How work from home will shape the future of residential and commercial construction
One trend that has emerged from the Coronavirus pandemic is an immediate and substantial increase in the number of people who work from home.
During the first national lockdown in the UK, employees were asked to work from home wherever possible, to reduce social interaction in the workplace and therefore reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The UK has had a legal provision in place for many years that allows employees to request flexible working conditions, but the past 12 months has served as a ‘proof of concept’ for large-scale homeworking nationwide.
Who works from home?
ONS figures published in July 2020 showed that in April, when the first national lockdown had just been imposed, nearly half (46.6%) of UK employees did at least some of their work at home.
Of those, 86% did so directly because of COVID-19. In London the proportion of people working from home was higher at 57.2% and a staggering 91.6% cited Coronavirus as the reason why.
While many people will be able to return to the workplace as the pandemic eases – perhaps over the course of 2021, thanks to the vaccination roll-out – the past 12 months may have highlighted previously unconsidered benefits of homeworking for employees and employers alike.
What does this mean for residential construction?
The most direct implications of all this are for the future of residential construction post-COVID-19.
For those forced to work from home over the past year, the challenge has been to find a suitable workspace, free from distractions, while still achieving a clear divide between work and ‘home’.
Residential developers will need to factor this into more future builds, whether this means creating additional space for a work area in the kitchen, reception room or master bedroom, adding an extra room for use as a study, or even construction a garden building.
Mains electricity and high-speed internet are a must in any such area, and a landline telephone socket may also be beneficial, so buyers and tenants have no reason to reject their potential future workplace.
What about commercial construction?
There are fewer obvious implications for commercial construction, but if a significant proportion of clerical workers move to be home-based, this could lead to a drop in demand, making it more important to create attractive and well-appointed workplaces.
More people working from home for only some of the time might increase the need for flexible workspaces and hotdesking, rather than workstations reserved for a specific person.
As such, commercial developers might find even greater demand for open-plan offices, which can easily adapt to the precise mix of individuals who are working in the office on any given day.
See what The hebs Group can do for you with our professional and reliable construction services readily available for any type of residential or commercial project. Call us today on 0151 2360707 to get in touch.