Multifamily Designs Are Changing Because of Remote Work

man working from home
The guy works from home. He sits in the kitchen at the table and uses a laptop computer and speaks on the phone. He is positive, his business is going well.

According to the Multifamily Amenities Survey, most multifamily developers, architects, and contractors are modifying, adding, and implementing amenity innovations in response to the pandemic. The way homes are distributed is changing, as people’s priorities have also transformed, and the number of people working from home continues to increase. 

The way people work has changed forever because of the pandemic. Companies are embracing hybrid models, and as a result, the workspace is also evolving. New remote work designs and offices are slowly starting to transform into collaboration spaces rather than just cubicles.

Yet, the workspace isn’t the only place that is adjusting. As remote work will likely continue to increase, people are also looking to adapt their homes to a more remote work-friendly environment. Multifamily landlords and operators are studying how the workplace is changing and understand the best approaches to create new design layouts and apply technology to support this new working from home trend. 

Early results from the Multifamily Amenities Survey 2021 have revealed some of the latest multifamily design trends. The survey measures 124 amenities data points, and respondents consist of multifamily developers, property managers, architects, designers, and builders/contractors.

These are the top three changes that respondents say they have experienced during these first months of 2021:

1. Space Planning and Allocation

Multifamily real estate, design, and construction professionals are struggling with how to deal with planning and space allocation. Because of the pandemic, people, especially those new to remote work, are looking for spaces that will allow them to have a comfortable workspace room.

According to one survey respondent:

We have added work-from-home spaces within unit plans as well as additional small gathering spaces in amenity areas.

Coffee and drink states as well as shared workspace rooms are also common requests from clients who are creating their work from home space. Furniture and the way living rooms are designed have also changed as a direct impact of social distancing meetings.

2. Work from Home Designs

The biggest challenge most multifamily developers and operators are dealing with is the big increase in work-from-home demand. People are moving from small apartments to bigger places that are adapted for remote workers.

This means spaces that have:

  • Work nooks
  • Private work/study spaces
  • Outdoor workstations
  • Larger apartments
  • Isolation rooms for shared living units

3. New Interest for Different Amenities

Respondents also revealed that they received requests for different types of amenity packages during this past year, such as rooftop track, dog-friendly streetscapes, rooftop, picnic gazebo, rock climbing, and free-Wi-Fi spaces.

Also, there has been an increase in touchless tech that is a direct consequence of the pandemic. Touchless technology helps reduce person-to-person contact with surfaces. According to David Wolf, president, and CEO of Wolf Development Strategies, these offerings include: 

Virtual doorman systems enhance security and service at non-doorman buildings and offer operational savings for properties that have historically had concierge staff. These features, along with automated doors and fixtures, will become more standard in 2021 and beyond.

As people’s mindset has changed because of the pandemic, more of them look forward to working from home and moving into comfortable houses. Instead of living in big cities and small apartments, they are looking for comfortable spaces with work-from-home amenities.

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