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Any company who could afford to do so in highly COVID-affected areas found ways to have some or all of their workers to work from home in 2020. This strategy worked poorly for some, with the realization of how much the work depended on onsite equipment, collaboration, or other resources.

For others, however, working from home cut some of the sources of inefficiency, enabling individual contributors to move through their work with fewer distractions. In companies that now see remote work as productive, there is a move to allow a work-from-home option going forward. It’s both a benefit to the company and a perk that is in high demand from people with long commutes or who otherwise prefer the home office over the company one.

Lately, however, a third option between in-person work and at-home work has popped up. It’s gaining ground in companies that want the best of both worlds: happy workers who feel the benefits of flexibility, as well as the in-person collaborations and resource consolidation that benefit the company.

So why a hybrid work schedule?

A hybrid work schedule, simply speaking, is one where workers are only expected to work in-office a percentage of the time, working from home or wherever they like the rest of the time. Some companies choose a core hours model, where in-office hours on Monday through Thursday are from 10am to 3pm, for instance, but all your other hours are flexible to your schedule and can be worked anywhere. Others suggest that you can work from home two days a week, as long as you coordinate those days to be days when you don’t have important in-person meetings.

This kind of schedule can be a little logistically challenging at first, but with many companies including onsite and offsite workers anyway, “zooming in” or jumping into calls from a distance is already a capacity that is available in many companies. As a result, it’s not a big hardship to allow each person to set their schedule. Companies who use a hybrid or remote schedule have to rely on coaching and managing based on actual results, but if there are clear metrics to make sure your team is getting things done, this can work quite well for many companies.

How are hybrid schedules impacting the housing market?

The presence of a hybrid schedule at many companies means that the housing market is likely to respond positively to homes that have office space built in. This could be a nook off the kitchen or dining room or it could be additional bedrooms, but anything that can give a home worker additional space and privacy for work is likely to sell well.

The bigger trend, which is harder to measure, is that commutes will become a less present concern when it comes to buying a house. While people still value closeness to many things - dining, walkable nature areas, shopping - they are going to value their commute distance differently if they commute only twice a week. Letting go of a short commute can create more options for those who want to live outside of the short-distance-radius around their company HQ. For any given sale, however, this may not be a visible factor in finding the right buyer.

What’s a Hybrid Work Schedule, and How Will It Impact Home Purchases Going Forward?
Digital Mag

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