The Lasting Impacts of Remote Work

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

NAA has an excellent article in the July, 2021 issue of Units magazine about the lasting impact that pandemic-boosted remote working is having on, well, everything. It's definitely worth reading the whole thing, but here are some particularly relevant takeaways:

Remote work remains a fluid topic, like most everything else as the U.S. works its way through a global health crisis, an economic recession, an economic recovery and a decline in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Recent data show that the movement of people across the country, much of it due to remote work, shows no signs of letting up. Property management software provider Entrata found in a recent survey that 56% of renters plan to move in 2021 while 22% moved last year, with the top reasons being cost savings and more space. Of those who have already moved, 61% said it will last more than a year while one-third said it was temporary.

In survey after survey of renters, the top reasons given for moving during the pandemic were related to having more space or lowering costs. Zillow surveyed renters in December 2020, asking them the reason for moving during the past year. The top four reasons all had to do with either more space, both indoor and outdoor, or better pricing, either through concessions or simply lower rent.

A more recent survey from RENTCafé revealed the number one reason for moving during Q1 2021 was to find a better deal. While this might seem obvious, finding a better deal placed further down the list, tied for fifth, for those who moved during the pandemic. At that time, more movers cited their lease ending and needing a change of scenery...

Numerous reports have been published in recent months documenting moves out of larger cities and into smaller cities or suburbs. Both United Van Lines and North American Van Lines reported similar migration patterns compared to prior years, illustrating that the COVID-19 crisis was an accelerator rather than a catalyst, a phenomenon seen across demographic, economic and societal trends. Both moving companies’ surveys listed Arizona, Idaho and North Carolina in their top five for inbound migration while identifying California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York in the top five for outbound migration. The United Van Lines study found that a new job or job transfer remained the number one reason for moving, although the percentages of movers specifying it was down from prior years. The second reason for moving, to be closer to family, was chosen by 27% of respondents, a significant increase from prior years’ surveys...

In their report, “The Future of Work after COVID-19,” the McKinsey Global Institute analyzed net inflow and outflow data of workers based on LinkedIn data. The inflow-outflow ratio represents the number of people moving to a market area compared to those moving out, based on the locations LinkedIn members list on their profiles. Rankings reflected metro areas that exceeded a threshold of 10,000 overall moves in the period (Apr.-Oct. 2019 vs. Apr.-Oct. 2020) and are presented in the charts to the left.7/8

Source: NAA