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One Concept. Many Impacts on the Real Estate Industry.


The shift to telework, also known as work-from-home, remote work, or hybrid work, is a relatively new phenomenon and it is still uncertain to what degree it will become ‘the norm’. Staying on top of the trends happening in Alberta is key to informing future planning and sales strategies in real estate. What are buyers and renters looking for? And, importantly, where are they looking?


That’s why the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and RFS Energy Consulting & Research Group Inc. (RFS Energy) set out to research the impacts of telework on the Alberta real estate industry with funds generously provided from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF). 


This project investigated the impact of telework on various aspects of work, real estate, and the urban landscape in Alberta. It highlights the evolving nature of telework, its effects on where people live and work, the challenges and opportunities it presents for the real estate industry, and the changing dynamics of how people work and use spaces.

2023.05.23 RFS Telework_final report_graphics_titlepage.png

We are grateful to AREF for their support, which has enabled us to carry out research on telework in Alberta. Their investment in our project has not only helped us advance our understanding of this topic but has also paved the way for new information in the ever-changing world of real-estate.


Thank you, AREF, for your invaluable support and for sharing our vision for all Albertans.



According to Statistics Canada, there has been an influx of people moving to Alberta over the past three years: 

Why are so many people flocking to Alberta? 

  • Alberta’s population increased by 1.3 per cent in three months at the beginning of 2022, the highest rate in the country.

  • Nearly 10,000 young people relocated to Alberta between 2021 and 2022.

  • Properties — especially condos — being purchased from BC and Ontario sight unseen.

  • More affordable homes

  • Lower cost of living

  • Proximity to nature

  • Ability to work from home


Attempting to understand the impacts of remote work on the Alberta real estate sector early in a new area of research allows this project to serve as an area of research that continues to develop has allowed this project to serve as a starting point for further conversations and exploration on the topic. 

A continuously evolving topic like remote work and its impacts on the Alberta real estate sector sparks curiosity regarding the next steps for this area of research. Some avenues that warrant further research includes:

  • What does the future of telework look like for urban centres?

  • How can employers ensure equitable, diverse and inclusive hybrid work environments when some can work from home and others cannot?

  • Will there be significant changes related to zoning as communities across Alberta adjust to hybrid work?

  • What tools and resources do Alberta real estate professionals need as our home and work spaces evolve?

  • How can we leverage changing work patterns to create positive social and environmental opportunities, such as transforming vacant commercial space into affordable housing or considering corporate carbon footprints when reshaping real estate portfolios?

Let’s keep the conversation going — take our survey or let us know what impacts you have noticed related to hybrid work and the real estate sector here.

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“Telework is transforming where and how people work, directly impacting Albertans and Alberta’s real estate industry. We heard from our stakeholders that the Foundation can play a role in responding to and examining the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. This research is critical in assisting real estate professionals to navigate the rapid shifts in consumer preferences for location, work practices, and space utilization."

- Patti Morris, Executive Director,

Alberta Real Estate Foundation

"Older buildings were not built for today’s work or lifestyle."

- Focus group participant, Calgary (November 2022)

“People that are working from home full-time are moving to the mountains and homes are going way over asking.”

- residential real estate professional serving Calgary and surrounding areas,

Calgary (May 2022)

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