scenario.”

Worryingly, Melbourne’s CBD office vacancy – the percentage of buildings without tenants – has already surged to 11.3 per cent, indicating corporations are not renewing leases. Not so long ago, it was just 3.4 per cent.

And another key barometer of the health of the city’s skyline – space available for sublease in prime buildings – has soared to a seven-year high in just three months to September, up by 46 per cent.

But Mr Rasmussen remains optimistic city towers will fill back up.

“By the end of next year, people will realise the value of their office workplaces and we will return to some normality,” he said.

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Hostage reported at Ubisoft offices in Montreal


The mayor asked citizens to avoid the area.


2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.


This story originally appeared on Cine Premiere

By Sergio López Aguirre

The parent company of Ubisoft, the video game developer studio, is located in Montreal, Canada , and on Friday the 13th of 2020, various authorities and local media began to report high police activity at Ubisoft’s offices, where several point to a possible hostage-taking at the scene.

According to the first reports from the Montreal police, the special team came due to a previous call to 911 without giving many details about it, but they point out that no person has been injured so far.

In any case, the mayor of the city of Montreal, Valerie Plante, has asked citizens and neighbors to avoid the area for greater security, while she maintains constant communication with the Montreal police force.

Both the latest tweets from the Montreal Mayor and Police have been in just over an hour and there is no update on this.

So far it is also unknown how many people are in the Ubisoft building in Montreal, Canada, this also due to the pandemic that occurs and if some do work remotely from their homes.





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These six office chairs are on sale and perfect for home offices


[Photo: courtesy Wayfair]

Inbox Zero Executive Chair
The Executive Chair, now 81% off, has all the design features of a super-ergonomic office chair without the mesh. This luxe faux leather chair has contrast stitching, a powder-coated stainless steel frame, and cushy button tufting. This chair comes with all the features you need for an all-day seat (lumbar support, seat-height adjustment, tilt) and doesn’t look quite as corporate-ergonomic as other options.

[Photo: courtesy Wayfair]

Leaman Ergonomic Executive Chair
Now 40% off, this stylish chair comes with durable faux leather upholstery, padded armrests, and chic gold finishes. But it’s more than just good-looking: It also comes with mid-back lumbar support and a tilt-lock feature that lets you lean back while taking phone calls and reading and forward when you’re focused on a task.

[Photo: courtesy Wayfair]

Andel Task Chair
This straightforward chair—currently 26% off—doesn’t skimp on practical features: It’s got swivel capability, tilt mechanisms, seat-height adjustments, armrests, neck support, and an integrated lumbar cushion for all-day support. The tilt-locking mechanism also allows you 125 degrees of motion so you can recline or position yourself forward depending on your needs. From the armrests to the head support, this chair is designed to keep you aligned and in good posture.

[Photo: courtesy Wayfair]

Penkridge Conference Chair
If you like a chair without arms, this little number is refined, unobtrusive, and extremely affordable at just over $70. The L-shaped seat, which you can raise and lower as you like, includes an arched backrest for lower-back support and padding under your legs. Bonus: Without arms, it will easily tuck under a desk at the end of the work day.

[Photo: courtesy Wayfair]

Symple Stuff Clay Mesh Task Chair
As the name suggests, this chair (which is 44% off) keeps it basic—without overlooking the important stuff. The breathable mesh back keeps things cool while supporting your mid and upper back. The waterfall style seat, meanwhile, takes the pressure off your legs. Plus, it comes it in 10 different colors, so you can express your vibrant personality while hard at work.

[Photo: courtesy Wayfair]

Wayfair Basics Mesh Task Office Chair
Ringing it at just $65, Wayfair’s task chair is an unbeatable deal. It offers the comfort of a mesh chair, without the techie mesh-back look, and has a seat with 2 inches of padding for extra comfort. The chair, which is designed to support your mid to upper back region, comes in 15 different colors and is armless, so it’s easy to tuck away at the end of the day.





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Deloitte to shut four UK offices to cut costs amid pandemic – FT


Article content

Deloitte will permanently close four of its 50 UK offices in coming months as the company aims to cut costs amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

Deloitte, one of the world’s “Big Four” accounting firms, will move about 500 of its employees who work at offices in Gatwick, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton to other locations or offer full-time remote working, the newspaper said. https://on.ft.com/2H7KAcD (Reporting by Rebekah Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by David Clarke)



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Suburban offices swell as tenants rethink city towers


Walker Corp is developing the $3.2 billion Parramatta Square in Sydney’s west and owns one of Melbourne’s newest Docklands office complexes, Collins Square, which was recently awarded the Rider Levett Bucknall Victorian Development of the Year.

Mr Walker said tenants moving to A-grade offices with large floor plates outside of CBD centres – where rents are one third of their central city counterparts – will reinforce demand in commercial precincts like Parramatta.

Face rents – which don’t take into account incentives offered by landlords to tenants – in Australia’s major CBD office markets have held firm despite weaker market conditions, according to CBRE’s latest third quarter Office Market Snapshot.

But the tide is expected to turn as a swathe of COVID-affected tenants move out of their offices boosting the amount being offered in the sublease market, CBRE’s head of office occupier research Joyce Tiong said.

“Overall tenant demand remains weak and, with sublease vacancy exceeding previous peaks, we may see face rents start to fall as incentives continue to rise,” Ms Tiong said.

The average rent per square metre in Sydney’s CBD is about $1265. In Melbourne it is $648 per sq m. In Parramatta, it sits around $700 per sq m for premium-grade offices. The Property Council of Australia puts Parramatta’s vacancy rate at 4.5 per cent, but within premium-grade buildings it’s 1.2 per cent: the lowest in the country.

“We’re seeing a tremendous amount of inquiry from big corporations that are wanting to move out of the expensive space and relocate to the satellite precincts,” Mr Walker said.

I’m not one to make too many predictions … but I just feel the more high-priced office space will have their challenges whereas the economic space will be in demand.

Lang Walker, Walker Corp chairman

In Melbourne, still struggling under a harsh lockdown, Walker Corp has offered rent relief to its retail tenants as the pandemic is “no fault of their own,” Mr Walker said.

“I think there is a lot of alarmists out there,” Mr Walker said, when discussing how quickly the virus spreads and the fear it causes, before adding: “Well, [Victorian Premier] Daniel Andrews is an expert on that”.

“In Melbourne, we’ve been fortunate and very quick off the mark to give rent relief to our retail tenants but the big commercial tenants have been very responsible in paying their way,” he said.

Walker Corp’s major Melbourne tenants include Commonwealth Bank, MLC, Transurban, KPMG, Mars Foods, Tabcorp, NBN and Maddocks.

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Mr Walker’s Parramatta Square in Sydney is one of the largest urban renewal projects under way in Australia. It is a three-hectare city precinct with office towers and a new retail and upmarket restaurants, including Maurice Terzini’s CicciaBella and LILYMU run by executive chef Brandon Fong.

In a prescient move late in 2017, Mr Walker switched development plans for a tower earmarked as residential into an office skyscraper. It is now close to being fully leased and will house 4200 state public servants across 43,800 sq m after winning key tenant Property NSW in a tender.

“We remain in discussions with a number of major companies who are looking to relocate to Parramatta to reduce accommodation costs and travel time,” he said.

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