Lockdown has changed the future of big cities. In the wake of COVID-19, almost half of Londoners wish to move house, wanting to escape the ‘Big Smoke’ for good. And it seems like this desire is soon to become a reality, with 43 out of 50 of the largest UK companies – most of them based in the capital and other large cities – citing that they do not plan to bring staff back to the office full-time.
As “flexible working”, the buzzword of the past 18 months, continues to allow millions to work remotely, is now the time to relocate from cities to the countryside? We think so! Here’s why:
A good time to jump ship
New technologies have helped us transition to remote work seamlessly, and most of us have embraced this opportunity. Some 88 per cent of workers want to continue some form of remote working in the future.
Companies recognise that remote/hybrid working has become a key employee benefit and they are incorporating this into their recruitment strategies to retain and attract talent. The South East has been crowned the most likely region to have flexibility, while the South West comes in at number three for the best region for ‘time flexibility’ such as flexi-hours, time in lieu, job sharing and four-day weeks. Perhaps now is the best time to relocate and find the perfect job that works around you!
After months of living and working between four walls during lockdown, an escape to the country could allow you to have a dedicated home office and a garden to relax in.
According to Rightmove, 63 per cent of buyers said they wanted a bigger garden or access to one and 43 per cent wanted a bigger house – much more viable demands in less crowded cities, towns and villages.
95 per cent of employees said their productivity has been the same or much better since working from home, as many have faced fewer interruptions and noise disturbances.
Big city dwellings are noisy by nature and generally more compact. Having a quieter and more comfortable environment would undoubtedly benefit those seeking to continue hybrid remote working in the long-term.
Additionally, a survey of more than 34,000 office workers found that those commuting less than 30 minutes each day gained an additional seven days’ worth of productive time than those commuting 60 minutes or more.
Finding work/life balance
Because of commutes and office life, a recent survey found that one in three office workers didn't exercise as much as they should. Others said they were at risk of low mood and felt that they couldn’t switch off.
By leaving long commutes and busy city life behind, you could drastically improve your quality of life and wellbeing, lead a much healthier lifestyle and have the time to grow those meaningful interpersonal relationships.
Communities tend to be closer in smaller cities, country villages and rural areas, since fewer people live there. After long months isolated from friends and family, you could benefit greatly from having a close-knit community around you. By keeping people apart, the pandemic has brought us closer. 57 per cent of people said they felt there is now a stronger sense of community in their local area.
If relocation is on your mind, look at the jobs we have on offer across the South West, and see if a new role in the countryside could be perfect for you.