Throughout the pandemic, a record number of Americans have been working from home, making the home office one of the defining real estate trends for 2020. As a result, the home office has become a “must-have” space for many of today’s home buyers and a hot commodity in Savannah’s real estate market.

The Stanford Institute for Economy Policy Research recently found that 42 percent of the U.S. labor force currently works full-time from home, marking an all-time high. The home office real estate trend is expected to stay long-term. According to Global Workplace Analytics, an estimated 25 to 30 percent of workers plan to work from home multiple days a week in 2021, regardless of the state of the nation’s health.

Working From Home

Not only are Americans changing how they use the spaces in their homes, they are also changing where they call home. Big cities are significantly less crowded as employees continue to work remotely. Home buyers working from a home office don’t have to worry about commuting. Instead, they can concentrate on meeting quality of life needs rather than navigating rush-hour traffic.

Fortunately, Savannah is well positioned to meet the home office trend. In fact, Christie’s Real Estate and Monocle magazine recently named Savannah one of the seven best cities in the world for remote work, citing our walkable downtown, beloved squares and city suburbs as items that appeal to commute-weary professionals.

A recent Wall Street Journal analysis found that between 2007 and 2017, the proportion of people who work from home in mid-size metro areas like Savannah grew faster than the corresponding figure for both smaller and larger regions. COVID-19 is accelerating that trend, as a growing number of Americans move away from big expensive metro areas and relocate to livable medium-sized cities like Savannah.

Home Office Essentials

Many professionals interested in relocating to Savannah are looking for properties with comfortable, versatile home offices. Gone are the days of a “home office” consisting of a desk, chair and phone in the corner of the bedroom or kitchen. Instead, today’s flexible, customizable work environments require a stand-alone home office with a door that can be closed for Zoom calls, offering privacy. A home office often needs to double as a meeting room, classroom, exercise room or hobby center to satisfy homebuyers’ needs.

Key items that make a great home office include plenty of electrical outlets, a strong WiFi connection and a lot of windows for natural light. Having a workspace that is truly separate — with a door that closes — is essential for productivity, focus and separating work life from home life.  

If you’re selling a house in the greater Savannah area, get in on the home office trend by staging your living space to better reflect today’s market demands and to secure a higher sale price. It might be smart to re-purpose a man cave or a small guest bedroom to create a home office environment that will appeal to today’s home buyers. A real estate agent can provide strategic suggestions about how to market your home to appeal to work-from-home professionals.

With low interest rates and a range of homes to choose from, Savannah’s real estate market is especially appealing for professionals who are relocating to the area from other parts of the country. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, keep in mind that home offices are currently in high demand and have emerged as a critical feature for buyers who are looking at properties in the Savannah area.