Mental Health and Remote Work

Mental Health and Remote Work

With a sector of the workforce now working from home, WebDevStudios Technical Project Manager, Alex Juchniewicz, addresses mental health and remote work. Important points Canadian employers should review including leave entitlements, duty to accommodate and right to refuse work and overtime. Waukesha’s plan for a new drinking water supply, two decades in the works, has reached a contractual stage. As more and more Hawaii businesses reopen and head up the learning curve toward the “new normal,” many are realizing that the “old normal” might never entirely return. And some of that could be a good thing. The previous golden standard of Indian housing – the walk-to-work/short drive to work – may shed some of its popularity for the middle class..Homes. house. construction. Onmanorama. Dream home. cost. budget. design. building. designer. architecture. building. Cost-effective conistruction. lockdown. post-covid period. Work-from-home. real estate. housing choices. profession. office. lockdown. city. suburban

We’re now in June of 2020, and so much has changed since the beginning of this year. It’s been one of the most impactful seasons on companies and individuals as the transition from an office setting to working from home has become the norm. If you remember back in March, Twitter stepped out and made the decision to offer working from home available to their entire company, providing a huge benefit of flexibility to team members. With large companies making this more available as a perk, what does this mean for our mental health and remote work?

Here are some of the pros and cons of remote work that relate to mental health:

  • Little or no commute time
  • Flexible schedule
  • Save money
  • Personal work environment
  • More accessible
  • More independence
  • Less expenses
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved technical skills
  • Improved communication skills
  • More work flexibility
  • No office distractions
  • Collaborate across locations
  • Build professional networks
  • Company perks and benefits
  • Reduction in work absences
  • Increased satisfaction
  • Provides more job opportunities
  • Provides work-life balance
  • Increased isolation
  • Managing your own schedule
  • Hindered communication
  • Home office costs
  • Risk of overworking
  • Risk to productivity
  • Distractions at home
  • Workplace disconnect
  • Disproportionate work-life balance
  • Less face time
  • Burnout

Mental health is made up of our emotions, psychological state, and how we view our social status. It touches every aspect of our life on how we think, feel, and act. It helps us decide on how we make decisions, handle stress, and interact with others. When we have positive mental health it can allow people to understand their full potential, cope better with stress, work more productively, and become more involved and contribute in communities.

In 2019, a survey was conducted from over 4,500 developers on their experience working remote by Digitial Ocean, a cloud infrastructure company. They found that 82% of tech workers who were remote in the US felt burnt out, while 52% reported that they work longer hours than people working in an office setting, and 40% feeling pressure to contribute more than their in-office friends.

This year Buffer, a social media engagement tool, teamed up with Angel List and completed putting together data from 3,500 remote workers from around the world to explore the benefits and struggles of remote work. The results were very interesting, here are a few of the questions that were in the survey and the top results.

  • 70% – I am happy with the amount of time I work remotely.
  • 19% – I would like to work remotely more often.
  • 11% – I would like to work remotely less often.
  • 20% – Collaboration and communication
  • 20% – Loneliness
  • 18% – Not being able to unplug
  • 12% – Distractions at home
  • 10% – Being in a difficult time zone than teammates
  • 7% – Staying motivated
  • 5% – Taking vacation time
  • 3% – Finding other reliable
  • 5% – Other
  • 80% Home
  • 9% Company’s office
  • 7% Coworking spaces
  • 3% Coffee shops
  • 0.5% Libraries
  • 0.5% Other
  • 98% – Yes
  • 2% – No

It seems that people that currently work remote enjoy it and find it to be a great benefit and experience for their profession. However, there is still a large number that find it to be isolating and desire to have more communication and community interaction for a change of pace and break for their current work remote environments.

I feel that mental health is something that should continue to be talked about openly and companies should continue to provide resources for their team members relating to their physical and mental health. Our industry is only going to grow and more people will be making the transition from the office to a distributed working environment. It will be more crucial than ever for the proper support and structure to be in place to provide a healthy work space for remote workers. Being part of a remote team myself, I can only share my experiences on how vital it is to have people around you that care and want you to succeed personally and professionally.

