Life after coronavirus: how will the pandemic affect our homes?

The COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal has changed habits and routines, but has also accelerated trends, both inside and outside the home. What has changed?

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Working from home is one change that is here to stay / Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
15 June 2020, Redaction

We cannot deny that life has changed in Portugal and throughout the world, and that many things are still to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Life after  COVID-19 is starting to take shape with some changes already evident. Working from home is inevitably here to stay, as is social distancing, at least for the time being. But how will our homes adapt to this new reality?

With the help of the home improvement experts at Habitissimo, let's have a look at some ways in which our homes may be affected by the pandemic, from offices to outdoor spaces, greater investment in interior renovation, to a growing commitment to sustainability.

Is it better to rent or buy a property?

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Until now, particularly among the younger population in Portugal, houses have generally been regarded as a place to keep some things and sleep. This category of "Millenials" value experiences like going to restaurants and travelling, so buying a house until now hasn't been at the top of their list of priorities. However, now that travel is limited and going to restaurants isn't as straighforward, it is only natural that this view will change. And with it, the logic of preferring to rent rather than buy a house will also change. Whether this perception of houses will really change in the future is to be seen, but in the short term with falling house prices, changes due to the pandemic will defintely be evident.

Home offices are a must

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 In many cases, it is difficult to suddenly find an entire room for a home office, especially for those living in the city centre, where properties are generally getting smaller and smaller. However, with the rapid rise of teleworking in Portugal, it has become necessary to have at least a small space at home to spread papers around a desk, while trying to keep everything organised and maintain productivity levels. Working from home is now no longer something foreign and is gaining more and more followers, meaning that from now on, many will undoubtedly have a space in their homes reserved especially for the days working from home is an option.

Greater investment in the home

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Confinement has forced residents in Portugal to spend a lot more time at home than usual, and small things that might not have been a priority before, like decoration or small repairs, have now become essential. After all, it's always more enjoyable to share space with others when everything is working properly. Therefore, it's highly possible that as a result of the pandemic, people will have the tendency to invest more in their homes after COVID-19, including hiring decorators, investing in an outdoor area or even considering gym equipment as something essential.

Sustainability

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During the coronavirus confinement, electricity, water and heating expenses have undoubtedly gone up, and not just by a small amount. Naturally, by doing everything at home, from working to eating, this entails extra expenses. Perhaps, therefore, for many this is the time to think about more sustainable alternatives, such as reusable resources, investing more in thermal and acoustic insulation and even more efficient water heating systems. All of these elements could become essential in housing after confinement.

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