Effects of WFH on Apartment Communities

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Effects of WFH on Apartment Communities

By now we’re all too aware of the work from home lifestyle. The mass shift from offices to working from home affected us in one way or another. From learning Zoom and keeping kids or pets off camera, to juggling a virtual social life, or you’re just trying not to go crazy at home- we’ve all had to adapt.

The transition to remote work forced many to spend more time in their homes than ever before. While this adjustment once seemed temporary, more companies have expanded their remote work policies even after the pandemic ends. What does this mean for the future of multifamily?

The shift to remote work dramatically changes how and where residents want to live. As boundaries blur between home and office, changes are needed to balance new live, work, play lifestyles. While some occupations are not conducive to online work, many have found it less crucial to live near their office. This changes what renters are looking for in their apartment. So, if proximity to work is becoming less relevant, what are renters prioritizing instead?


Interior Effects

With remote working on the rise, we must accommodate all the functions a home must now serve. While there is a rising demand for slightly more square footage, many have discovered creative solutions to extend the usefulness of existing space. Bedrooms and closets are being turned into multipurpose workspaces and dens are becoming more sought after as residents strive to separate where they live and work. Finding novel approaches that cater to different lifestyles can set you apart and create a devoted resident. Flexible apartment features could include a fold-away murphy bed, mobile kitchen island, or in-unit workspace.

Variety in apartments is becoming increasingly important, not just in the unit mix or size, but also within the features. With less people dining out, larger kitchens with room to eat-in are being utilized more often. There is also a growing desire for modern, updated in-unit amenities. Smart home devices like individual thermostats, security systems, quality WiFi capabilities, and stronger connectivity are more important than ever before.


Community Changes 

While distancing has largely deterred gathering in community spaces, work from home lifestyles have increased the need for quality, functional, and flexible amenity spaces. Whether residents have successfully constructed a home-office or not, many crave an additional space.

Traditional business centers have been part of multifamily communities for some time now, but the need for high-end workspaces has evolved beyond a simple desk. Amenity spaces should come in a variety of sizes with varying degrees of privacy. Including collaborative work studios, bookable meeting rooms, computer bars, or individual workstations with modern essentials such as webcams, printers, and smartboards can turn your business center into a space people will actually use.

Dual-purpose spaces are convenient for residents and cater to a variety of collaborative and social needs. A boardroom by day might host a baby shower or cocktail party in the evening.


With more people taking care of chores from home, your package room is another amenity that cannot be overlooked. Even if you don’t install fancy lockers or package concierge, a large, secure mailroom is essential in every multi-family community.


While there isn’t a clear picture for the future of multi-family, working from home will continue to have a significant impact moving forward. Whether you’re itching to get back into the office or you’ve created the perfect home set-up, we can expect a ripple effect from the remote work trend that won’t be disappearing anytime soon.