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Working From Home — Blurring the Lines Between Residential and Office

The LoanBoss Team September 08, 2021

Would you rather return to the office or work at home? Survey shows… a mix of both! Or rather, anything – as long as it’s not a full return to the office. The alternative? Quitting their jobs. 

Full length of group of happy young business people walking the corridor in office together

 

The majority of workers prefer a hybrid model, working remotely at least 3 days a week. According to an online survey from Breeze, 65% of workers whose jobs can be fully conducted at home are willing to take a 5% pay cut to remain remote. Others are offering to give up PTO or to increase their hours overall. 

 

 

Around a third of those surveyed said that they would quit if they aren’t offered a hybrid model.

Millions have lost their jobs (or job offers – RIP class of 2020) due to COVID and employers risk losing more workers and potential talent if they ignore their preferences, forcing them back into the office.

Despite the concerns from remote-only work, productivity and engagement have remained high with work from home and collaboration remains an integral part of company cultures.

Many prefer working from home because it provides opportunities to improve your work-life balance - even if the lines are blurred a little – with more family time, flexible schedules, and no commutes.

 

The last year has felt like we have truly been able to do the best work of our lives for the first time, unconstrained by the challenges that daily commutes to offices and in-person co-located offices themselves inevitably compose.

-Petition from Apple employees to Tim Cook

Many firms cite the health and wellness of their employees as the top factor in determining post-COVID plans yet roughly a third have indicated they would adopt an "in-person first" model once they are able to. 

Firms argue that working in-office presents 2 major advantages: supervision and informal interaction. This benefits the newbies the most; working in the office presents more opportunities to learn quickly and advance — probably why Gen Z were among the most willing to return, albeit not fully.

Informal interactions not only promote company culture and better connections throughout the team, but they also allow the newbies to learn through observation and context (or as some like to say, “learning by osmosis”).

One big perk from interacting with more experienced members of the firm is learning the lingo. Because let’s face it, jargon is confusing, no matter what industry you’re in.

Being in person also makes it easier to catch mistakes. While supervision is used by firms to determine effort from employees, it’s also a good way to learn and fix your mistakes.

 

Real estate and facility costs have also influenced executives in their decision with 38% of executives citing this as a "very important" factor in their post-pandemic work model. 

Office vacancies are higher than they’ve been in almost 3 decades and investments are slowing down, especially in popular metropolitan areas. NYC office vacancy has risen 11.3% in the last year alone. 

 

While the office sector may not love the idea of work from home (for obvious reasons), the residential sector is eating it up.

We're seeing record low vacancy. Wages are up, people have the money. And people are saying take my money, I want to move in. 

-Jay Parsons, deputy chief economist (RealPage)

Many multifamilies are capitalizing on this shift and have adapted to an influx of work from home employees by introducing work friendly amenities. Think common spaces that include conference rooms you can reserve, free Wi-Fi, and office supplies people don't normally have anymore like printers.

This is especially true for smaller cities with a lower cost of living (a.k.a. where many remote workers are flocking to). Remote work is enabling families to relocate to more affordable areas.

The second quarter of 2021 saw the biggest annual rate increase in U.S. history with occupancy at 96.5%, matching the previous high from 2000. New leases have also increased by 14.6% from 2020 and landlords are responding to this high demand by increasing rent.

Whether we return to the office fully or partially, we will never reach the pre-COVID status quo. 

Hybrid work may not be new, but it may be the new norm.

 

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