Posted on Monday, August 10, 2020
One undeniable truth is that the coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent UK-wide lockdown, has led to a revolution in the way we work as the government continues to encourage people to work remotely wherever possible.
This time last year, around 11-12% of UK working adults worked from home on a regular basis. Since lockdown, this has soared to between 39% and 45%, according to the government’s Downing Street press briefings.
These figures don’t account for the many furloughed workers who could work from home if their company’s financial situation allowed for it. However, as the economy begins to bounce back and businesses welcome staff back on board, the number of remote workers is likely to rise further.
And, as working from home has generally proved successful for many businesses, and social distancing measures are here to stay for a while, it’s highly likely that remote working will become the norm for many.
Research from Rightmove has suggested that demand in and around London for properties with a home office has risen drastically, with 36% of buyers now prioritising a better home workspace. Of the people who are currently working from home, 21% said they would like to work from home permanently, and 55% said they would like to work from home more but still occasionally travel into work.
When selling your home, you will need to keep this in mind, as how well-prepared your property is for remote working will likely to be a key consideration for many buyers.
Below, we outline the ways in which you can make your home office-ready.
Make room for a home workspace
If your property has dedicated home-working space already, you must show this off on the initial virtual viewings and then any in-person viewings.
However, if you don’t already have a home office or dedicated workspace, you may wish to consider transforming a spare room or even putting a desk and office chair in one of the bedrooms to showcase how it could be used for work.
It’s also a good idea to ask your agent during virtual or in-person viewings to explain how parts of your abode – such as the kitchen, the living room, the dining room or a spare room – could be used as home-working space with only a few small adjustments.
Some buyers, for example young professional couples, may need two lots of workspaces, in which case you will need to think smart about which parts of your property could provide this. Of course, the bigger your home, the easier it will be.
Show off your broadband speeds
Pre-pandemic, fast broadband speeds were considered a key priority for buyers and were often cited as being more important than other essential utilities. This is even more so the case now that remote workers will require fast, reliable internet – enough to handle those Zoom team meetings or a piece of key online software.
Broadband can be a bit of a gamble, however, and depends largely on the area you live in, but is likely to be good in London as opposed to a rural area.
For most household users, superfast broadband is deemed fast enough at present, but the government claims that ‘growing data demands are pushing the limits of the copper-based superfast broadband infrastructure’. As a result, focus has shifted to rolling out gigabit-capable full-fibre broadband. That said, as of September 2019, only 10% of UK properties had access to full-fibre connections.
As a seller, if you have excellent broadband speeds and a reliable connection, make this clear to purchasers in your property listing, as well as on any viewing – virtual or otherwise.
Repurpose your garage/shed
Not every remote worker can cope with just a laptop and a phone. There will also be those who run their own small business, such as artists, musicians, manufacturers, architects, food producers and clothes designers – all of which will require a large area to work in.
The garage/shed – already seen as a major selling point – could be attractive as an alternative workspace.
You needn’t spend an excessive amount of time, money and effort to convert this space into a workshop or a studio, but it’s important to make it as much of a blank canvas as possible so your buyer can envision the space as their own. For this, ensure that you declutter where you can and leave the space as bare as feasible.
Here at Keys & Lee, we are dedicated to helping sellers push through a sale as quickly and safely as possible. For more information on our operations, please get in touch with us today.
Additionally, we offer a free and instant online valuation so that you can find out how much your property could be worth on the current market.