Oh, what a difference a pandemic makes. Masks, sanitizer and Zoom meetings have suddenly become normal in our lives. We even have a new acronym: WFH — Working From Home. 

Whatever else happens, WFH is here to stay. Companies are finding employees are just as productive, if not more so, working from home. And they can save money by having smaller brick-and-mortar footprints. 

But some homeowners are finding their residences simply are not designed to serve a dual purpose. This has led to an unprecedented demand for new homes that can accommodate flex space for offices and home-schooling, as well as such features as home gyms while still providing comfortable living and family space.

Hygiene has taken on a new role for new-home buyers as well. Hand washing and cleaning stations as you enter are becoming the new norm. And while touchless faucets have been commonplace in commercial buildings for years, demand for them in homes has exploded. 

Another product, antimicrobial surfaces — traditionally seen in commercial and clinical settings — has attracted interest and popularity from homebuyers as well.  

Where we live has changed, too. Without having to live close to a physical office, the types of communities and amenities in demand has also undergone a dramatic shift.

Buyers can move further out, where there’s less density and more open space for recreation. Heightened concerns about gatherings and the desire for personal space means the demand for large community amenity centers has plummeted.

Just as 9/11 changed our views of security and safety, COVID-19 has changed our perception of healthy living and wellness. Welcome to our new world; we’ll get used to it. Except for Zoom meetings.