Signs that Work From Home is Here to Stay
This is kind of amazing to think about:

A couple of days ago it was announced that AppFolio sold one of its three office buildings in Goleta, CA. The building was sold for $13.9 Million.

When I was working at AppFolio in 2018-2019 they could not get enough space.

They were doing huge remodels to be able to cram more desks in and even bought a nearby building and started a multi-year renovation on it.

There was even time set aside during the company all-hands meeting every month for the manager of facilities to give updates about what was happening with buildings, parking, etc.

Ever since Covid, many AppFolio employees have been working from home. Lots of employees have moved away. And the ones that have stayed in the area work from home— even ones that live very close.

This goes to show you that Covid was a big catalyst for a sustained trend towards work from home. AppFolio would not be selling this building if they were planning on forcing people back into the office.

Work from home is the new normal. It's here to stay. At least for AppFolio.

Dissecting the Markets's avatar
That building is close to UCSB!
Nathan Worden's avatar
@dissectmarkets True! Very close to where I live!
Oliver's avatar
I think that now remote work is embedded into workplace culture the next bastion to fall will be the 40hr working week.

The 40hr working week was devised to give workers, 8hrs of work, 8hrs of sleep and 8hrs of recreation. This is largely a relic from a Victorian era styled manual labour workforce.

We are seeing 32hr work weeks for 40hrs paid cropping up through Europe and North America with California (unsurprisingly) looking to take trials to the next level.

If I were holding a large city centre commercial real estate portfolio I would definitely be concerned but hey that’s just capitalism, survival of the fittest and the best will adapt and thrive.

Nathan Worden's avatar
@odysseus yeah it’s an interesting trend, I know some people who are betting big on a snap back to in-person work— the thesis goes something like:

▪️we’re headed into a recession
▪️layoffs will start happening
▪️everyone will flood back to the office trying to not get laid off

Personally, I’m skeptical. I’m team work from home, but we’ll see.
Oliver's avatar
@nathanworden that is a really interesting theory hadn’t thought of it in that respect.

I don’t think it’ll eventuate because certain jobs will always be scarce regardless of a recession and those individuals will always be able to WFH and if they can do it then it is tricky to deny others.

I agree I think we are headed into a global recession but we are still seeing really low unemployment rates. I don’t think this recession will be like the financial crisis and what we will see is stagflation.

Just my reckons definitely a lot of choppy water ahead for 2022/23.
Nathan Worden's avatar
@odysseus yeah I think the cat is out of the bag for work from home. Once you let some people do it, you kind of have to let everyone. So the whole company policy will have to be all in-office if that is a priority.

And if a company tries to force everyone into the office, I think they will start losing top talent to places that allow work from home.

The only exception I can think of would be true edge cases where a company has such a strong in-person culture that employees willingly seek out said company specifically because of the in-person culture. There might be a few companies that try to “collect” all the employees that just love working in person. But my bet is 75%+ of workers would prefer flexibility.
sam stribling's avatar
@nathanworden I had a conversation just yesterday about this with my dad (corporate lawyer) and one of his clients (business owner) they’re taking a “wait and see” approach at their businesses respectively. Mainly, they are midstream in multi-year leases for space but if they don’t see the trend moving back to the office they both were of the opinion to at least shrink their footprints. Discussed going to the “open” concept or “hotel spaces” basically a bunch of open cubicles and communal meeting rooms. If you go in you can just take an open cube and meet clients in a shared conference room. A lot of companies have already gone to this type of concept.
Nathan Worden's avatar
@strib yep, almost like a WeWork setup— it’s undeniably useful to have the option to meetup in person. I think companies that can provide this, will. And they’ll probably be happy about it too, because they only need a fraction of the space that was required when providing desks for everyone.
sam stribling's avatar
@nathanworden exactly. Fortunately these businesses are tried and true (I.e. not WeWork lol 😂) those guys may have taken the concept a bit too far lol
Nathan Worden's avatar
@strib err yeah, I guess I meant to say ‘like a WeWork floor plan or layout’ and definitely not their business plan haha

Basically, companies will see the value in thinking of their office space as being more modular, flexible, and shared between workers.
Companies are heading towards hybrid model, we are given a go ahead to go back to office. However the office is quite empty on certain days. I tried to avoid going back to office to avoid the lunch crowd, transport crowd which gets me irritated quite easily.
Oliver's avatar
@kckc I quite like the hybrid model but the only issue I have is if anchor days get put in where everyone is expected to come into the office.

I’m lucky I’ve got a short commute of about 7km (5 miles) which I do via e-bike but it really irks me when it is raining and I’m forced to come in for an anchor day. I get absolutely soaked, my productivity drops to the absolute bare minimum and I’m left thinking why can’t I just stay home.
Christian's avatar
I like work from home.



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