Remote Working Becomes ‘The New Norm’
Work from home is the beginning of a new paradigm that will have a significant and critical impact on the future of real estate. If one needs to really work from home, then one needs to seriously consider the concept of a home office. Our residential workplace, like an office workplace, would need to have a carpet area of at least 120 - 150 sqft in order to be effective and productive. Most apartments in large metropolitan cities do not offer this kind of private extra space that can be used for such purposes. Therefore, in the near future most of us will need to upgrade our current homes to include and accommodate working from home.
Reshaping the realm of real estate
As the trend of working from home grows, there will be a large-scale movement in the residential real estate markets. Many people will begin trading up their current homes for larger spaces to accommodate work. This would also mean that builders will have to redesign and rethink apartment layouts to include home offices as well as build into the project’s common amenities, facilities for meeting rooms, video conferencing and more.
The economic impact of such a transformation will be varied and far reaching to say the least. The burden of providing infrastructure and shared services will shift from the employer to the employee, and if the same is not underwritten in the compensation package of the employee, it will then become detrimental to the financial interest of the employee. In my opinion, the time for such an idea has come and we cannot but begin to adopt and adapt to this new way of life. In the gig economy of today, it will become an absolute necessity that such facilities and services be created and accommodated into the concept of residential buildings and complexes.
Will remote working be a turning point?
While the economic impact of working from home can be easily measured, one also needs to pay attention to what could be the future with taxation and the same. In all fairness, such pro rata cost should be deductible from the salaries or professional incomes of those working from home. In the current fiscal environment, no deductions are permissible for working from home for salaried persons, however they do cost quite a bit due to the use of power, air conditioning, broadband and more.
The time has come for all stakeholders to take notice of these aspects and ensure that the treatment for the same is fair and equitable for all concerned. Without such a mechanism in place, the migration of work coming from the office to the home will not really be effective or productive. Let us all put on our thinking caps and introspect over these new paradigms in order to find the most potent and beneficial way forward.
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