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The future of housing post-pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way some of us use our homes. So, how might we adapt our houses to make them more comfortable and resistant to spreading infections?
A reduction in open plan living
Open plan living has been popular recently. It combines several rooms, such as a dining area, kitchen and living room, into one space. It’s popular for many reasons, from making a home feel bigger to supporting socialisation between household members.
However, The Conversation suggests, ‘It’s likely that for many families, this period has also highlighted that when they are all in the house at the same time, it can be hard to find any personal space.’1
Additonally, if a member of your household has, or suspects they have, coronavirus, they'll need to isolate themselves — but open plan living can make this challenging. It could be the case that, even after a vaccine has been released, in order to continue to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, people returning from overseas or travelling interstate may still be required to self-isolate within their home in the future.
If you’re an AAMI customer, and you’re thinking about making changes to your home, remember to let us know. Also, following on from any additions or renos to your home, it’s also important to get in contact with us again and consider whether you need to update your policy, so your home sum insured includes the new additions.
Home offices as a feature
Some people have also adapted their homes to the needs of schooling and working from home. Even as COVID-19 restrictions have begun to ease in certain states, people with certain jobs or professions may continue to work from home more often.
According to The Conversation, ‘It is likely that changes in commuting or work habits could also prompt a fundamental shift in what people perceive as priority features in the home.’2 So, dedicated space for work or study could become important to some.
When you’re setting up your home office, you may want to think about home insurance. AAMI’s Home and Contents Insurance provides cover for tools of trade and equipment used for business activity for a maximum of $2,000, which means if your office equipment is affected by an insured event, you may be covered. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for more info.
Maintaining a comfortable working environment
Chances are, if you’re working from home more often, you’ll want your office space to be warm, dry and quiet. In the future, double- or triple-glazed windows and good insulation could become priorities. These features might also reduce your use of heating and cooling appliances, which can help to reduce your carbon footprint and energy bills.
Another thing that some may find to be a priority is reliable access to high-speed Internet. People may consider NBN to be of such a high priority that it is a factor in them choosing their future home and wanting access to higher-speed Internet plans.
In 1861, French biologist Louis Pasteur proved that germs cause disease. This discovery led to changes in the ways homes were furnished. Heavy fabrics and ornamentation that collected dust over years concealed germs, so this styling gave way to alternatives that were easier to clean.3
We may start to see a similar approach to surfaces following COVID-19. We could start to see people use materials such as copper, which has anti-bacterial properties, and ceramics over tiles.4 Given how infectious the coronavirus is, being able to sanitise communal areas easily could become a priority.
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- Working from home due to COVID-19
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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available.
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