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Jo Mawhinney, Living Edge

WFH Masterclass

Top tips for a hard-working home office

Living Edge is Australia’s leading retailer of authentic, original and sustainable designer furniture. The company’s showrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth are architectural temples to enduring design, displaying a discerning edit of the world’s most established and forward-looking luxury furniture brands.

Since the work-from-home directive, the Living Edge team has been inundated with orders from people wanting to invest in their health and productivity and nurture their mental well-being – with ergonomic office furniture and beautiful or whimsical accessories that elevate their working environment.

We curled up on an ultra-luxury Bassam Fellows day bed and chatted with Jo Mawhinney, Director of Product, Brand and Experience, about creating the work set-up, at home and in the office.

Jo, Living Edge experienced a surge of demand when we learned that all non-essential workers would have to work from home for an indefinite period.  What were the hot ticket items?

The focus on Work From Home globally was a welcome priority for Living Edge as we specialise in ergonomic work chairs, desking and accessories. The “hot ticket” item has certainly been the Herman Miller Aeron, Cosm and Sayl Task Chairs. This showed us that many customers were in fact setting up their home office for the first time and investing in a quality chair – and in some cases the same ergonomic chair they are used to sitting on in their workplace.

What are your tips (and must-have items) for setting up a home work space that is productive?

This is very personal as some customers have dedicated home office spaces and other customers are house sharing or working from their bedroom or off the dining table. I personally would say that a clean, clutter-free, organised and inviting space is the must-have and Living Edge can assist in creating the look and feel for every individual’s needs.  The one must-have is the best ergonomic work chair that you can afford and that’s whether you continue to work from home for just a few days a week, or long term. The right chair will provide proper support for your body and help you think more clearly so you can be more productive.

Living Edge is a stickler for quality.  In an era of flat-packed and replica furniture, how important is authentic, original and sustainable furniture – both for the industry and the individual who purchases it?

We’re committed to authentic, quality designed and sourced furniture that lasts. Buying well means buying once and furniture should be passed from generation to generation for everyone to enjoy. We all need to not only know the journey our products have taken before they enter our home, but to be aware of the journey they will continue. Poorly designed and made furniture inevitably ends up on a street kerb; we all see it – and eventually it ends up in landfill which is devastating.
We’re a carbon neutral company but for us, sustainability isn’t only about the environment, it’s also about promoting the wellbeing of all those who interact with our brand and products – our customers and our people.

The home aesthetic is something many designers are tapping into, even for commercial workspaces. I’m thinking Gufram, Tom Dixon, and Bassam Fellows. Are we seeking greater comfort and more whimsy in our working environment after years of homogenous or open plan workplaces?

In recent years the workplace has certainly moved towards a more residential look and feel. Whether its light, form or materiality, there is a sense of familiarity and comfort that people feel in the workplace when they are in a space that has elements of home. It is ideal for Living Edge as we offer a range of stunning residential products that complement the more serious workstation offering.

Living Edge has always brought the best furniture and design brands – Herman Miller, Vitra, Walter Knoll – to Australia.  Tell us what is currently on your radar.

We work with some of the world’s most iconic and forward-thinking brands, so there is always really exciting furniture and lighting designs on the horizon.

Our current focus is product that is related to Work From Home as well as assisting businesses that we have worked with over the past decade with their return-to-work strategy.

Be sure to visit Living Edge’s new website – a cornucopia of furniture and accessories for home and office – and their showrooms which are now open every day.

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