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Are you working from home? Here’s a tip from my 80-year-old father

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Are you working from home? Here’s a tip from my 80-year-old father

As I recall when the pandemic started back in 2020 people were working from their Boston condo or apartment and some were moving further away from their jobs out to the burbs and beyond.

There were those months when there wasn’t really a rush hour and getting on the Redline T at 6pm was easy.

Fast forward to 2023 and “Workers in America’s midsize and small cities have returned to the office in far greater numbers than those in the biggest U.S. cities.” according to the New York Times. According to the same article there is a higher percentage of remote job openings in San Francisco than there are in Columbus Ohio and other mid-sized towns.

There was some migration going on in 2020 and 2021. There are also many people who were working remotely in 2020 and maybe even part of 2023 who are back in the office full time or at least part of the time.

It seems like there is less traffic during rush hour than there was before the pandemic but there is a lot more traffic than there was during the summer of 2020. I think in 2022 even people who are vaccinated have a higher chance of catching Covid-19 than we had in 2020.

Back twenty years ago when I had a W2 type job and worked in an office we believed that remote work and independent contractors would become the norm. That doesn’t seem to be happening. The “gig” economy has grown but many “gig” workers have more than one job.

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Of course, there are some jobs that can not be done remotely. I don’t have to go to work in an office but my clients expect me to be there in person to show Boston condos for sale and Boston Beacon Hill apartments for rent. There is a small percentage of Boston Beacon Hill apartment renters an apartment  based on the pictures.

Recently, I had an Boston condo for sale offer based on Facetime.

I’m not sure if working from home will be the trend of the future, but if it is here is some advice from my 80 year old dad.

Are you working from home? Here’s a tip from my 80-year-old father

My 80 year old father told me this, when working from home on Boston real estate deals;

When working from home. Work eight hours and sleep eight hours and make sure they are not the same eight hours.

Working from your Boston Beacon Hill condo

The idea of living in a remote location and working from home has really caught on. When I read real estate news it is all about people moving to the suburbs and into small towns and working from home.  There are also many articles about the joys of being a digital nomad and working from various location destinations.

Not everyone can work from their Boston condo

I can think of all sorts of jobs where it would be hard to work remotely. Doctors probably can’t work from home, neither can trash haulers or baristas. I can see how the governor could work from home but if firefighters stayed home we would be in trouble.

Studies from working from home

After doing a little research I found some studies about who can work from home.

In a new white paper, Chicago Booth economists found that roughly 34% of U.S. jobs can be performed at home. They also estimated that those jobs account for 44% of all wages.

Just because jobs can be done from home doesn’t mean they are being done from home. It is hard to tell how many people are working remotely right now. Most of the numbers I have seen are at less than 20% with projections of up to 20% in the next few years. There are all sorts of numbers about how many hours or days someone works remotely.

If a worker works from home two days a week, doesn’t that limit where they can live?

That is indeed significant but it is also a true statement that most people will not be working remotely in 2022.

The jobs that can be done remotely are the highest paying jobs. The lowest-paid workers and the highest-paid workers live in two very different worlds. It gives me cause to ponder the future of the city if the highest-paid workers move out and work remotely.

I also wonder how many people can live anywhere they want to and work remotely. I suspect that the number is still fairly small. Most people can not afford to live anywhere they want to even if they can work from home.

Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2023

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