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6 Impacts of Remote Work on Cities

Posted on November 16, 2023 by Sarah Bull in Commercial

Over the past few years, remote work has become more and more common. Today, millions of people work remotely, and many more have hybrid work arrangements. If you’re interested in making smart commercial real estate investments, working with Ann Anovitz Associates can help you feel confident in your decisions. Here are some developments in the world of remote work that all business owners should be aware of, from the associated costs to the potential changes to future offices.


Growth of Telecommuting


How common is remote work? Today, Gallup states that approximately 45% of full-time workers work remotely or hold a hybrid position that allows them to work from home for part of the week. However, in the future, more people anticipate shifting to a hybrid role than a fully remote position, with 13% of full-time employees planning to work from home and 31% planning for hybrid work. While there’s no doubt that remote work will persist, businesses should expect to support diverse work arrangements going forward.


Business Expenses for Remote Work


When it comes to the costs of enabling remote work, breaking down the raw numbers for businesses can get tricky. At first glance, it can seem like allowing remote work is a clear cost-saving strategy, but there are some costs that are also unique to supporting remote employees. Business owners should keep in mind that state laws might require them to reimburse employees for Internet and phone bills. You may also need to implement new time-tracking or screen-monitoring software for remote workers.


Effects on Downtown Districts


Remote work is changing the way cities operate – particularly when it comes to the downtown districts of big cities. Magazine US states that commercial property values in downtown areas are falling as fewer people commute each day and spend less money in the surrounding areas. Developers may need to consider designing workspaces geared towards hybrid companies in the future to adapt to these trends.


Influence on Small Cities


While big cities have experienced some of the economic downsides of remote work, this trend has been a boon for some smaller cities and towns across the country. With more flexibility, many people choose to move to small metros or rural areas, which helps to revitalize communities. In the long run, this could spur more commercial development in these areas.


Attracting Talent


Today, some job seekers are specifically hunting for remote roles at the exclusion of any other job openings. This can put some companies in a tough spot. Even if they offer competitive compensation packages, opportunities for upward advancement, and a healthy work-life balance, not all companies can operate remotely. Therefore, companies that cannot offer fully remote roles should consider how they might open opportunities for hybrid or occasional remote-optional work.


The Future of Real Estate


Like any other change in the workplace, remote work brings both benefits and drawbacks for businesses. Business leaders can take this long-term change as a chance to innovate, especially when it comes to office space design! In the future, office spaces could be designed with density in mind to accommodate a smaller number of workers while maintaining a strong return on investment. Furthermore, people might swap office spaces on different days of the week if multiple employees have hybrid arrangements. Finally, sustainable design for minimal climate impact could become a sought-after feature.


The prevalence of remote work represents a dramatic shift in the labor market. As a business owner, understanding how remote work has changed the economic landscape is crucial. With these insights, you’ll be able to make smart choices regarding budget management for remote work costs, attracting employees, and more.


Searching for commercial real estate for your business? Turn to Ann Anovitz Associates! Call us today at 312-372-3224 to learn more about our services.


Photo via Unsplash


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