It is starting to become clear that our lives are likely to be permanently affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. With new outbreaks as soon as restriction are lifted and summer seemingly having no effect on the spread and even evidence that those that have had it do not keep any long term immunity.

All of this points to the likelihood that this virus could end up being a permanent feature of our lives just like flu or the common cold.

As the realisation dawns that crowded streets and offices are not the most healthy places to be right now, there is growing acceptance for the need to move out of the cities. Businesses are moving out to less populated areas or closing premises altogether and moving 100% online and remote working looks like it is here to stay for those that can.

I have already written about the benefits of working from home in my recent post so check it out.

So what side-effects could this great exodus have?

With people moving out of the cities there will be an obvious loss of property values in many of the rich urban areas as buyers dry up and an increase in values in suburban and rural areas as people migrate away from an urban setting and the already limited housing stocks are exhausted.

Places once considered too remote or isolated could become highly sought after and small villages that in recent times have struggled to hold onto their populations could now see a marked increase in newcomers, and in turn, local rural businesses that have struggled in the past could find a new customer base moving in.

Will housebuilders need to consider more the types of buildings they construct, could it become more profitable to build larger rural homes rather than pack’em and stack’em urban tower blocks? Could we find expensive London highrise office blocks getting turned into affordable housing as many businesses migrate away?

Whatever happens over the next couple of years even if we find a cure and life returns to something like it was, this period will have had a huge effect on the way we work, it has forced many to look outside of the traditional work settings who never would have considered it before. It has shown many businesses that they don’t necessarily need expensive office space and that employees can work from home and be just as productive if not more so. It has forced a change of mindset that has been needed for some time but was being held back by traditional working practices.

My hope is that the changes we see today will result in a happier and healthier world tomorrow.

Anyway, there is a lot to consider here and I know I am both scared and excited by the changes that are coming.

Friday, August 21, 2020

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