Working in your pajamas may be here to stay for a while in Hampton Roads


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Working from home — you see it every day on WAVY-TV 10.

Anchors and reporters present the latest news on the coronavirus from the comfort of their homes to avoid possible exposure in the field and in the office.

A recent survey of CEOs says 10 percent of employees will continue to work from home even after the COVID-19 threat is over.

Productivity is up as employees can sit on their sofa to work rather than sit behind the wheel of a car for a long — or short — commute.

Nationally, as states reopen, real estate experts say this trend could create a shakeup in the commercial real estate market that will add another blow to the collapsing economy.

But locally, experts say the 757 has one big advantage: the U.S. Navy. You can’t work on an aircraft carrier at home.

“A lot of that has to be done at the shipyards, and secure locations. So that [more working from home locally] remains to be seen, said Miles Leon, president of S.L. Nusbaum Realty.

Some will clock in to work at home and when it’s safe to do so, others will return to the office.

It’s predicted workplace property owners will soon call for extreme office makeovers — pandemic 2020 edition. This could include plexiglass dividers, new heating and air conditioners, changes to common areas, and more.

Broadcasting live from home
WAVY News 10 Anchor Regina Mobley reports from home. (WAVY photo/Regina Mobley)

“You’ve seen a lot of offices locally and around the country [that] have a lot of density. They [company owners] have prided themselves in putting people together so they can have more conversations and more synergy together. That’s probably going to change,” said Leon.

With the economy in a free fall, the real estate industry is also bracing for potential retail ghost towns. Leon says if a brick-and-mortar business was weak before the pandemic, the handwriting is on the wall.

“I think a lot of great restaurants, for example, are going to slowly phase back in — having a lot more outdoor dining. Shopping center managers, like ours, are trying to work with tenants to facilitate more outdoor dining. Only the strong are going to survive,” he said.

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