Moderator: Christie Weston, NIFA
Speakers: Stephanie Vanous, Zelle; Bri Buser, Nebraska Realty; Adam Palmer, Five Nines
This week’s webinar featured speakers from the worlds of human resources, real estate, and technology talking about the work from home trend that has seemingly become the norm during the pandemic. As the pandemic fades, how will people return to work, how has the market for real estate changed during this period, and what sort of policies and tech will need to be addressed?
Stephanie Vanous from Zelle, a Human Resources provider, began our webinar with a discussion on change in the workplace, how change impacts the employees, and how this last year has been a major change for just about everyone. Emotional changes in employees due to working from home and the pandemic need to be addressed with support and guidance from human resources. Stephanie said that most companies plan to return to the office eventually, but telecommuting request will increase and companies will have to be responsive to work from home requests.
Next, Bri Buser from Nebraska Realty spoke on the trends in the real estate markets. Commercial real estate was a point of concern at first, but now many businesses are moving closer to their consumers and workers in the suburbs and away from downtown. The housing market remains very tight with most sellers favoring refinancing, making the market even tighter. Working from home has also increased the demand for more space for home offices.
Adam Palmer from Five Nines, a tech support company, finished up the webinar by talking about the changes in workplace technology as people shifted to work from home. Getting employees the right equipment, access to servers, and training on how to be safe and secure at home was a major challenge last year, but now companies are catching up and embracing the new technology they have available. Adam reported that 26% of the workforce is expected to remain working from home until the end of the year.