Employers within the estate agency sector are facing a three-pronged ‘perfect storm’ that has pushed working from home (WFH) to the top of many candidates’ list of demands.
The warning has come from leading industry recruiter Anthony Hesse of Property Personnel.
He says prospective candidates for industry jobs, who can afford to be picky as the sector sees a glut of job vacancies, are now expecting working from home as a standard part of their contractual negotiations.
“Also, the cost of living crisis – with inflation soaring to a 40-year high and real income now falling – means that employees are looking at every possible way to save money,” adds Hesse (pictured).
“They are likely to prioritise anything that helps them cut costs, including the price of the daily commute.”
It is also claimed that one of the legacies of the coronavirus pandemic is that WFH is both possible and effective, with many candidates now seeing it as part of the normal order of things – in other words, not just as a perk, but as a right.
However, Hesse points out that the issue is complicated, and is in danger of creating a ‘two tier’ workforce, divided between those who work from home and those who don’t.
“There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach here. The wish to work from home is not evenly spread throughout the workforce,” he adds.
“New employees, graduates, anyone undergoing training is likely to value the social interaction of the office and will seize the opportunity to be part of a team, rather than enduring the dispiriting isolation of solo-working from a back bedroom.
“There’s also a division between those roles which can feasibly be carried out from a home environment and those which can’t.
“In estate agency, managers and negotiators in sales and lettings departments are more likely to be needed at the office, apart from the times when they’re out and about on viewings and valuations.
“But for those in support roles, perhaps in property management, renewals, tenancy progression or administration, such as office co-ordinators, there is clearly much more scope to work from home.”
Read more about WFH.