Remote Work Is Changing More than the Office


Caroline Cox

– VOL. 9

Back in 2020, millions of people across the globe went from working in an office to their homes. For those lucky enough to be able to do their jobs remotely, their living quarters became a workspace as well (not to mention a gym, movie theater, bar…).

Now, nearly two years later, many of us still commute from our bedrooms to our desks with just a few steps. What’s more, there’s a Great Resignation happening — millions have decided they deserve more than what their current companies are offering, and they’re going to go get it.

It’s clear that remote work is changing not just how we live, but where we choose to live.

Remote Jobs Mean You Can Virtually Work Anywhere

Before remote work was the norm, most  people chose where to live based largely on employment. But now, remote work means people can log on from anywhere in the world with a good WiFi connection. That’s opening up a whole new level of possibility for people to now consider different aspects of where they want to live, like the kind of communities and neighborhoods they want to belong to.

Of course, people will still have to go out into the world to do things like run errands, order takeout, and buy coffee. With a remote job, it’s easier to prioritize the things that make a home a neighborhood.

No Longer Bound by Commute Times, Home Buyers Look for More in Their Neighborhoods

Many prospective homebuyers have had to weigh the choice between their desired neighborhood and their desired commute. Often, that has meant compromising on one or the other, leading to living in an area they don’t love, or spending more time than they’d like en route to the office and back home.

Image of impact of remote work on neighborhoods

A working lunch at your local coffee shop was something few experienced before the pandemic, but now this simple joy is common.

With remote work, that problem simply evaporates. As a result, some homebuyers are instead looking for things like a spacious home office or a quiet street when touring potential homes. They’re also looking at what amenities their community has to offer, since staying closer to home means having a great lunch or meeting spot nearby is a bigger perk than before.

Remote work also means people aren’t relegated to living only in certain metropolitan cities to obtain a desired job. This puts less strain on the housing market and subsequent scarcity in these cities, and allows people to spread out into other areas.

We Now See Our Homes and the Neighborhoods Beyond with New Eyes

The more time we spent at home before, during, and after work hours, the more acquainted many of us became with our surroundings. Many of us have become more in-tune with the unique rhythms of the neighborhoods we call home. Whether it’s getting to know the neighbor we’re working alongside at the local coffee shop, or getting familiar with the joyful shouts of children at play after school, we’re deepening our experiences of our homes as they extend beyond the wall of our individual spaces.

Image of the impact of remote work on neighborhoods

Cold brew on tap and Nespresso machines used to be a perk of office life, but with rise of remote work, many are getting to know the faces at their local coffee shop.

If there’s a silver lining to be found in the chaos of the last few years, it’s that many companies realized they can run just as smoothly with remote employees. Less time spent commuting and overcoming office distractions has allowed companies to save money and employees to do their jobs efficiently while improving their work-life balance in the process.

Without having to be concerned about the commute, people have the freedom to choose where they live based on the type of community they want to be part of. Now that you’re working on your laptop under a shady tree in your local park, we bet you won’t even miss the free seltzer or that fancy office chair.