How will the ‘Working from home’ new normal affect the commercial property market?

KPM Group - Blog - Working From Home - Effects on property market

As we move past the infamous 2020, we begin to see a new landscape appearing. More and more companies have embraced the benefits of working from home and have now decided to implement this indefinitely. Large social media employers like Twitter being a prime example.

This will obviously have an effect on the market as a whole as more and more companies follow suit. We could see major refurbishments to inner city office spaces in to badly needed accommodation or dread the thought, more hotels.

Of course, that is the extreme end of things. What is more likely to happen is that employers will see people only happy to come back to the office. Maybe not all, but certainly enough to warrant their current office space.

Why you may ask? Well if you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones who has been lounging on a hammock sipping martinis while typing with one hand while the kids reenact a scene from The Avengers in the background, well then you’ll know working from home can have just a few disadvantages also.

The lines between the office and home get blurred and it becomes ‘Living at work’ rather than ‘working from home’. This cannot be a good thing in the long term as we need to separate the two. Home should be where you go to unwind and relax. The threat of an email at 8 or 9 in the evening is all too real these days.

The office is at the end of the day, the most important social aspect of many of our lives. Whether it’s an office in the city, or a warehouse or factory, it’s where we see our colleagues and friends every day and most of us, I would imagine, are missing that tremendously right now.

So what lies ahead?

As of right now, like most industries, it is impossible to offer a reliable forecast of the next 12-24 months. If lockdowns continue, we may well see larger employers following Twitter to an indefinite ‘Work from home’ order.

Depending on this we could see big changes in the cities. What is most likely to happen is by the end of this year we will see a return to some form of normality in our work lives and thus a return to the stability we have enjoyed over the last several years in the commercial sector.

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