By the time the coronavirus crisis has waned and self-isolating is no longer a government mandate, there will be pent-up demand for dining out, traveling—and going to the office. At the same time, these weeks of productive remote work will likely set the stage for long-term changes in the residential and commercial real estate markets, predicts Dr. Marci Rossell.
During a recent Haworth Connect presentation, the former Chief Economist for CNBC shared her thoughts on the how the COVID-19 pandemic may change the way we live and work.
“One of the effects on residential real estate is that people will need to have larger spaces to work from home. They're also going to understand that they may have to spend much more time in their houses than they ever thought possible. You’ll get a real reorientation in the residential space around ‘How can I work from home?’ ‘How can I vacation at home?’ All those things will change the resources that go into residential real estate,” she said.
Dr. Rossell added that technology has allowed businesses to do something considered impossible even a decade ago: have many of their office employees work from home without missing a beat.
“You are going to have companies that realize workers can work from home more often, and maybe they’ll only go to the office three days a week instead of five,” Dr. Rossell said.
This new perspective could change the nature of the office, resulting in a different, more appealing workspace that is more creative and collaborative. But our current forced-remote-working experiment is also likely to show that many employees don’t want to be compelled to work at home.
“People are going to be sick to death of working at home after months of it,” Dr. Rossell said. “So, while I do think there’s going to be talk about how productive people are at home right now and how great this has been, if you have any kind of activity with a creative side to it, people still need to be in touch with one another.”
“I think maybe the nature of offices will change. You may see that you shrink the square footage, but what you do have is office space that is a lot nicer and different. And, it’s more creative and collaborative. I think that’s very real.”
Dr. Marci Rossell