The Work From Home Revolution is Here
As each Covid 19 pandemic surge hits across countries this fall and winter, business shutdowns continue.
Shutdowns are forcing companies to transition employees out of pricey corporate offices to a work from home arrangement. As you’ll read below, the benefits are surprisingly high and most workers are appreciating the change and making a permanent transition to WFH.
While tenants increasingly perform work from their apartments, condos and houses, residential property managers are experiencing more challenges.
Opening Up to the Revenue Opportunities
The WFH trend is creating new opportunities for landlords to improve their profit and loss/ income statements. Property management companies and landlords themselves are switching to fully virtual management tools thus weening themselves away from costly office rental space to earn more. These are new tenants with new needs and expectations.
There is a focus on improved work productivity and lower costs for workers, but as you’re about to read, a large array of benefits is opening up for everyone.
For instance, the trend to WFH can also help landlords attract and acquire better tenants which translates into higher revenues and increased rental property investment success. Played properly, landlords can benefit from this global transition from urban offices to suburban and rural work at home arrangements.
Small Challenges for Big Rewards
From noise complaints to building maintenance costs, to new service demands from tenants, it seems landlords and property managers are having to respond to WFH businesses and 24 x 7 activity in their rental properties.
Landlords should review the benefits for tenants, society and for themselves. It might be a tough challenge for commercial and retail landlords, but as money is moved to residential properties, residential landlords may enjoy their huge revenue benefit package. Greater demand, greater personalization of services and higher revenues will improve property management bottom lines.
Whether it’s multifamily, new low rise luxury apartments, or more single-family house rentals, the WFH is changing preference for rental property.
Property managers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany and Australia may have to rethink residential management services and tenant fees as usage, wear and tear, repair requests and more put pressure on to maintain asset values and manage risk.
Workplace Research Shows the Trend is Growing
Even without a business lockdown, the trend is deepening. High taxes in urban areas, high rent prices, crime, and fear of disease will continue thus pushing tenants outward from cities. Most will be working from their new houses.
“Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021” — Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics.
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 75 million U.S. employees (56% of the non-self-employed workforce) could work from home. When applied to the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Canada, Japan and other nations, the work from home marketplace needs to be addressed by landlords and property management companies.
Global Analytic’s survey of 2018 reported that regular at homework had grown 173% since 2005, and nearly 47 times faster than self-employment. They found that 43% of employees were working at home with some frequency, and 56% have a job where the work could be done remotely. 62% of employees reportedly said they could work from home and 80% said they wanted to work from home — from globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics.
Global Workplace Analytics indicated the above stats did not include self-employed people.
The trend then has been happening for some time now.
23 Benefits of Work From Home Arrangements
- savings of $2000 to $6000 for workers who aren’t commuting (fuel, car maintenance, repairs and insurance, transit fares, parking fees, clothing and restaurant take out lunches bought)
- reduced exposure and transmission of diseases (flu, Covid 19, colds) and reduced lost productivity
- reducing 600,000 cars/trucks from roadways thus reducing infrastructure repair costs
- U.S. employers are saving over $30 billion per day by allowing employees to work from home (from Flexjobs.com report)
- companies have back rent to pay and can’t afford their office rent going forward
- companies avoid paying growing tax bills in urban areas (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington)
- savings of hundreds of hours in commute time
- lower carbon emissions from commuting
- lower office rent and real estate costs for employers
- lower demand for offices reduces office rent prices
- lowers rent prices for inner-city renters (affordability)
- more free time for workers
- savings for parents with managing child care
- less stress and fatigue from reduced commuting
- more flexible work hours
- more time for relaxation and exercise
- reduced health-related problems and health care costs
- improved productivity (work focus)
- improved work/life balance for workers
- higher employee retention (from BHCAgroup.com/remoteworkforce)
- ability to move to a less populated region for a healthier lifestyle
- improves employment diversity and hiring of those with mobility disabilities
- improves companies ability to hire more skilled talent from anywhere
The demand for online property management software solutions will grow strongly as virtual service management expectations increase.
Home 24 x 7: What Will Happen in 2021?
The WFH revolution as it’s now called is a big change in most people’s lives. In the last decade or two, we’ve seen a jump in the number of freelance workers working from home. However, compared to the full number of employed people, it was a drop in the bucket.
Now, the Covid 19 threat is pushing millions into their homes 24 x 7, which they were not psychologically prepared for and where the apartment/houses weren’t designed to accommodate. The psychology of this aside (overcrowding, frustration, always-on activity in buildings and neighborhoods), property managers must deal with tenants who view their neighborhoods and rental homes very differently.
Inevitably, this will change rental housing design and tenant services. Landlords will be encouraged to provide additional spaces, features, services and rules to create the right environment for their tenant base.
Why Will Everyone Evolve?
WFH takes a level of maturity and adaptability that not all will have. Not all will excel at it, however landlords and property managers can adopt changes to help these WFH people out.
What Landlords and Property Managers Can Do
- renovate units to add office space, larger spaces, more bedrooms, new windows, decks, soundproofing
- raise rent prices and fees for operating at home business or 24 x 7 work at home
- add digital services (online rent payment, 5G bandwidth, free wifi, solar power, hot tub rental)
- add fees for additional services for revenue growth (storage, renovation, fixture upgrades)
- rural landlords and builders draw more buyers from the cities (higher demand = high rent prices)
In brief, the WFH trend is raising demand for property management software, new digital services, creative rental unit design and services, and more.
Ready to position your property management company for the WFH era? Build your firm on a modern, cloud-based property management solution designed for enhanced services, accounting, financial reporting, and tenant satisfaction. Read more tips on our property management blog.
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