2021 LIVING TRENDS – TAKE THEM OR LEAVE THEM?
On RISE we love examining which of the lifestyle changes from the past year people are keen to hold onto, and which we’re ready to drop…
Last week’s episode of RISE focused on how the forced WFH (working from home) culture impacting millions worldwide has had an impact on the Real Estate industry and how this also links to the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry. A fascinating connection between closed borders and opening of not only domestic tourism, but the domestic holiday home market. The lovely Dr Andrew Golding, CEO of Pam Golding Properties was our Exec in Residence, speaking with Anita and Demian about some of the lifestyle trends that have emerged globally – the consequences of working from home, traveling closer to home and investing more in home.
moving on out
Working from home has been normalised, virtual meeting an accepted way of working. Which is why business travel seems unlikely to return to previous levels in the mid-term. Then there are the zoom towns emerging outside of metro centres and commuter belts – often in holiday towns! Andrew mentioned that many of Pam Golding Properties’ clients feel that if they can work from anywhere, then they should seriously consider buying homes based on where they’d like to live. Living near the office is no longer an imperative.
Many of us in the T,T&H industry don’t have the option of working from home. For those who do… the jury seems to be out on this phenomenon. Some love it, and others can’t wait to get back to their work spaces. There appears a strong correlation between working from home with young children and fleeing back to the relative peace and quiet of the office!
In our RISE polls last week only 6% of our viewers said that they’d enjoyed ‘nothing’ about working from home. This compared to 50% declaring that they’d most enjoyed the flexibility and time management advantages. Whilst there are obvious psychological advantages to working from home, there’s also the risk of burnout due to blurred boundaries between work hours and home hours. Some also find the disconnection and isolation from colleagues damaging to mental health. Evidence of the latter concern is supported by our first RISE poll on Monday, which indicated that 80% of our viewers were most excited by either ‘in person collaboration’ or ‘seeing colleagues/classmates in person’ when thinking about returning to the workplace.
Moving on up
The prospect of continued work from home presents many of us with the dilemma of how to make it sustainable. We’re not talking about environmental sustainability here. Rather, we’re looking at how to make it work when we have multiple family members living and working in the same space. Again… this is not for everyone. If it is an appealing and viable option, there are considerations around living and working space. From a residential real estate perspective, this means we’re seeing an increase in consumers either upsizing and buying larger properties or renovating to increase living and leisure space. Andrew mentioned renovation trends including multiple home offices, increased living and leisure spaces, and the addition of home leisure facilities such as gyms, tennis courts, pools and spa tubs. The question is, are we likely to continue more home-based leisure activities, or will we be raring to re-join our community gyms and tennis clubs?
Perhaps, the aim is to have the option of either. As Andrew says, ‘everyone needs to plan for uncertainty, and whilst it’s always been important, the living environment is now of paramount importance.’
Another emerging trend is to move the family home to the countryside, and live in a micro-apartment in the city, or a co-sharing space during the week. Both concepts originated before COVID19, but have become more popular, and possibly even more affordable than before, as business real estate spaces have been vacated with corporates and retailers vacating cities. Will co-living spaces emerge as the preferred option for first-time home buyers due to affordability as we move beyond lockdown? In addition to affordability, co-living spaces also have the potential to provide a bridge for recent graduates between living at home (or university) and living independently.
Luxe living – bring on the bubbles!
This covers 2 of the new lifestyle ‘bubble’ trends –
- Moving into communities or gated estates in which work, home, leisure and recreation can all be enjoyed on one site. Examples of this are golf, equestrian or eco estates.
- Multiple family groups – either relatives or friends moving into the same luxury lifestyle estate or community so they may remain proximal to each other in the event of further lockdowns. This is especially relevant for multi-generational families.
Whilst the advantages of these trends are obvious, so – we feel, are the disadvantages. Did someone say claustrophobia? Like most other lifestyle choices… a blissful option to some would have others running screaming for freedom – and variety – or on the other end of the spectrum, more privacy.
Whatever our lifestyle preferences, 2021 has served up some interesting choices as we move into the next normal, some which we may never have considered in our pre-pandemic existence. They’ll also have a significant impact on our Travel, Tourism and Hospitality business decisions as we pivot to respond to and embrace the changing ways in which our customers live their lives, spend their work and leisure time, and the changing locations in which they choose to do so.
Wouldn’t we all love a crystal ball right about now?
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