Please know that I am not a mental health professional. I am only sharing from personal experience. If you need help, contact your doctor or mental health counselor.

Over the past 12 years, I’ve experienced some hard times and learned things about myself that have not only changed my life, but have allowed me to put myself in a position to help others.I was 19 when my parents divorced, and I moved out since I didn’t want to pick who to live with. Moving to a nearby college city, I started a new life for myself while working at a local technology company doing quality assurance and manual regression testing. Little did I know that would snowball into years of struggling with abandonment, trust, aggression, and pain.

I’ve worked remotely for the past six years and I can honestly say I don’t ever want to go back to working in a traditional office environment. Throughout that time, with the help of counseling, medication, my personal beliefs, and community, I’ve been able to stabilize myself and be a person who I am happy with. I still continue to learn, educate myself, and look for opportunities where I can serve others who might need someone to talk to.

The biggest mental health issues I’ve dealt with are depression, aggression, and abandonment.

In 2017, I took a psychoanalyst test that helped me determine why I was struggling with depression, anger, and abandonment. This was having a huge impact not only on my marriage but my job as well. The test was a list of 700 questions that provided results on how I approach different situations, my thought process, as well as a written report. The report showed that a lot of my trauma was sourced directly after my parents divorce. It explained in detail how and why my depression and anger wove itself into my behavior. It gave insight on why I feared abandonment within my own marriage from my wife.

So how did I deal with all of this? Over the years from my experiences, I started to apply the things I learned from counseling, knowing it’s okay to take medicine if it helps, and creating slow changes with my routine and communication style.

I am a pretty emotional guy by nature, but after I was married, there was a lot of pain and hurt that came out which was suppressed when I was single. I noticed that I became a different person and didn’t like that. I did years of counseling and tried different medications until early 2018. I found what worked for me and have been on that ever since.

I’m now the proud father of a beautiful 18-month-old and have one on the way due in November. My marriage and work environment are in a fantastic place and I am involved in several online and local communities where I have a supportive group of people who care and love on me. I am beyond blessed to have that.

Something else that has been a new change for me this year has been working out to start my day off in the right mindset and eating better. I started noticing that the days I’m not active and eat like garbage, I am not as productive at work. I joined an online workout group where each weekday we join a Zoom call at 6:15 a.m. and work out for 30-40 minutes.

We talk about our wins and how we can be encouraging one another. It’s been a game changer for me since I never thought I would wake up at 5:30 a.m. every day to work out. After I work out, I sit in my big chair in my office and read for about 20-30 minutes to feed my mind. Then I shower, make breakfast, and start my workday.

My journey with mental health has been over the span of many years; everyone might have a different timeline, and that’s okay! The important thing is that you take the time to understand how it’s impacting you, and no one else.

Let me share with you a charity I found out about last year that is something I am passionate about.

Given the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will continue to have an enormous and potentially permanent shift within the remote working community, WP&UP took the necessary steps to pivot the charity to allow for a higher level of support and exposure from a much wider audience, hence the re-branding to Big Orange Heart.

In the summer of 2019, I came across the Press Forward Podcast which was produced and published by WP&UP. I didn’t know much about the charity at that time but I had been seeing it all over Facebook and had been waiting to find an outlet I could get involved with around helping out others.

I joined the Slack community and started asking around how I can get involved. I started chatting with Nathan Wrigley who was in charge of the podcast. After getting to know me and sharing some of my past, he invited me to share my story on the Press Forward Podcast, which I gladly accepted. Please click here to hear my personal story about my struggles and victories with mental health.

My role involves being on the volunteer partnerships team at BOH where I talk to companies about the mission of supporting and promoting positive mental health within the WordPress community. I’ve always had a passion for people, relationships, and being open about my story dealing with mental health and how I have navigated it.

