The sharp increase in persons working from home is just one of the numerous effects of the Covid Pandemic.
Companies all throughout the UK had to quickly develop plans for remote working in 2020, prompted by the lockdown and encouraged by the government’s furlough scheme, and the Zoom phenomenon was created (additional internet conferencing tools are available!).
But is the trend of working from home expected to persist as the Coronavirus restrictions fade further into memory? What impact, if any, will it have on the housing market if it does?
Between September 2022 and January 2023, 44% of working people reported working entirely (16%) or partially (28%) from home, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Professionals and degree-holding employees in the highest income brackets were most likely to work solely from home or in a virtual office.
Resistant to pressures; real estate prices
But in a separate survey, the ONS also notes that throughout 2022, the proportion of adults reporting having worked from home had varied between 25% and 40%, with no apparent upward or downward trend, indicating that working from home is resilient to pressures like the end of covid restrictions or increases in the cost of living. And in our post-Covid restriction environment, hybrid working is fast emerging as the preferred employment type.
Staff and employers appear to have come to an agreement, drawn by the prospect of greater flexibility and an end to the dreaded commute. But what impact will this have on the property market?
The housing market: House price on remote workers
The property industry surged as buyers sought out larger homes and outdoor spaces because of the lockdown restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
However, the cost-of-living crisis and last Autumn’s dismal mini-Budget have significantly altered the market two years later. What then are today’s home employees seeking?
When looking for a new home in 2021, customers were clearly taking homework into consideration, according to research done by FJP Investments.
Director Jamie Johnson stated: “Clearly, the rise of remote work has had a noticeable effect on the kinds of residential properties investors – particularly younger ones – are wanting to invest in. Future homebuyers’ shifting needs will probably boost developer innovation.
More than 40% of respondents stated that they now place greater emphasis on both indoor and outdoor space.
Remote work and housing demand
They probably take into account a “work zone,” office space, or perhaps a garden office while making their estimations. And for other people, working from home opens the door to moving to a whole new place; according to FJP statistics, 17% of respondents stated they would consider doing so, but fewer firms now offer fully remote positions in favour of the hybrid model. Nevertheless, Johnson thinks that shifting consumer preferences present chances for real estate investing.
The time has come for real estate investors and the industry as a whole to anticipate how the working-from-home revolution will change people’s relationships with their homes and places of employment as the most restrictive days of the pandemic fade into memory.
Impact of remote working: Considerations
As the dust settles on a new kind of buying market, Johnson said, “Clear opportunities are emerging that should be harnessed to build future-facing homes that will suit the evolving requirements and preferences of remote workers.”
However, while many firms encourage remote work, they do not want employees to work alone. As a result, connectivity in the form of a robust broadband signal is essential, and home buyers are also demanding it.