Permanent remote work is making many Americans rethink where they live
“WFH.” It now has an acronym all its own. “Work from home” is used to connote a stop-gap way for employers to keep their employees productive. Now? Employers are finally admitting it’s all working out just fine, and employees are considering they can work from anywhere — including somewhere other than where they currently live.
NPR’s Adedayo Akala reports that as coronavirus cases continue to spike and working from home seems permanent, many Americans (an astonishing 14 million to 23 million of them) intend to relocate to a different city or region as a result of telework, according to a new study released by Upwork, a freelancing platform. This was a survey conducted from Oct. 1st to the 15th using information gathered from among 20,490 Americans aged 18 and up.
“The large migration is motivated by people no longer confined to the city where their job is located,” says Akala. “The pandemic has shifted many companies’ view on working from home. Facebook announced plans for half of its employees to work from home permanently. The company even hired a director of remote work in September to ease the transition.”
Upworks chief economist, Adam Ozimek, admits,” As our survey shows, many people see remote work as an opportunity to relocate to where they want and where they can afford to live. This is an early indicator of the much larger impacts that remote work could have in increasing economic efficiency and spreading opportunity.”
The study says big cities will see the largest exodus — around 20% of respondents. And because many expect remote work to continue long term, more than half are planning to relocate anywhere from 2 hours or farther away from their current home.
On the average, the United Van Lines report says nationally there is a 32% increase in moving interest compared with this time last year. “The most common reasons associated with pandemic-influenced moves were: concerns for personal and family health and well-being, desires to be closer to family, changes in employment status or work arrangement (including the ability to work remotely), and desires for lifestyle change or improvement of quality of life,” says Akala. “Customers told the moving company that the pandemic made them reevaluate what was important to their family, which meant being closer to extended family and friends. Other customers said they had to widen their job search to out of state.”
Source: NPR | TBWS