Does a property boom lead to lazy workers?

by Steve Randall26 Mar 2019

When home prices increase homeowners feel wealthier but can that lead to a shift in priorities?

Apparently, according to a recent study which found that workers are less focused on their employment when their homes are worth more, causing a spike in shirking.

The research by the National University of Singapore Business School discovered that a 5% increase in home values meant an 8% increase in workers attending to personal matters during work hours.

Six in ten workers said they are more likely to take care of personal matters during their workday when their homes increased in value; this was even more likely among owners of multiple properties.

Wenlan Qian, an associate professor at NUS Business School, wrote in Singapore’s Sunday Times that higher home prices give home owners the benefit of a large windfall of wealth, making them focus on the fun stuff rather than work.

“In other words, home owners who see their property wealth sharply increase find it less rewarding to exert effort in their jobs,” wrote the academic.

While the study focused on three Chinese cities, Xian said that the research suggested that the same correlation between rising home values and employee focus was replicated in any location.


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