I also have spoken at WordCamps on mental health and enjoy having conversations with WordCamp attendees and hearing their experiences around mental health. Some of the best conversations have been when I have least expected it. It’s those moments where you create a connection with someone that is impactful for both people.

In addition, BOH operates a live chat support service, monitored by a team of trained volunteers. They also have an active peer-to-peer support community online, which matches up volunteer companions with those who need someone, and enable small groups of peers to meet up and help one another. The group works to reduce social isolation, promote well-being, and bring down barriers relating to mental health.

If you find you want to help, volunteers are always welcome, from writers to fundraisers, to simply sharing the articles which spread the message that Big Orange Heart is there for you.

  • Take regular breaks, setting an alarm to remind you.
  • Remember (consider setting reminders) to eat well, to drink, to get up and move about. It’s easy to forget these things at times.
  • You don’t need to be alone. There are communities for you that will help with loneliness and isolation. Join them. You don’t have to join in, if you’d rather not, but being there with other people, if only virtually, can feel less alone.
  • Keep moving. Take a walk each day, or a run, or whatever you can do. Keep doing it. It’s very easy to get into your work and find many hours have passed sitting at your computer, and that’s not ideal for your body or your mind.
  • Try to find some space for yourself. This may not be easy with a family at home, too, but even if you have to put on the headphones and be firm with others that this is your work time, and be firm about this yourself, you’ll likely get more work done. But also take some time to unwind, perhaps when your work is complete, or before you start. Give yourself time for your mind to adjust from one mode to another.

Since the beginning, WebDevStudios has operated as a 100% distributed company. We know remote work. For more information and tips on working from home, please read our collection of remote work blog posts.



Coronavirus outbreak: What Canadian employers can do

Coronavirus outbreak: What Canadian employers can do

As most already know, 2020 began with a global health outbreak: the coronavirus, or in medical terms, “2019-nCoV.” Although the government of Canada has indicated the risk of further spread to and within Canada remains low, and as the situation evolves daily, there are a number of important points employers should keep in mind regarding leave entitlements, the duty to accommodate, and the right to refuse work and overtime.

In the coming months, employers could see a rise in workplace leaves, namely if the current situation were to escalate. In all jurisdictions, employers could see employees going on leave, either unpaid or with pay, or on short-term disability, if provided by a collective agreement, an employment contract, or a company’s leave of absence policy. Moreover, under employment standards legislation, employees are entitled to a number of leaves that could be triggered. In Alberta, British Columbia, and in Ontario, these include:

Sick leave: Up to 16 weeks of unpaid sick leave

Leave for personal and family responsibilities: up to five days of unpaid leave

Critical illness of child leave: 36 weeks of unpaid leave if the virus has caused an employee’s child to become critically ill

Compassionate care leave: 27 weeks of unpaid leave in the event of a seriously ill family member where there is significant risk of death

Critical illness or injury leave to provide care or support to a critically ill family member: (i) up to 36 weeks for a family member under 19 years old, and (ii) up to 16 weeks for a family member who is 19 years old or above

Family responsibility leave: Up to five days of unpaid leave in order to meet responsibilities relating to the care or health of a child in the employee’s care or another member of the employee’s immediate family

Compassionate care leave: Up to 27 weeks of unpaid leave to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition creating significant risk of death

Sick leave: Three days of unpaid sick leave

Family responsibility leave: Three days of unpaid family leave

Family caregiver leave: Eight weeks of unpaid leave to care for a family member who has a serious medical condition

Critical illness leave to take care of a critically ill minor child who is a family member: Up to 37 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of a critically ill minor child who is a family member

Critical illness leave to take care of a critically ill adult family member: Up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of a critically ill adult family member

Family medical leave: 28 weeks of unpaid family medical leave if a family member has significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks or less

For federally regulated employees operating in the private sphere, employees are entitled to:

  • Personal leave: Five days of leave to, among others, treat an illness or carry out responsibilities related to the health or care of any family member, the first three days being paid to employees with a minimum of three months of service
  • Medical leave: A leave of absence without pay of up to 17 weeks as a result of, among others, personal illness
  • Compassionate care leave: Up to 28 weeks of unpaid leave within a 52-week period to look after a family member who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death
  • Leave related to critical illness: Up to 37 weeks of unpaid leave to provide care or support to the child, and up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave to provide care or support to the adult

Employers should note that employee eligibility for these leaves varies depending on the nature of the leave and the jurisdiction. In addition, some leave provisions also impose varying requirements on employees to provide their employers with proper notice and supporting documentation. Moving forward, employers should remain alive to these legal requirements.

