The pandemic has had a huge impact on many areas of our lives, not least, how we work. Throughout the past year and a half, many individuals have been working remotely, and continue to do so today. Some work from home entirely, and others partially, commuting to the office just a few days a week. Multifamily apartment owners looking to attract new tenants are starting to make significant changes to accommodate those that are temporarily or permanently working from home.
What are Remote Workers Looking for?
Prior to the pandemic, renters would choose apartment communities based on different criteria than remote workers are likely to prioritize today. Previously, the distance to their office, length of their commute, and access to public transportation were all key considerations that factored into the decision-making process, when choosing an apartment complex.
Remote workers are now looking for apartment buildings with amenities that make it easier for them to work from home. Below, we detail a few of the most common requirements.
Access to High-Speed Internet
Wi-Fi is essential to the vast majority of remote workers. Multifamily apartment owners looking to accommodate individuals working from home are providing access to built-in high-speed wireless internet as a priority. Reliable Wi-Fi connection enables tenants to work efficiently from their apartment building, without frustration.
New Common Areas
Many new multifamily apartment construction projects will be built with common areas for remote working, that include wireless internet, desks, and printers. These spaces allow residents to get a break from spending time in their apartment and work in a different setting. These open workspaces include partitioned areas and enclosed offices for meetings to be held in quiet and private settings.
In addition to indoor common areas and workspaces, many new apartment building projects will include outside seating areas with tables for renters to eat or work at. Outdoor spaces that include patios and balconies are also in high demand.
It’s also necessary to think about what remote workers need during their lunch breaks. Some multifamily apartment builders are choosing to create new communities in areas where restaurants and food services are in close proximity. This is so that tenants can conveniently dine out or receive food deliveries while working from home. Having options for an enjoyable lunch break close by can impact your tenants’ lifestyle, and help potential renters envision living in your complex, in a positive light.
Appropriate Living Spaces
Many remote workers are required to attend virtual meetings and conference calls from their apartments and use their dining spaces as work areas to place their laptops, printers, and other necessities. Remote meetings require renters to sit in a space with good lighting and an appropriate background. Forward-thinking developers are designing multifamily units with noise cancellation in mind, to ensure that renters can work remotely without distraction and interference from other units.
More Space and Suburban Living
The need for additional space is the biggest factor driving renters that have chosen to move. Many remote workers have moved away from high-cost urban areas with smaller units to more affordable rural and suburban locations. This has enabled renters to increase their living space significantly while reducing their rents.
Many workers will move back to the higher-cost urban areas once the pandemic subsides, but there will also be a percentage that remain in more affordable rural, and suburban settings.
Many of those working remotely due to COVID-19 expect their employers to allow them to continue to do so at least partially, post-pandemic. Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics, estimates that “25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.” It is therefore wise to take the needs of home workers seriously as you plan to improve or build new multifamily apartment complexes.
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