Developers, Architects Designing Homes for Telecommuters

architecture designed for commuters

Jun 7

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Real estate developers and architects are now designing properties for a growing workforce of entrepreneurs and consultants who have made working from home a popular option.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016, 15 million workers or 10% of the workforce were self-employed. The number of American workers with flexible schedules who don’t need to work in a traditional office is expected to continue growing.

Homebuilders are rethinking floorplans

Instead of erecting single-family homes in the traditional sense, architects are developing fresh ideas for flexible, open work areas that are fully wired and can be used as office space. These designs are even appealing to people who work in offices because it allows them to get work done during off hours and on the weekends, without leaving home.

The BLS reports that older workers have higher rates of self-employment than younger workers. As such, developers are targeting mature workers who may be looking to downsize into a single-family home with these open-office designs.

Apartment buildings with communal workspaces are popular

Instead of hoofing it from an apartment to a nearby coffee shop to get work done, architects are bringing the cyber café feel in-house to accommodate workers in their 20s and 30s. These renters are more interested in smaller apartments that offer large spaces for public amenities like workstations with plenty of electrical outlets and easy access to wifi.

These spaces often mimic the environments of technology companies by featuring modern furniture, large windows and sometimes free java. But that’s not the real draw. Younger workers enjoy the social aspect of working in the same space as their peers as a means of building camaraderie and sharing ideas.

Condo developers are also getting in on the action

Luxury condo developers are offering similar work spaces. In Manhattan’s financial district residents have the option to purchase offices with separate entrances from living areas. The new spaces are expected to be finished by this summer and are already drawing interest from foreign workers who need a place to set up shop when taking longer business trips.

More amenities are popping up

Offering renters a place to work inside their apartment building is just the tip of the iceberg. Developers are increasingly dedicating space in their buildings for yoga studios, gyms and bike-repair shops. These extras are great for renters and are often made available to them at no additional cost.

With so many amenities available in newer apartment buildings, tenants can find almost everything they need without ever stepping a foot outside. Considering the crazy Boston traffic, skipping a daily commute could be just the ticket for busy workers.

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