In addition to the above-noted leaves, employers may be required to accommodate employees under human rights legislation if they are suffering from an illness or if a family member needs care. This could, for example, include allowing employees to work remotely or under a modified schedule, or providing time off.

In all jurisdictions, employees have the right to refuse work if they have reasonable grounds to believe their workplace is dangerous or unduly hazardous from a health and safety perspective. In addition, some jurisdictions allow employees to refuse to work overtime in certain circumstances. For example, employees who work for a federally regulated employer are entitled to refuse overtime to tend to family-related obligations, which can include taking care of a sick family member.

In light of the above, here are some best practices employers may consider:

  • Keep the workplace safe and healthy: Encourage employees to wash their hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their noses. WorkSafeBC has advised that hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or, if soap and water are not available, with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It has also advised to avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Finally, employers should ensure frequently touched surfaces are clean and disinfected.
  • Update all relevant policies: Employers should ensure all policies related to leaves, managing absenteeism and providing accommodation in the workplace are up to date. This will facilitate managing employees who do not or refuse to report to work. Importantly, if employees do not come to work, employers should consider whether that time will be compensated. When reviewing such policies, employers should be cautious about unilateral changes to working conditions that could amount to constructive dismissal, particularly where they go beyond what is reasonably necessary to provide a safe and healthy work environment.
  • Respond to symptomatic employees properly: If an employee is exhibiting the typical symptoms of the coronavirus, or is asymptomatic but has been in contact with an infected person, he or she should not be allowed access to the workplace and should be sent home and advised to seek medical advice as soon as possible from his or her primary-care provider, local public health office, or by calling 811, or by any other means recommended by the federal or provincial government.
  • Consider alternative working options: If possible, to reduce the risk of transmission, employers may want to consider whether alternative work arrangements can be made to allow employees to work from home or outside the traditional workplace for a set period of time.
  • Promote awareness: To properly respond to the coronavirus’ evolving status, employers should ensure management and employees are properly trained on what health and safety measures should be strictly observed at this time. Moreover, employers may also wish to advise employees on what to do should they have flu-like symptoms in the workplace.
  • Protect privacy: Should employees say they or a family member is sick, this information should be kept confidential. Employers should ensure all employee personal information be safely kept, disclosed only when legally permissible, and destroyed in a reasonable timeframe.
  • Stay informed: Employers should continue to stay updated on any new information published by public health authorities, and act accordingly. In the meantime, any travel to high-risk areas should be discouraged.

We will keep you updated as new information is made public. For employers operating in Quebec, please read our legal update for that jurisdiction here.



Waukesha plans to begin work on its massive Lake Michigan water project in August, officials say

Waukesha plans to begin work on its massive Lake Michigan water project in August, officials say


City has recently awarded $97 million in construction contracts

WAUKESHA – Lake Michigan water isn’t here yet, but what was once only a concept has moved tangibly closer to becoming a reality.

The city of Waukesha’s plan for a new drinking water supply, two decades in the works, has reached a contractual stage, putting the city closer to a schedule to complete its Lake Michigan connection by early 2023.

In early June, Waukesha officially awarded several key bids — totaling more than $97 million — to two construction firms for different aspects and segments of a project that, all told, will run 35 miles round trip. Construction is expected to start late summer.

When it’s done, the system — running pipelines from the lake to the city and returning a matching amount of treated water back to the lake through a separate pipeline and the Root River — will provide drinking water to Waukesha residents and businesses.

