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Covid showed us how to do work differently but will we really change?

It seems working from home is the new normal for Brisbane professionals and this will impact their must-haves when it comes to making a property purchase. 

With lockdowns behind us and borders reopening, the next step is to explore the possibility of a full time return to the office.But is this really what people want? After two years of achieving as much in our pyjamas as we could at an office desk, many are reluctant to step out the front door and face a long commute (or even a short one) on a regular basis. Prior to COVID, ‘presenteeism’ was an issue; with people showing up even when unwell and working long hours. The international shakeup led to the ‘Great Resignation’ and workers who felt burnt out and underpaid walking off the job. 

If employers want to attract the right talent, it seems as though a comfortable balance between face to face interaction and the freedom to work from home a couple of days per week is the way forward. 

As organisations become more socially conscious, this makes sense. According to a study from The Melbourne Institute, during the pandemic, around 50% of Australian workers found themselves at their home computer. Almost 70% of this ground said they were happy to continue doing so. Interestingly, as shared by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, employed women (17%) were more likely than employed men (11%) to want to increase the amount of work done from home.

It all comes down to feeling satisfied about your life. ‘Presenteeism’ was unsustainable and led to the Great Resignation. As people begin to seek work again, they don’t want to repeat the pattern. 

Who benefits from working from home?

To bring it back to numbers, while businesses do want their employees to be happy and engaged, profits still matter. Having people away from the office for the long term won’t work if it impacts the bottom line in any way. 

However, this does not seem to be the case, with Forbes reporting many companies have noticed a decrease in operating costs and an increase in business profits when operating with a remote work model. The monetary benefits of having people working at home are reduced office overheads, fewer distractions from colleagues and improved employee retention. Statistically speaking, studies show those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive. 

On the other hand, human connections still matter. The return to the office is partially being driven by younger workers, who have less space to work from, often because they share a home or live in a small apartment. Gen Z and younger millennials also want the opportunity to use the workplace to make social connections and leverage personal encounters to develop their careers. They aren’t so excited to stay home when they don’t have the responsibility of children and endless loads of washing to take care of. 

Many office-based companies are finding the middle ground provides the sweet spot. Having a workspace which facilitates collaboration when people are present, with the option to spend two or three days a week focusing on tasks seems to be the solution. The benefit for workers is more time with family and personal activities, while companies can afford to reduce the space they lease.

The rise of the home office

Having a separate space for work used to be a luxury you only found in larger homes. Now however, a home office is almost as important as a kitchen or bedroom. If you are thinking of selling in the New Farm area and can find a way to present a dedicated workspace, your home will be more appealing to buyers. 

People want the option of a home office, even when they are a stone’s throw from central business areas. There are many options to present a purpose-ready space by styling your home to include one, renovating a larger room to create two smaller ones or even making clever use of a larger cupboard (check out some inspiration here).

Reach out if you need some tips for a faster, more successful home sale. 

I hope you enjoy the read.

Matt Lancashire