July 2020—Nearly four out of ten workers in the U.S. are working from home in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. People are reassessing the needs of their home in an era of expanded remote work, home schooling, low mortgage rates, and uncertainty in health and economic futures. Do I still need to live close to the company office building? Do I need a larger home with more office space? Does moving to the suburbs make more sense for my family? All of these questions are on the table for many Americans as they navigate the current health crisis and consider evolving housing needs.

Work-from-Home Data

Research conducted by Realtor.com and HarrisX reveal some interesting changes in the 2020 housing landscape. Results of the study indicate:

∙ Half of remote workers use a home office, that is, dedicated space in the home. The remainder work in a living room, bedroom, at a kitchen table, or other area of the home.

∙ Most remote workers created or converted space into a home office. Around 30% already had dedicated office space and many made enhancements to accommodate the increased use of space.

∙ Over half of U.S. workers prefer the remote work option.

∙ Employers are demonstrating an increased flexibility in allowing long-term or regular remote work.

Remote Work Opportunities Have Increased the Desire to Move

Sixty-three percent of the Realtor.com survey respondents said they’re considering buying a new home in light of increased opportunity to work remotely. With less demand for commuting to a physical office and an additional demand on the home to be more functional 24/7 for the entire family, many consumers are assessing their needs and how to maximize the use of every square foot. A clear majority are making the decision to look for a home that meets the evolving needs of current times.

Location Options Expand for Remote Workers

With less requirement to be physically present in an office, many workers are expanding the possibilities for where they will purchase a home. They are more willing to move out of dense urban areas, but do not want to feel isolated. Established suburban areas with proximity to grocery and shopping are preferred. A short commute to the office is no longer as critical if a worker has fewer required days in person per month. Workers that are one hundred percent remote may opt to move out of state to a preferred climate, a plan that used to be deferred until retirement.

Buyers Want Room for Dedicated Office Space

While the open floor plan has been top priority for years, home buyers now value some enclosed space for a private work environment free of distractions. One home office is a must, however, homes that offer an extra bedroom, finished basement, or attic space are in greater demand as couples and families may require more than one dedicated room for daily work.

Since people who work at home all day will need a change of scenery, they will be more likely to get out of the house for exercise and entertainment. This means they are willing to trade spaces like home gyms and home theaters for better office accommodations. Sellers should take note now that flexible private spaces will make their home more competitive in the current market.

Bottom Line

As companies announce plans for remote work in 2021, workers are seriously assessing evolving living needs and searching for bigger and more flexible spaces. If you think it’s time to evaluate your family’s needs, contact Platinum Service Realty for a professional consultation on the local real estate landscape.

Real Estate Term of the Week

Ergonomics: Design factors in a work space that is intended to maximize productivity by minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort.

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