The project, rooted in discussions which began before the turn of the millennia and later involved exhaustive studies and planning, is part of an effort to reduce the level of radium in Waukesha’s drinking water supply to comply with federal standards. The city currently draws from deep aquifers through public wells.

The process has relied upon setting a construction schedule that will enable the city to fully complete the lake water system by Sept. 1, 2023, to avoid penalties spelled out in the federal government radium compliance order.

So the city began eyeing a summer start to construction work that is expected to take 2½ years, leaving some wiggle room if the project is delayed at any point along the way.

On June 2, Waukesha officially got the project flowing with the awarding of two bids to S.J. Louis Construction Inc., totaling about $80.4 million, and another bid to C.D. Smith Construction Inc. for $17.1 million.

S.J. Louis will build the return flow pipeline from the Waukesha wastewater treatment plan to the Root River, a tributary water way to Lake Michigan, at a point within the city of Franklin.

C.D. Smith will build the return flow pumping station and phosphorus upgrades at the treatment plant in Waukesha.

Dan Duchniak, general manager of Waukesha Water Utility, said the city is anticipating that construction will begin in August, following the formal signing of contracts and other legal details.

“We believe we’ll be done in early 2023 with our projects,” he said, noting a still uncertain timing of a transition period from the old groundwater system to the lake supply system.

The city is continuing to study those details.

“We’re doing a lot of studies on when the best time to do that transition is, so that we don’t have any water quality issues associated with it,” he said.

The city is also awaiting final approval from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the pipeline that will carry water from Lake Michigan to Waukesha. Duchniak said he is expecting that decision soon, allowing the city to advertise for bids on the four water supply construction packages beginning in July and continuing into early 2021.

That includes a booster pumping station and water reservoir in the area of the former Nike missile site in Waukesha — a facility previously planned for Minooka Park before outcry by neighboring New Berlin residents forced a compromise plan.

Though some elements remain, city officials expressed relief not only that some parts of the project have finally approached a crucial construction stage, but that the bids themselves came in lower than expected — about $20 million combined under earlier projections.

“The bids awarded by the Common Council (on June 2) are great news for our ratepayers,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said in a prepared statement. “Lower construction costs will help moderate the rate increases need from families and businesses for our switch to a new water supply.”

He added: “Just as importantly, these bid awards mean we will soon be putting shovels in the ground.”

Duchniak, too, was relieved to see the bids come in low — something he attributed to “current economic challenges,” limiting construction projects at a time when they would otherwise be piling up.

Ironically, the city was forced to address concerns that one of its low bidders meet certain criteria, regardless of how competitive its bid was.

Duchniak acknowledged concerns by Construction Business Group, which questioned S.J. Louis’ on-time project performance record and the quality of its work, as well as allegations of payments to workers that skirted rules on how they are paid.

“That group actually approached us even before we bid this out — before we went through the pre-qualification process,” Duchniak said. “So we worked with them to develop the pre-qualifications (for bidders).”

All but one of the group’s recommendations were adopted, he added, noting that S.J. Louis is expected to abide by all bidding conditions, including using mostly Wisconsin workers and earmarking at least 10 percent of the work to what is called “disadvantaged business enterprises.”

Because of the construction group’s concern, however, Duchniak said he took the extra step of contacting another municipality — the city of Racine — to gauge whether any concerns about S.J. Louis’ job performance had been a concern relative to work tied to a water line tied to the FoxConn construction project.

“They noting but good things to say about S.J. Louis, and they recommended them for a job,” he said.

Despite the construction savings for the water system projects thus far, the water utility still anticipates rate increases — some of which have already been enacted — to pay for the debt incurred as a result of the costly system.

The city, which had to obtain permission from the governors of the Great Lakes states to gain access to Lake Michigan water, has contracted with the city of Milwaukee to provide the water that will flow through the supply pipeline.

Contact Jim Riccioli at (262) 446-6635 or Follow him on Twitter at @jariccioli.


