This past year ushered in a lot of changes for us all—one of the biggest being a shift to remote work. A question we’re asking ourselves as real estate experts is: what does this mean for our cities and neighborhoods if people aren’t required to live where they work? Well, for starters, cities aren’t going anywhere. Those “California exodus” claims of people leaving LA and SF in droves? Not happening. At least not to the extent you might be thinking. But change is definitely happening in the way we live and work. Here’s what’s to come.
Remote work isn’t the answer for everyone.
Yes, remote work is definitely becoming a widely accepted option, with some 25 percent of employees predicted to remain fully remote in the long run. But while a growing number of companies are offering employees this option, many more employers anticipate an eventual return to “business as usual.” And if not business as usual, then a hybrid model with some combination of remote and in-office work. Frankly, not everyone likes working remotely. For some, it blurs the line between work and play, and others miss the socialization and collaboration that comes from in-person settings.
Which is why we’re predicting that…
…a lot of people will stay put.
For every reason not to live in an urban area, there are three more reasons to live there. Consider the LA metro area, for example. There are reasons why we put up with rush-hour traffic on the 405. You’ve got an abundance of diverse food offerings in every neighborhood for miles. The world’s best five-star cuisine and some of the world’s best street tacos all in one place? Huge incentive. But there’s so much more: the arts and culture, the public transportation and the sheer number of things to do.
And speaking of traffic…
With more employees working from home—even one or two days per week—that means fewer cars on the road, less traffic, faster commute times when you’re heading to the office and one more reason to remain in the urban area you’ve come to know and love.
But many are flocking to smaller metro areas or lesser populated locations.
Smaller (ie less congested, less expensive) metro areas like Charlotte, Nashville and Denver, as well as more rural communities in states across the U.S. are attracting employees no longer constrained by the job market monopolies of larger cities. It’s opening up a world of possibility for other cities to thrive within previously untapped markets. Tech? No longer limited to Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Media and publishing? Expanding beyond New York City. It’s going to be wild to watch how our cities evolve and adapt to a changing workforce, but one thing’s for sure—there will always be a draw to urban areas.
Are hoping to stay remote or craving a return to the office? Flocking to the burbs or staying put in the city? We’d love to know and help you find your dream home, whether that’s downtown or along the coast. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat.