When you think of the essential rooms in your home, what comes to mind first? The kitchen? Living room? Bedrooms? How about a workspace?
A recent survey from RBC Royal Bank found that 42% of small business owners in Canada are baby boomers and 24% are millennials. And who are the largest groups of homebuyers in the country? Boomers and millennials.
As boomers age, nearly half of them who have started a business or are thinking of starting a business are doing so to supplement retirement income. More than 40% of empty nesters say they are starting a business because their kids are or will be out of the home. Perhaps some of these soon-to-be empty nesters would start a business sooner if they had more space, even if their adult children were still living with them.
"The future looks bright for the Canadian economy, which is predominantly driven by small businesses," said Lori Darlington, Vice-President of Small Business and Strategic Partnerships, RBC, in a press release. "Canadian boomers are incredibly entrepreneurial. Many are turning passion projects into new ventures and leveraging their extensive experience to fuel today's small business economy. At the same time, their spirit and leadership is inspiring the next generation of aspiring millennial entrepreneurs to build on the momentum."
RBC also found that 70% of millennials have thought about owning a business, and more than 50% are participating in the “side gig” economy. Millennials are starting businesses and side projects because they want control over their careers, they want to do something that aligns with personal values, and they believe they have great ideas about new services and products.
Workspaces go by many names in the real estate world; office, den, study, media room, library, studio, flex space, hobby room, etc. With boomers and millennials having the most buying power at the moment, perhaps homes with these dedicated spaces will become noticeably more attractive in the market.
Obviously, any unused space can be transformed into a workspace, it’s just a matter of how it’s marketed. At the moment, more bedrooms equals a higher price, but perhaps downsizing boomers would prefer a two-bedroom+study bungalow as opposed to a three-bedroom bungalow.
Perhaps new condo developers in the Greater Toronto Area should take note of the amount of boomers and millennials starting their own businesses and potentially working from home. We wouldn’t be surprised to see an influx of condo apartments with dens.
Some condo developers already get creative with their floor plan labelling, for example, a small nook in a wall may be called a “den.” As the balancing act between functionality and square footage continues, perhaps we’ll see more tiny workspaces in our little homes in the sky.