The pandemic has changed much of how business is done today. One of the major changes is with remote working, or working from home. For some, this switch is temporary, and for others it is more permanent. The shift in where people complete their work has brought about many changes not only for themselves and their families, but businesses as well. Here are some work from home effects on businesses.
Effects on Individuals
Lately, many people are spending more time than ever at home. All this time spent at home has caused people to rethink their living situations. Whether that means renovating a room to turn it into an office, or searching for a new home in a new location. Since proximity to the office does not matter as much any more, many have been looking to move to houses that better accommodate working from home. We have seen a trend this year of people migrating to the suburbs to flee busy living areas and settle down. Working from home more permanently has also contributed to this migration. Remote working has not only affected individuals, but businesses as well.
Effects on companies
Many companies have seen a dramatic shift in operations and workflow since the start of the pandemic. Because people are working from home a majority of the time, they are now seeking employers with flexibility. Not only in business operations, but in the physical office space as well. Some employers have begun to open extra office locations so that people who have moved farther away have the option to go into an office when needed. This network of spaces provide a familiar work environment to employees in a closer proximity to their homes. Additionally, many companies are downsizing their office space to accommodate all of the employees working from home. Businesses are beginning to reimagine what an ideal office looks like as far as individual office rooms versus shared desks, conference room size, and other shared spaces.
There are some obstacles that companies will have to overcome as more people are working from home and seeking jobs that allow remote working. One of those are issues with establishing culture and collaboration. With less people in the office each day, it is tougher to establish relationships with coworkers and get to know one another on a professional level. Technology certainly helps with issues like these, which is another obstacle faced. Businesses are now having to utilize new technologies both in and out of the office to encourage collaboration and workflow. Some have even gone so far as to create mobile apps for the company to facilitate conversation and business procedures. Bottom line, businesses will have to get competitive with how they mesh physical work spaces and digital working.
What to expect?
A fact of the matter is, not everyone loves working from home. There are many people who would rather be in the office than at home, and this could be for multiple reasons. But, the size of offices will more than likely change, and companies need to be able to adapt to flexible working and easy accessibility for all parties involved. It looks as if the future is moving away from traditional offices, to modern workspaces. Workspaces that allow for flexible work days, updated technology and ways to create company culture. Lastly, commercial real estate brokers will have to find flexible spaces to meet employers flexible needs.
While these work from home effects on businesses are apparent, they are not something that should be feared! We see shifts in office trends often, so this should be viewed as an exciting challenge for the commercial real estate industry.