As companies face the realities of a post-pandemic future, many are grappling whether to bring employees back to the workplace or keep them working from home. Big tech such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook have shifted to the hybrid approach, allowing employees to work both remotely and on-site.
With this flexible work model becoming the new norm, people will continue to spend more time living and working at home. How can rental property owners take advantage of this shift in the way people use their homes? But will remote work continue beyond the pandemic or is it just a passing trend?
Is WFH Here to Stay?
A research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in June this year reveals that 20% of the entire workforce in the US will continue working from home even after the pandemic. The study quotes that ‘’fewer than 30 percent of workers surveyed say they will return fully to pre-COVID activities, while most remain wary of mass transit, crowded elevators, and indoor dining.’’
Another study shows that 52% of workers prefer the hybrid work model. Nearly 30% say they want to work from home full-time, and the same percentage say they are more likely to switch employers if forced to return fully to working in the office.
While not all companies may have decided if they will permanently adopt the hybrid approach or gradually ease into full time on-site work post-pandemic, the reality is that returning to the workplace is easier said than done. In the meantime, WFH or the hybrid work model appears to be here to stay, at least for a good amount of time.
How Can Rental Owners Take Advantage of the WFH Trend?
As the hybrid work model gains a foothold, more people will want a home that is more conducive for remote work. It gives homeowners new opportunities in improving their property’s selling points. But it also comes with new expectations from renters on what they want or need from their living space.
Rental owners like you would do well to adapt to these changes and come up with strategies to meet the current needs of renters doing remote work. You stand a better chance of standing out in the rental market and attracting high-quality renters if you do so. So how can you optimize your property to cater to renters who work from home?
Upgrade your Internet Connection
A high-speed Internet has become a basic amenity a renter looks for in a property. It now becomes more important as more people work remotely and rely heavily on technology to do their work and communicate with colleagues.
Your home’s internet should have at least 10 Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed per person. But consider also that workers usually do video conferencing for syncups and collaboration, so you need to provide extra bandwidth for that – at least 8Mbps of download speed per person.
A fiber internet connection is best for a WFH setup with its more reliable connection and equally fast upload and download speeds. If you’re unable to get fiber internet, the next best choice is cable internet although it will have slower upload speeds.
Create Multiple Work Spaces
Give renters more space to do their work. Convert an extra room into a home office or select an area with the least traffic in the house to use as a workspace. Have a bare wall with some space for a shelf? Create a bar-height desk that your renter can use as an alternate workspace if they want to work standing.
Turn a spare closet into a workstation. Place a narrow desk that fits the closet space and provides adequate lighting. Empty the shelves above so it can be used to place office supplies or equipment like a printer. You’ll find other clever ways to turn indoor space into a working space on the net.
If you have outdoor space, place a small table and comfy chair somewhere quiet to create a small relaxing space where they can continue working. After hours of working inside the house, your renter will appreciate the chance to step out and continue working in an outdoor setting with some fresh air and cool, green scenery.
Include Complimentary Office Gadgets and Supplies
Provide renters a few useful gadgets for their office space such as a printer, a charging station, and office supplies like pens, highlighters, or sticky notes. These small but thoughtful details will be useful to your renters and make them feel special as well.
Enhance Your Outdoor Living Area
With the pandemic limiting human movement, it’s great to add an outdoor area where renters can destress and unwind without having to go to another location. Spruce up your patio with comfortable seating, add or move potted plants to enhance calming greenery, or clear up a patch of bushes to create more outdoor space. The idea is to provide your renters more spots where they can unwind, have coffee, read a book, or simply enjoy the outdoor scenery.
Add a space for working out
With gyms and fitness centers closed down at the onset of the pandemic, people were forced to do their exercise regimen at home, even purchasing their own gym equipment or using virtual exercise classes. Even when gyms have started to open, many did not want to do the usual commute and preferred to continue their workout outdoors or in their own place.
LinkedIn recently reported that 87% of employees prefer to continue working remotely going forward. Correspondingly, job postings for remote workers have risen from 6% in May last year, to 14% of all job posts as of May this year.
It is likely that working from home and the hybrid model are here to stay. Stay ahead of the curve by making your rental property ready to accommodate remote workers. You’ll get a better chance of keeping it occupied for the long-term and make your rental business a success.
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