zoom zone
The ‘zoom zone’ provides enough space for a desk, chair and video calls. Image Supplied.
  • The 'Zoom Zone' has divided opinion
  • It's smaller than a typical study or home office, but big enough to make calls
  • Builder says design was influenced by more WFH with lot sizes becoming smaller

A top tier volume builder in NSW has divided opinions by including a “Zoom Zone” in their floorplans for a Hunter Valley development.

The recent ad for the Bellriver Homes-built four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the Hereford Hull estate at Lochinvar near Maitland has gained significant attention, particularly on Twitter, for including the work-from-home feature.

Much of the criticism has been drawn to the fact the room has a significantly smaller floor space than a typical study or some home office.

Bellriver Homes Regional Sales Director, Steve Briant, however, said the room was always meant to be considered a ‘nook’ rather than a larger study or full-sized room and acknowledges it would be too small for any in-person meetings.

“Zoom Zone was a creative way of including a space to take private work video calls in houses with insufficient space for an extra bedroom,” he said.

“The way housing affordability is going, and lot sizes reducing as a result, there is not enough space to have everything like large open plan living areas, a bedroom for all the children, plus … an entire room for a study.

“The reality is, we don’t use much space when working. 1.8m wide by around 1.8m deep is enough.”

Steve Briant, Bellriver Homes Regional Sales Director

zoom zone
Unsurprisingly, demand for home office has soared since the pandemic began. Image Supplied.

Bellriver Homes Design Director, Riyaa Davids, added the design embraces the working from home lifestyle accelerated by the pandemic.

“Working from home post-Covid will become a new way of life, Not just something we do in lockdown,” said Mr Davids.

“Even when Covid is not around, we’ve realised that we can work from home and still be productive and live a more balanced and healthy life and save hours on the road each day.”

“We thought that calling it a study is misleading because a ‘study’ has the perception of being the size of a bedroom and full dedicated room.

Riyaa Davids, Bellriver Homes Design Director

“Since Covid, we’ve had a strong demand for the home office, so we’ve been working hard to produce plans with a ‘Zoom Zone’ with an external window for natural light wherever possible.”

zoom zone floorplan
An upper-level floorplan featuring a “Zoom Zone”. Image Supplied.

Mr Briant concluded by noting that buying off the plan is not easy for buyers and said it seeks to be a major thought leader in the industry by allowing buyers to imagine and picture themselves both living and working in their homes.

“Our clients are telling us that the room is not being used to “study”. The creation of a Zoom Zone is a way to clearly communicate the usage of the space whilst introducing some fun into the terminology.”

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