How The Work From Home Shift has Helped and Improved the Resort Industry

“Cabin fever” has reached an entirely new level this year — especially with the shift to remote work.

Confined to home offices, sharing limited space (and limited sanity) with family or roommates, worker needs and priorities have drastically changed. With remote workers craving more home office space and seizing on the opportunity to move out of expensive and crowded urban centers, the resort industry has been able to step forward, providing a much-needed respite and retreat for evolving remote worker needs.

Remote work offers a level of freedom many workers have never experienced before. With the flexibility to choose where they work and potentially their hours, the traditional work-life balance is seeing a rapid transformation. The workweek looks a bit different now.

An Escape from the Crowded Cities

Telecommuters are taking extended weekend trips, particularly seeking out remote, drivable resort destinations that allow them to travel safely, avoiding congested airports and packed planes. Resorts offer remote workers a safe and comfortable home base to operate from, encouraging them to prolong their stay. Resorts allow telecommuters an escape from the crowded cities where instead, they can enjoy open spaces working beside the pool or overlooking a beautiful vista. 

But extensive weekend trips are just the start for remote workers. 

Over the past year, secondary home sales have surged as remote workers desperately seek out extra square footage to accommodate home offices, homeschooling, home gyms, and naturally more space for privacy and a moment alone.

According to Redfin, sales for larger homes were up 21.2% because of remote work opportunities, 21% of homebuyers desired designated home office space.

Redfin’s data also revealed, “21% wanted more outdoor or recreational space, 10% said they want a bigger home, and 7% said they want a designated space for their children to learn from home.”

While demand for secondary homes is soaring, supply is limited, opening a space for resorts to deliver the exact type of accommodations remote workers are seeking, from cabins and townhomes to timeshares. And as remote workers continue to flock to resorts, the industry has risen to the occasion, improvising and improving their infrastructure and offerings.

Upgraded Amenities

Naturally, reliable internet is essential for remote workers, forcing resorts to improve their internet connections and service for all guests, no matter how far off the beaten path. Resorts have also upgraded amenities, adding in-unit washers and dryers to better accommodate longer stays as well as curated office spaces, both in-unit and socially-distanced communal workspaces. 

Resorts are also appealing to the younger remote worker demographic with the rise of what’s known as the remote work-life-tourism concept.

College graduates, students on a gap year, and young professionals are taking advantage of remote work’s flexibility, traveling wherever possible within the confines set by the pandemic. Resorts give young remote workers a safe haven to work from while also providing social interaction through activities and events where they may otherwise be isolated in an apartment in a crowded city. 

Resorts will want to continue to improve their infrastructures as the shift to working from home doesn’t appear to be a fleeting trend. Employees have new expectations about what a work-life balance can look like, and it isn’t the 9-to-5, 40-hour workweek with a long commute and cubicles.

According to a study by Slack, of “4,700 knowledge workers, the majority never want to go back to the old way of working [and] 72% want a hybrid remote-office model moving forward.”

LinkedIn found similar results in their survey which revealed, “63% of professionals would choose to continue working from home in some capacity even if their employer opened offices.”

While the future of remote work remains to be seen post-pandemic, at the moment, both remote workers and the resort industry have benefited from the work-from-home shift. And as long as resorts continue to improve and improvise to meet remote worker needs, the resort industry will thrive, seeing great success while also providing breathing space and a safe retreat for remote workers.

Frank Jermusek

Frank Jermusek, J.D.

President / Managing Director

Frank Jermusek is a Principal at SVN | Northco headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. SVN has become one of the most recognized commercial real estate brands in the world with over 200 offices globally.