Quitting Workers — Waste or Opportunity?
There is a new conflict now needing solutions. Some business owners who encouraged workers to work from home now want their staff to return to their crowded office. Many workers have enjoyed the work from home experience and want to keep their new status quo. If a return is demanded, these employees may quit their jobs and seek out new employment.
This quitting of jobs may be a big event in the next 12 months. For some business owners, including property management companies, it may be an opportunity to pick up new talent. And for landlord owners, it may be an opportunity to choose rental properties that cater to the new work from home crowd.
Back to the Old Normals?
Having workers work from home was actually a big benefit for businesses and they transitioned through this arrangement fairly well. Some increased earnings given lower office rental costs. Yet others (such as retailers, restaurants, service businesses) only survived on aid payments. Those are coming to an end.
If big business digs its feet in on this back to the office issue, we could some significant turnover in their workforce. And landlords and property managers in turn might be in for a turnover in renters.
Recent news reports say that 2/3rds of offices in big cities remain empty revealing how many employees have been working from home (some estimates at 50% of workforce).
Many workers enjoyed the new work/life balance it gave them. Parents too found it more affordable given they didn’t have the cost of day care to contend with and saved time in transportation and getting kids ready for their school day. These and other benefits are real and hard to give up.
Harvard University took a look at the matter:
A Rash of Resignations is Ahead
A CNBC poll suggested 26% of workers will quit is forced to return to the office. Another recent Bloomberg survey showed 39% of workers intend to quit. It stands to reason that some of your employees may not return to your office.
The potential business loss is something people aren’t talking about.
And the opportunity for more flexible competitors is important. Some companies will be seeing a fresh source of trained, skilled and productive workers and they’ll be hiring them. For smart property management company owners, this may be a boon to their business growth and revenues. The workers in question could be leasing agents, admin staff, accountants, marketing people and others who don’t want to be tethered to an office or a desk.
Work from home workers are so comfortable they want to keep the status quo. A recent report from Morgan Stanley in New York bore that out, as the CEO said he expects all staff to be back in the office by September. The battle lines are being drawn.
With US employment levels increasing, workers may be able to quit their jobs and to move onto new opportunities, and for some that might mean higher pay and advancement.
Return to the Office Will Affect Renters Choices
A continuation of work from home would change the rental market too, as the pursuit of more space, high speed internet, pet friendliness, and recreational opportunities nearby encourages renters to seek rentals in the suburbs and ex-urbs. Urban landlords and retail landlords are likely not going to see a return to 2019 conditions.
Yet big companies created office locations for a reason, and they will gradually pull workers back to the central office. This phase might take place until 2022, but the gravitational pull will be strong. And this means workers would have to come back from their pandemic living locations and rent a pricey apartment or condo in the city. Some will not be able to find a rental or home in the city, so termination seems inevitable.
It’s a messy situation ahead as we head into the fall months.
Big Differences in How Workers View the Situation
There have been studies to show work from home was productive for many workers. But while some thrive in the remote work, companies feel the comradery, creativity, innovation, and productivity of their workforce isn’t what it needs to be.
Further, studies show workers feel lonely, depressed and less emotionally involved in their work. The Harvard study revealed they miss their colleagues, yet also fear the virus if forced to return.
The experience of some remote workers is somewhat disjointed and alienated. It stands to reason that full work from home models require substantial maturity in employees. The wish is that workers working at home will be disciplined, self-directed, inspired, motivated and are not in need of micro-managing or social or emotional companionship.
Workers know there is comradery, support, and business orientation at the office which can help improve performance. Co-workers share the same type of work, mission and develop friendships that improve workforce productivity. Not all of their work/learning is done entirely through a computer screen. Sometimes face to face work with clients and suppliers is needed for a business to perform well.
Many workers thrive in this in person environment.
Will a Hybrid Model Become the Most Popular?
It is the choice of each business owner about how to manage work from home challenges and opportunities. Some may go with a hybrid model where workers will use a schedule of locations during the week.
The above graphic from Wework shows that during the middle of the week, workers prefer to be back at the office. On Monday and Fridays, there is a clear preference for work from home. Those two days have the highest commute times, and many employees would like it if they’re able start their weekends a little earlier (with no long tiring commute).
It’s tough to forecast how employers will approach the end of work from home, so it’s hard to predict which renters will be moving and how many vacancies will happen in the next year. It’s likely there will be substantial movements as more rental apartments or rental houses become available.
With ultralow vacancy rates, many renters will have to stay put, but this will change in the coming two years. Renters will be looking for rentals with more space and amenities to work from home.
Either Way, Your Software Platform Should Make it Work
If you manage a property management company, you’ve likely been enjoying the administration efficiency of software such as ManageCasa. It is perfectly designed for the work from home workplace or at the office. Staff love the simplicity, power, and productivity it delivers. Learn more about property management software now.
It’s nice to conduct all your maintenance management, leasing, rent collection, showing units, and more all online, virtually. But I’ll bet you’re hoping for a return to normal, free of fear of the virus, so you can enjoy conversations and getting more work done in person.
I believe property management software platforms was invented to increase efficiency, and help you make the most of key face to face meetings with important tenants, investors, and contractors. With the tedious chores out of the way, done without errors, you’re free to spend your valuable time on growing your business.
Learn more on how ManageCasa’s software for property managers and landlords can help you grow your business.
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