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Author: Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published 11:29 a.m. CT June 9, 2020


Editorial: Remote work is a plus going forward

Editorial: Remote work is a plus going forward

As more and more Hawaii businesses reopen and head up the learning curve toward the “new normal,” many are realizing that the “old normal” might never entirely return. And some of that could be a good thing.

With the lifting of shutdowns compelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and others nearing their end, some people are resuming work routines, gradually. To a large extent, these are businesses of close contact — restaurants, shops, personal services — where jobs don’t easily allow for working from home.

But in Hawaii as in communities worldwide, workplaces have made adaptations to the social-distancing imperative, whether it’s restaurants that have expanded into takeout and delivery or boutiques that have turned to online sales. Those were adaptations made by necessity, a crisis move in an effort to maintain operations.

What will be telling in the coming months and years is how many of those changes become permanent, or at least permanently available as options. It’s going to be hard to gauge immediately — business activity in our tourist destination won’t approach pre-pandemic levels for some time — but there are already hints of a long-term shift.

For example, office staffers have had the experience of working from home in the months since the first stay-at-home order in mid-March, many for the first time. Even teleconferencing novices have become experts in online platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet for regular staff conferences.

There could be a variety of reasons to be called back to the business office, such as resources that are hard to access remotely, or the basic challenges of managing a home-working staff. But many executives will now see occasional remote working as enabling greater efficiency.

Just to cite one example: This pandemic will be a reality until there’s an effective vaccine and there still will be times when an employee will need to self-isolate. And there are other cases in which work can be accomplished easily, but working in a given place may be difficult.

In reporting by Honolulu Star-Advertiser writer Nina Wu, the changed landscape is coming into view. At the design firm G70, for instance, new scanner technologies and Plexiglas dividers are in place to lower contact risks; rotating work schedules keep some employees home — and office workspaces less crowded.

The broader benefit will be the staggered commuting times, easing rush-hour traffic congestion. “Flex time” is something advocates have pushed for years, but the lockdowns may have forced the issue.

For some government services, access to office databases is essential; but even there the workarounds could be made permanent. Making appointments for things such as license renewals or permits has become more common, saving time for all concerned.

One sector of government that still needs adjustment: the Legislature, and other agencies that conduct public meetings. Since Gov. David Ige’s first emergency order suspending the norms of open-meeting laws, hearings and briefings have moved online. It has made public connections to the meetings easier to view.

But it won’t do much longer as the sole window into the law-making process. When the Legislature reconvenes next week, there should be in-person access provided to the state Capitol, even if numbers must be controlled. If gyms and theaters can operate safely, so can business being conducted in “the people’s house.”

The social experiment spurred by the pandemic is still playing out, but the ultimate “make it work” moment has arrived. It’s time for a welcome return to what’s familiar, while embracing new methods that, somewhat unexpectedly, have proven to be an asset.


Author: June 9, 2020


Real estate market gets transformed by new work-from-home culture

Real estate market gets transformed by new work-from-home culture

New Delhi: The COVID-19 era presents a radically transformed real estate market, with preferences changing to accommodate new market realities. With work-from-home a viable option even after the lockdown, many future homebuyers will shift to the peripheral areas for bigger homes and a better lifestyle – at more affordable prices, say reports.

With the rise of Work-From-Home (WFH), the ‘walk-to-work’ concept may lose some sheen as prospective homebuyers will see sense in shifting to city peripheries, among many trends.

The previous golden standard of Indian housing – the walk-to-work/short drive to work, by definition only in and around central corporate workplace hubs – may shed some of its popularity for the middle class.

“The work-from-home concept may become the next fulcrum for home buying decisions, where the walk-to-work option had held the longest sway,” says Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants.

“This, and millennials’ new-found preference for buying rather than renting homes, are among the most prominent new residential real estate trends of the COVID-19 era. With the rise of the WFH culture, many may now prefer to live in more spacious and cost-effective homes in less central areas. While sufficient supply currently exists in most of the peripheries, this new demand will eventually also dictate fresh supply. Bigger homes, affordable prices and more generous open spaces in the peripheral areas will draw demand from tenants and buyers alike,” Puri adds.

