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Will Remote Work Drive Future Housing Demand?

Navi Persaud
Sep 14, 2021
Photo of a man working from home.

A new report suggests that remote workers are far more likely to move.

Rising cases in COVID-19 are causing some employers to delay plans to reopen workplaces in the fall and according to research from Zillow, remote workers could be a driving force in fueling the housing demand for years to come.

According to the report, Zillow found that 40% of U.S. workers aren't sure how often they will be expected to report to work in person. More than one-third of that 40% revealed that the uncertainty is playing a role in their ability to make certain life choices like making the decision to move. 

Remote work caused what the industry is calling the Great Reshuffling and Zillow suggests that there is plenty of reshuffling on the way as employers and employees decide what's ahead.

“Workers are clear in their desire for more flexibility,” says Meghan Reibstein, vice president of organizational operations at Zillow. “It's no surprise employees are willing to change jobs to get to this more sustainable way of working, and employers risk losing people if they ignore employees' preferences. If given the freedom to move, employees can work where they're happiest and most productive, which is a win for them, their organizations and their communities.”

According to the report, 84% of U.S. workers want to work remotely at least a few days a month, and 44% want to work from home all the time. 

“Lingering uncertainty over permanent flexible work policies suggests that we're closer to the beginning of the Great Reshuffling than the end,” says Chris Glynn, Zillow senior managing economist. “As more people learn how often they'll have to be at their workplace or make a job change to gain that flexibility, we expect to see more people move. Remote work will be a significant driver of housing demand for years to come, along with demographic trends.”

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