During the pandemic, those non-essential workers who never worked from home got the chance to see what 9-to-5 was like in pajamas. Turned out it was pretty popular, as many companies either went fully remote or implemented hybrid schedules to champion the flexibility of office working in the 21st century.
Some went back to work right when stay-at-home orders were lifted over two years ago. Now, some companies are saying “we want you back,” much to the chagrin of their comfortable-at-home employees.
According to a survey by Redfin, one in 10 home sellers are moving because they’re being called back into the office. Return-to-office mandates are forcing some people to choose between selling their home at a loss or losing their job.
The survey found this wasn’t the only reason for moving; other findings include: about 20% of those surveyed say they’re moving due to safety/crime concerns, a desire to live somewhere more aligned with their social views and/or lower taxes; roughly 10% of respondents cite discrimination in their neighborhood and/or worries about climate change as reasons for their move; the most common reasons respondents give for relocating are the desire for more space, proximity to family and a lower cost of living.
The official percentage of people surveyed who are selling due to return-to-work mandates is 10.1%. The survey was fielded to 5,079 U.S. residents. This report focuses on the 616 respondents who indicated that they’re likely to sell a home and move in the next year.
Cited in the survey is an Idaho-based real estate agent who has a pair of clients selling their home after their Seattle-based company called them back into the office. Now, they likely have to sell their homes at a loss because the homes were purchased when prices were at their peak.
The agent, Shauna Pendleton, said they have six months to make the move.
“They’ll probably have to take a $100,000 loss on their home,” Pendleton said. “Their new house in Seattle won’t be anything close to the size of their property in Boise, and their mortgage rate will be much higher.”
Amazon, Apple, Goldman Sachs, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Meta are among the major corporations that have asked their employees to come back to the office at least part time.