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While some COVID-era workplace precautions like masking and social distancing are expected to fade once the pandemic subsides, other recent practices will be more widely adopted for the long term, Home Innovation Research Labs reports. Going forward, builders are likely to work with a larger network of building product suppliers, and home design preferences like updated outdoor living areas, expansive home offices, flex rooms, and healthier indoor air quality will also take precedence post-pandemic.

Larger builders were more likely than local builders to implement business changes throughout the pandemic, but some smaller companies had to work twice as hard to recruit and retain skilled workers or to source building products with less buying power. As a result, smaller builders may be more willing to diversify their operations in the long run to navigate a more difficult working environment.

In summary, our analysis found that larger builders – those constructing 20 or more homes per year – were more likely to adopt business changes than were smaller builders in 15 of the 22 categories rated. This debunks the stereotype that larger builders are slow to change. Further, regional/national builders were more likely to adopt changes in 20 of the 22 categories than were local builders. Drilling down a bit to the individual practices, larger builders were about 4 times as likely as smaller builders to institute a video-based design center; 3 times as likely to add online sales staff; and more than twice as likely to reduce or eliminate the use of model homes.

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