June 21, 2023

Telework is changing the real estate industry in Alberta

By SAIT and RFS Energy

Like the rest of the world, Alberta has experienced many changes, big and small, since the COVID-19 pandemic. To name just a few, we’ve experienced shifts in work demands, living circumstances, work-life balances and our personal time, both alone and with others.

As our schedules and lifestyles shifted, so too did our relationships to our buildings and urban environments.

In 2022, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technologies’ (SAIT) Green Building Technology Tech-Access Centre (GBTAC) and RFS Energy Consulting began investigating these impacts on Alberta’s real estate sector and its professionals. The team explored the effects of COVID-driven work-from-home patterns through conversations with real estate professionals, property managers & owners, and community representatives.

This research aimed to assist real estate professionals in navigating the changing landscape brought about by telework by providing valuable insights into the preferences and needs of buyers and renters in Alberta. We asked the following:

Through generous funding provided by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation‘s 30th Anniversary Legacy Grant Program, the project resulted in the development of a living resource in the form of a Resource Library: www.albertatelework.ca, tailored for Alberta’s real estate professionals. Visitors are invited to review the project’s results, key take-aways and recommendations for future research through this website, such as:

  • The fully detailed What We Heard report, including all of the project’s research and engagement results, which can be downloaded from the main page of the website.
  • The Home is where the work is? mini-blog series, a more digestible and quick-read summary of some key topic areas.
  • And, Additional Resources such as a 5-part educational on-demand video series created by SAIT for real estate professionals.

The research on the impact of telework on Alberta’s real estate sector involved extensive engagement with stakeholders and the use of diverse data-gathering methods. This included outreach, surveys, interviews, strategic conversations, working group sessions, industry event attendance, and a focus group. A literature review and gap analysis were also conducted to understand existing research on telework and its relevance to the real estate industry. Through these activities, we identified patterns and common themes that underpin our findings and recommendations.

What did they hear?

Whether you are camp ‘telework’ or camp ‘get back to the office’, what seems clear is that telework is here to stay in some hybrid form. Telework remains a hot topic as employers across Alberta struggle to strike the right balance between offering staff flexibility and fostering in-person relationship building. We welcome everyone to visit the Resource Library to find out more!

SAIT and RFS Energy gratefully acknowledge the many individuals representing Alberta’s real estate sector including real estate professionals, developers, interior designers, researchers, real estate associations and boards, and municipal representatives. For their insightful conversations and input that went into the creation of this report, we express our thanks.

Similar News