With much of the world in lockdown, many are now working from home. Are CEOs and COOs observing huge swathes of empty office floors, often swanky and expensive, and asking themselves do we need all this?
It may be a novelty for some, but this type of flexible working arrangement is becoming increasingly popular. Remote working can make for a better work/life balance and it can come in handy during periods of extreme weather when staff can stay safe at home.
The Wundamail State of Remote Work 2019 report concluded that 74% of those surveyed felt more productive when working remotely. The same report found however that 55% of remote workers felt their managers were not aware of their daily responsibilities and 34% even admitted to on occasion taking advantage of the ability to work from home.
With the COVID-19 pandemic intensifying, employers where possible have been forced to allow their employees to work from home. Through the increased use and familiarity of software such as Skype and Zoom, there is a suggestion that many companies will allow employees to work from home in the future, with or without the current crisis.
If there is such a movement to remote working this will obviously have an effect on the property market, with pressure on rents, more flexible leases, empty spaces and a reduction in value.
We have seen many property funds suspended recently. Some fund managers, such as Baggette Asset Management Ltd do not currently have any direct exposure to property market. However, we continue to monitor this asset class closely and believe that many property companies will be looking for alternative uses for office space such as residential.