How multifamily property managers can accommodate the WFH tenant

Jan 25, 2024
A few basic accommodations could make your multifamily housing unit a magnet for the hybrid WFH employee, which now makes up 30% of the workforce.

In the ever-evolving landscape of work, the rise of remote and hybrid work arrangements has become a defining feature of the modern professional world. As more individuals embrace the flexibility of working from home, apartment buildings and multifamily property managers have a unique opportunity to support and enhance the living experience for these hybrid WFH (Work From Home) employees.

30% of the workforce is hybrid

According to WFHResearch's December 2023 report, almost a third of full time employees are hybrid WFH. Another 12% are full time WFH, making up a significant portion of the workforce.

Apartment managers recognize the challenge

At the GlobeSt. Multifamily Fall Conference call in October 2023, leaders representing management and operations reported on post-pandemic trends and challenges.

Bozzuto, a major multifamily management company, shared data from recent resident surveys:

  • Over half (50%) of their tenants work from home at least one day each week, and are looking for flex spaces to work comfortably from home.
  • Over 30% of residents prefer open workspaces over stuffy conference rooms, and they're working on the modifications to provide.

VP Sarah Malone says “this trend is expected to continue as we navigate the evolving landscape of hybrid work schedules.”

"Home" needs to replace the office, and now the gym on the way home too: There’s a growing focus on wellness amenities, including “creating serene, quiet areas or transforming spaces like movie theaters into yoga zen rooms or dry saunas, reflecting the diverse preferences of tenants,” Malone says.

A woman works on a green couch in a WFH friendly apartment building lobby. Multifamily housing managers must now accommodate 40%+ of the workforce who are hybrid remote or fully WFH.

Six ways to make your multifamily building WFH-friendly

Create work-friendly spaces

Understanding the needs of hybrid WFH residents is the first step toward creating a supportive living environment. Consider transforming communal spaces, such as lobbies, lounges, or rooftops, into well-equipped workspaces. Provide high-speed internet, comfortable seating, and power outlets to ensure residents can seamlessly transition from the "office" to their home within the building.

Map out the commutes to major workplaces

I'm a landlord myself; to attract residents who work close to home, I advertise the walking distance to the closest major workplaces and transportation: REI, the hospital, and the bus station. Include this info in your tenant portal along with other key neighborhood information.

Offer resident perks

Outfitting a home office is not cheap. Resident perks allow you to offer custom, curated discounts to your tenants for moving in, outfitting a home office, and even moving out. Fill your perk center with deals and email your residents so they know they can get massive deals on tech, office chairs, comfy pants, desks, printers, and anything else that can complete their workstation.

Wellness programs and spaces

The pandemic did not help our stress levels and wellness is a higher priority for all employees. Property managers can offer local wellness, health and beauty, and fitness perks through the resident perks center, including to area gyms and studios.

Feeling like going the extra mile? Introduce wellness programs, such as yoga classes, meditation sessions, or fitness workshops, to help residents sweat and socialize. Designate flex spaces where folks can quietly meditate, do yoga, and stretch.

Offer discounts on internet upgrades

Paylode's resident perks experts can curate deals on internet upgrades for your building, to offer tenants who need more bandwidth to video chat and run programs. Make sure you provide enough upload and download speeds for any common work areas.

Take it outside

Taking breaks from screens and getting fresh air can clear your mind, re-energize yourself for the afternoon and get your muscles moving. If you have outdoor space that's useable, make it fun to use. Create a pocket park with some greenery and seating so residents can enjoy a cup of coffee and a phone call outside before going back to work.

Community building

Foster a strong community by organizing regular events such as lunch-and-learns, networking sessions, or workshops. Encourage residents to share their skills and experiences, creating a supportive network within the building.

Transparent, frequent communication

Effective communication is the bedrock of any successful living community. Keep residents informed about building updates, events, and any changes in policies. Establish open channels for feedback to ensure that the evolving needs of hybrid WFH residents are heard and addressed promptly. Send emails reminding residents of all the ways you've made the living space more hybrid WFH friendly.

Top amenities to provide tenants who work remotely

Is attracting the remote tenant a priority for you? Here are more ideas that go above and beyond, and it will certainly show: 

  1. High-speed internet and phone reception
  2. Open work spaces with phone booths for private calling
  3. Reservable private conference rooms for video calling
  4. Short term lease options for the digital nomad
  5. Sound reduction measures in all rooms and spaces
  6. Podcast recording room for reservation
  7. Expanded fitness center with high end equipment like Peloton or Bowflex
  8. Package delivery
  9. Enhanced concierge services
  10. Perks and discounts to the nearest and nicest coworking spaces
  11. Perks and discounts on food delivery (did someone say lunch specials?) 

Stand out from your competition

By actively addressing the needs of hybrid WFH employees, property managers can create environments that foster both professional success and personal well-being. Embracing flexibility, leveraging technology, and prioritizing community building are essential steps toward providing a holistic and enriching living experience for the modern workforce. Ready to talk perks?

About the author
Adrienne Kmetz
Adrienne is a marketing expert with a career history of working in startups of all sizes, from early stage to series A. She has 17+ years of experience writing about business, finance, and entrepreneurship. She went to Colorado College where she majored in skiing.
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