Affordability and Price Quotient

Apart from changing real estate consumer preferences in a strengthening WFH environment, affordability is an enduring concern especially to the backdrop of an ailing economy and job loss/uncertainty. The peripheral areas are more affordable both from a rental and purchase perspective.

The cost analysis of real estate difference for the country’s three largest economic dynamos – MMR, NCR and Bengaluru are as follows:

In NCR, the average price for a standard 1,000 sq. ft. property in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 88.20 lakh, against Rs 37.50 lakh in the peripheral areas � a 57 percent cost difference. Micro-markets within city limits considered include Vaishali, Vasundhara, Indirapuram, Noida, Golf Course Ext. Road, Sushant Lok, Dwarka Expressway, New Gurgaon, Dwarka, etc. Peripheral areas include Ghaziabad-Rajnagar Extension, Faridabad, Greater Noida, Sohna, Bhiwadi, Bahadurgarh, etc. Average monthly rent for a standard 2BHK home in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 22,000, against Rs 9,500 in the peripheries.

In MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region), the average price for a standard 1,000 sq. ft. property in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 1.85 crore, against Rs 55.35 lakh in the peripheral areas �a 70 percent cost difference. Micro-markets within city limits included Andheri, Vile Parle, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivali, Chembur, Wadala, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Powai, Mulund, etc. Peripheral areas include Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Dombivli, Mira Road, Vasai, Virar, Thane beyond Kasarvadavali and Owale Panvel, Ulwe, Taloja, etc.

Average monthly rent for a standard 2BHK home in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 45,800, against Rs 12,500 in the peripheries.

In Bengaluru, the average price for a standard 1,000 sq. ft. property in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 69.80 lakh, against Rs 43.50 lakh in the peripheral areas. Micro-markets within city limits considered include Sarjapur Road, HSR Layout, Kudlu Gate, Singasandra, Hebbal, Jakkur, Yeswanthpur, Jalahalli, Whitefield, Marathahalli, KR Puram, J P Nagar, BTM, Jayanagar, Banashankari, Kodigehalli, etc. Peripheral areas include Attibele, Electronic City, Yelahanka, Doddaballapura Road, Varthur, Budigere Cross, Kanakapura Road, Tumkur Road, Mysore Road, Kogilu Cross and International Airport Road (Bellary Road). Average monthly rental for a standard 2BHK home in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 18,500, against Rs 9,500 in the peripheries.

Rent vs Buy

The rent vs buy debate involves many highly subjective factors. However, since millennials are increasingly interested in homeownership post-COVID-19, it is worthcalculating what works better for most in the current circumstances.

Data reveals that the 5-year rental outgo for tenants living within city limits is equivalent to 27-52 percent of the total property cost in the peripheries of the top 3 cities (MMR, NCR and Bengaluru). Therefore, there is a strong rationale for homeownership in the peripheries.

Also, the current home loan interest rates are at an all-time low, averaging around 7.15-7.8 percent – with the possibility of more reduction as the RBI recently cut repo rates even further to 4 per cent.

In NCR, the average monthly rental outgo in city-limit areas is Rs 22,000. For five years, this equals nearly INR 13.77 lakh (including standard rental escalation for this period). This is almost 37 percent of the total average cost of a property in NCR’s peripheral areas.

In MMR, the average monthly rental outgo in city-limit areas is INR 45,800. For five years, this equals nearly INR 28.66 lakh (including standard rental escalation for this period). This is almost 52 percent of the total average cost of a property in MMR’s peripheral areas.

In Bengaluru, the average monthly rental outgo in city-limit areas is INR 18,500. For five years, this equals nearly INR 11.57 lakh (including standard rental escalation for this period). This is almost 27percent of the total average cost of a property in the peripheral areas.



Mental Health and Remote Work

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