Doorstep politics in a lockdown flat
Before lockdown I was delighted with my choice of living location in the West End of Glasgow.
A short walk away from the office and with lots of great pubs and restaurants on my doorstep. The lack of a garden space didn’t really matter because I took for granted my ability to spend my evenings and weekends outside meeting with friends.
With lockdown imminent I decided to move in with friends.
A week self-isolating alone in my flat and I realised how difficult it would be to do that over a longer period of time. The flat I moved into was also a gardenless flat in the West End, but I was very glad to have people to socialise with who weren’t on the other end of a Zoom call.
In many respects moving back into a shared flat was exciting and felt like going back to student living (except in a much nicer flat!) - but working in a shared space wasn’t without its challenges. There was always a rush in the morning for the prime work locations. Not being an early bird, I often found myself relegated to working standing up with my laptop perched on top of a chest of drawers.
In a similar fashion to holidaymakers getting up early to put their towels on the best sun loungers, we would battle with the neighbours for the prime space on the doorstep where you could still connect to WIFI while also catching some sun.
With lockdown restrictions partially lifted I am now back in my own flat.
Were I to move homes in the future the coronavirus pandemic experience would definitely influence what I would look for.
Home working is here to stay and location feels less important when compared to the type of space available in a property.
At the top of my wish list would be a garden – especially if we are potentially going to have further lockdowns in the future. Once social bubbles were allowed, I made sure to include friends and families with gardens. I have realised how important it is to be able to easily spend time outside, and having a garden available definitely would have helped make lockdown more bearable.
Next on the list would be a separate space for working. While working at a chest of drawers has converted me to the idea of a standing desk, it wasn’t the best permanent solution. A separate room (with space for a desk) for working helps draw a distinction between living and ‘the office’ - which many of us have found challenging when working at home.
There is anecdotal evidence of homes with good gardens going for significantly over home report value recently - and there has also been an increase in demand for rural properties. A family member recently bid significantly over asking price for a countryside property in Dumfries and was “nowhere near” the winning offer.
It appears my change of heart about my ideal living space applies to many others too.
Competition is going to be fierce to find the perfect ‘home office house’ that ticks all the boxes.
This rapid shift in market demands is something every canny housing developer is going to have to keep a close eye on in the months and years ahead.
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