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9 min read
New Living: sustainable, flexible living today and in the future
Thu Jun 01 2023
Futurologists describe a dozen megatrends that will permanently change life around the world in the coming decades. Digitization is of course one of them, but topics such as new work and urbanization or new living are also among these major trends. They are not developing side by side and not everywhere at the same pace, but dynamically and globally interactively with each other. These trends are much more than visions of the future - we are already living in the midst of them and their development.
Changes in work and life have long since begun
Today's working world is more dynamic than ever before. On the one hand, work is becoming increasingly location-independent and mobile, and on the other, more and more people are working outside of traditional employment relationships on a freelance or self-employed basis for constantly changing clients. The corona pandemic in particular has further intensified the trend toward location-independent work. Even traditional employees are now moving out of the office and into the home office or mobile work. Most of them are very satisfied with this, and their bosses have also given them the green light to continue along these paths in many cases in the future. The workspace and the private living space are thus increasingly merging. This also changes the criteria for selecting or searching for a private home. People who no longer have to go to the office every day are no longer necessarily looking for an apartment or house that is as close as possible to their workplace. The workplace is usually located in the city or on the outskirts of towns and cities. But because many people have been looking for exactly this proximity to their workplace, there has been a shortage of housing in the cities and even in the suburbs. As a result, living or housing in cities across the country has become very expensive. In the limited urban centers, the supply of living space has thus recently been less and less able to keep up with demand. That is why urban planners, real estate planners and companies or living and housing service providers have been looking for answers to these multiple challenges for quite some time. A whole range of solutions have already emerged.
A different kind of work-life balance: life and work in harmony
The term work-life balance is generally understood to mean the balance between work and life. However, this is automatically followed by a harmony of work and living spaces. When they merge as closely as possible, the effective harmony of work and life also comes very close. This requires living spaces that offer a modern, functional workplace or else such workplaces in the immediate vicinity of the home. However, another trend in the modern working world comes into play here: jobs or projects are increasingly temporary in nature. Whereas young people used to go to one employer after training or studying and stay there for years or decades, today they settle down much later, both professionally and privately. At intervals of a few months or a few years at most, they change jobs and cities over longer periods of time. In the classic sense, this means moving again and again with one's own household. But this is very time-consuming each time and creates constraints for which there is often no room in the current housing market - for example, will my furnishings fit in the new apartment or the small apartment I can afford in the next city? Often the answer is no. But there have long been options that can break down these typical constraints and better suit the needs of the new age, both personally and in terms of society as a whole.
Open up more spaces and rethink work or life.
One approach to solving the problem is to use existing spaces differently and in new ways. Especially in the centers, additional space cannot be created at will. But there are countless ways to transform existing spaces to meet new needs. Where housing is scarce, there is often an oversupply of office and commercial space, many of which can be turned into new living spaces at reasonable cost. It doesn't always have to be built from scratch. Alternative options abound - they just need to be used to meet the needs of these days or in the future. This flexibility also ensures a great deal of sustainability. Sustainability is another megatrend. It is the only way to achieve the urgently needed conservation of resources and the protection of habitats, the environment and the climate. The reuse or recycling of resources is one of the core aspects of sustainability. It is not only waste that can be recycled and reused, but also real estate that no longer fits the times. Vacant office or commercial space can now become new living space or workplaces of the future. The most important aspect is to make them as flexible as possible. Then they meet the demands of more and more people and are just as designed to meet future demands or desires in the long term.
Coworking, micro-living or serviced apartments and more future trends
Coworking spaces are among the basics of the new-work age. They have always offered ideal conditions for freelancers, sole proprietors or start-ups. They all find optimal working conditions here: flexibly usable officer spaces with state-of-the-art technical equipment, ergonomic workstations and chic design all around. In the wake and aftermath of the corona pandemic, more and more companies are also turning to coworking spaces because they offer them the flexibility in staff deployment that is almost impossible to achieve in their old premises. To that end, coworking spaces are much more scalable for entrepreneurial business. Often, the users of coworking spaces work far away from their homes. Fully furnished apartments with all the comforts, including a concierge or cleaning service, then become a second home right next to the workplace or coworking space. A well thought-out approach even combines both under one roof - and doesn't forget the space for leisure or health. A dedicated fitness center or spa and wellness area make the modern work-and-live offering perfect. All the essentials for a successful work-life balance are then concentrated in one property, and outside its doors there are still countless opportunities to enjoy life to the full in any city.
Live and work smarter
Well over 1000 such smart work and living spaces already exist in many German cities. They are all perfectly furnished and the workplace is already integrated or right nearby. They are also all ready to move in immediately and stay as long as needed. Besides that, there are no big formalities. Everything is already taken care of: heating, electricity and fast internet or recreation with fitness, spa and wellness. State-of-the-art workstations are just a few doors down for those who don't want to work at home. A service team also takes care of everything. Concierges, for example, accept packages or mail, and a cleaning service regularly keeps the temporary home clean. So you'll always find the best conditions for an optimal work-life balance - and that's how easy it is to live and work in harmony now and in the future.
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