Working From Home Shift Increases Real Estate Options
New attitudes toward remote work usher in new possibilities.
Posted: December 21, 2020 by Anna Jotham
As many workers continue to fulfill their responsibilities from a home office as a part of pandemic mitigation efforts, new attitudes toward working from home are emerging. And that means new possibilities are emerging for both home buyers and sellers.
For some tech companies, namely Facebook and Twitter, the move toward a remote workforce has become permanent. But it isn't just tech companies that are realizing the benefits of having a remote workforce. Lambda School, an interactive online learning classroom, has gone all in, announcing a permanent work-from-anywhere policy.
And businesses across many industries — financial, real estate, productivity and tech — are finding that remote work is a shift many employees appreciate while also seeing it has a positive impact on productivity and the company's bottom line. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics found that an employer can save about $11,000 per employee who works from home half of the time, with additional savings on the reduced need for office space and parking.
Working from home, or working from a new home?
So, what does that mean for residential real estate? Possibilities. As employees learn their offices have gone remote indefinitely or permanently, many are looking toward more affordable or enjoyable living options.
Cost of living is a huge consideration. After all, why share an apartment with six professionals in San Francisco and suffer a long commute when you can buy a house with a yard in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and pay a fraction of what you would for rent? And if you can truly work from anywhere without changing jobs, you can choose quality of life options that didn't even seem within the realm of possibility before. A lifelong Midwesterner can, at last, sell their home and fully explore their dream of lazing under the sun on summer days at the beach and watching winter weather forecasts from the comfort of a condo by the ocean.
If this piques your interest, it's important to note that some companies that have gone remote-first or fully remote have made it clear that employees who move to different cities may see a change in their salary appropriate for their new market. Wise workers will read the fine print before packing their belongings.
These possibilities aren't without their drawbacks. Companies are aware that going fully remote can mean a loss of company culture; gone are the impromptu social gatherings, the solutions forged in the hall and the potentially irreplaceable importance of in-person connectivity. Face time will undoubtedly take a hit, and young workers may not easily feel a part of the team when all work is done in the digital space. Many employers are looking to balance these losses by scheduling time for in-person collaboration and social get-togethers.
When you can work from anywhere, we can help
The truth is, while pandemic mitigation efforts sent millions of workers to their home offices, about half of the nation's workforce simply cannot work from home. More, not everyone wants to work remotely permanently. As businesses navigate these uncharted waters, it remains to be seen how many will opt for a mix of the two over a permanent shift — essentially negating the possibility of working from just anywhere. But for those who can, and do, there's a world of real estate possibilities that are coming into focus.