Everything changes in the “Coronaconomy”.
One thing I have a hunch that will change in the wake of Coronavirus is how we choose to live. I’m talking where we live, in what places, what types of homes we buy, and what types of homes we build. With the possibility of quarantine happening again, it is likely going to influence a lot of home buyers, especially white-collar ones on what factors do they prioritize in the purchase of a home.
We’re going to see more people opting for homes with multiple offices/dens, separate kids playrooms, larger pantries (possibly built-in freezers or second refrigerators), and more emphasis on yards and other at-home entertainment options.
We’re going to see people opting to live in the exurbs rather than in city centers. The wealthiest 5% will opt to own multiple homes, with one being located outside of the city limits, but within say a 90-minute drive of an airport or major city. This will give people the opportunity to camp out/self-quarantine in more comfortable environments and enjoy the outdoors and not fear getting sick in their crowded New York or Miami apartment buildings.
New construction of homes (hope you’re listening @Lennar) is going to change too. In higher-end homes we might not see a movie theater room, but rather the living room is upgraded to make it comfortable enough, and the movie theater is converted to a second office. We’ll see sound insulation being seen as a premium in people’s offices. Mesh wifi support will be built into people’s homes. Better consideration for lighting in home-offices for video-conferencing will be factored in.
Home offices will be treated as de facto offices. Many businesses will now include in your signing bonus or onboarding package funds to outfit your home office the same way your work office/desk is setup. Everyone will get multiple screens and noise-canceling headphones at home if they have them at work already.
The key trends here
- Work from home is not going away
- People will reconsider dense urban centers if they don’t love them
- Without commutes, suburbs and exurbs seem more appealing again
- People’s homes will be retrofitted to be their primary workplaces
What are the opportunities here:
- Home office design consulting services
- Remodeling/redesign services for existing homes
- In-home wifi + AV service (setup better video conferencing support at homes)
- Focus on at-distance/in-home experience for your startups
- Building activities for people to give their kids to keep them busy
- Remote education/entertainment options
- Think of the TV as a communication device (think Facebook Portal TV)
- Neighborhood scale co-working spaces for those who need to work near home/can’t work from home, but not in the big corporate office.
How long will this trend last is hard to tell? However, it has planted the seeds in many bosses that maybe, just maybe, we don’t need everyone in the office all the time. One thing that’s for certain is that the coronaconomy is going to change everything.