These days, with the squeeze on rental properties and challenges of home affordability, a compromise of spaces in the home has been required. In addition, there has been a shift to more remote working, which includes the use of home spaces for such work.
Increasingly, bedrooms are becoming more than just a space for sleep. According to a recent study, we are using our traditional sleep spaces for various purposes and they are becoming more multifunctional.
The UNSW Sydney study found approximately 40 per cent of respondents used their bedroom as a living area, while 61 per cent said they preferred to use it just for sleep.
As this study shows, working in the bedroom can often stem from not having an extra workspace in the house if needed.
Where no other space is available in the home, working from the bedroom provides the opportunity for someone to work without having to commute. They can still work from home, away from common areas in the home where it’s not quiet enough, for instance, where other people may be watching TV.
While 90 per cent of study respondents used their bedroom at least some of the time for sleeping, the rest either did not have a bedroom for sleeping or used it for a totally different purpose.
The younger age group spent more time in their bedrooms than other age groups, while they were also more likely to use the bedroom space for activities other than sleep.
Students reported using the bedroom more to work from – even more so than respondents who worked from home.
Those living in share housing were also more likely to use their bedroom as a work area, while those living in a studio apartment were more likely to use their bedroom as a shared space.
Dr Demet Dincer, lead author of the study from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, says, “Almost half of our respondents said their bedroom was their living space, even though most don’t prefer that. However, we can’t change the reality that our domestic spaces, including the bedroom space, are shrinking and must accommodate more functions”.
The main downsides of working in the bedroom relate to the sleep environment it creates. The sleep environment can significantly influence sleep quality.
Unfortunately, in today’s environment, some people may have little choice but to work in their sleeping environment. If this is the case, there are steps you can take to ensure your space is one where you can work productively, but that is also as conducive to sleeping as possible.