While the idea of idyllic country living has always appealed to a lot of people living in cities, the availability of high-paying jobs has kept them bound to metropolises. Without the need to appear in person at these jobs, however, would these office workers move?
During the outbreak of COVID-19, cities around the world became the worst affected and most dangerous places to be when it came to the virus. Our love of the packed streets and crowded markets dissipated as the virus spread and we were warned to keep our distance. Moving became a more appealing option for many, especially as we worked from our homes.
The pandemic has certainly changed the way we are living and working. During the lockdown, we spent way more time at home and no time at the office. Even after the lockdown, some of us have found that working from home is more possible than we thought before.
So, should we flee the city for country living?
Changes in the way we live
A lot of office workplaces were forced to adapt the way they function in order to keep running during the lockdown. Laptops were packed up and desks were ordered as people began setting themselves up to work from home.
Many people living in cities began to question the high rents and cramped spaces they were in and started to contemplate making changes. Our work has moved online and so picking up the laptop once more and heading out of the city is an appealing idea.
If we are going to spend increased amounts of time in our homes, the space that we are in becomes more important. When once our focus was on the culture and activities of the city, now we are considering our surroundings and our access to nature.
Most importantly, though, we have been given time to think about how expensive city living has become. London, in particular, has higher rental prices than elsewhere in the country. These exorbitant rents aren’t buying more space or, in a lot of cases, gardens. So, why are we paying so much for so little when we don’t need to?
Working from home has been on the rise for years, however, the lockdown regulations pushed this into high gear for many office workers, particularly in big cities. As lockdown eases, companies have decisions to make as they reassess how their employees work. Will they continue on at home or return back to the office?
The shift from onsite to remote working can be challenging but, as companies were forced to do this, the hardest part is already done. Continuing remote working will mean, however, structural adjustments to go along with the adaption of tools that happened as we fled our offices.
This can only happen through strong leadership and clear guidelines. Along with this, at home infrastructure needs to be considered. Before, employers needed to consider this centrally in one location, now, employees and employers will need to work together to make sure that each member of the team has the necessary tools to work from home.
If you are considering moving out of the big smoke, the available infrastructure wherever you move will have to play a role in your decision. We all dream of spending our days with a laptop on the beach until a failed internet connection loses you opportunities or money.
Of course, remote working is an option reserved for those who are not frontline workers and who are usually higher paid. This shift in working and the possibility to live miles away from your workplace will happen unevenly- socially and geographically.
Is it the right decision?
The choice to move out of the city may seem like an idyllic prospect, however, there are a lot of factors that you will need to take into account.
Moving out of a city can be an expensive endeavour. However, if you can afford it, it may save you money in the long run. The most appealing option for a lot of city dwellers is to move to a commuter town. This offers a great compromise.
Living in a commuter town will allow you to easily make trips into the city when needed but can afford you the benefits of rural living too. Before moving, though, discuss this with your employer and make sure that they are on board with your move!
Finally, there is also the option of using this opportunity to make the changes in your life that you have wanted to for years. Become your own boss by buying a business in your dream location. There are thousands of businesses that you can run from home or from any other location.