Before the start of the pandemic and city-wide lockdowns, around 10 percent of Americans worked from home full-time; within a month, that number grew to 50 percent, and today most people are still working remotely at least part of the time. A recent Wall Street Journal article shows that a quarter of the 160-million-person workforce is expected to stay remote for the long-term future.
WHEN YOUR CURRENT SPACE FEELS LIKE IT’S CLOSING IN
More often than not, people who live in urban centers don’t have a lot of real estate to call their own. With a shift to staying home all day, for some, there is a desire for more space to live in since it also doubles as a workspace.
The environment you work in has a large impact on your productivity also. Maybe your home office is on the couch or maybe you have a room designated as an office; either way, you might feel yourself outgrowing your current home office.
Having more than one person working remotely in a home can also impact your workday. The Wi-Fi might not be strong enough for multiple concurrent Zoom calls, or you may have to be extra quiet if your roommate is taking calls a lot. If you have children homeschooling, virtual schooling, or just, you know, living there during work hours, you might wish for a separate area with a door you can lock for privacy during work calls. There can be a lack of feeling accomplished at the end of the workday if you are constantly burdened by distractions and other forced breaks in your schedule. This dilemma may prompt you to start thinking about a new place to live.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE A MOVE
A recent CNN article says that 90 percent of employers say working remotely hasn’t hurt productivity, but there are a few other things to consider on the job end of things before you move. Checking with your company’s Human Resources department is a good idea. Whereas you might think the company will be allowing indefinite remote work, your HR director might let you know the company is actually working on plans to bring employees back into the company-hosted worksite. You will also want to check the cost of labor and cost of living in the state you are considering moving to so you’re aware of what your paycheck and bills will look like.
State and local laws may change the benefits you are getting from your employer. And of course, everyone’s favorite task, taxes. The excitement of a new home can be overwhelming, so keep all your ducks in a row to make sure that feeling doesn’t get worse.
CHOOSING YOUR NEXT LOCATION
There are a few things to keep in mind if your location could be changing. Money will always be a driving factor in where you choose to live, so keep your budget in mind. Think about what you want from a city. Do you want to be somewhere with an exciting night life or is a Saturday morning farmer’s market more your vibe? Consider how accessible you need your new city to be. Educate yourself on the local transportation and how far away airports or train station will be from your new house.
This relocation drive is not only giving homeowners a chance to move where they want, but it is driving up the economies in smaller communities. Miami, Austin, Charlotte, Nashville and Denver are cheaper in comparison to New York or San Francisco, and they are using this advantage to attract younger homeowners. In turn, the smaller communities around these cities are seeing an influx of residents and economic growth.
One way cities are trying to bring up their population is by offering incentives to move there and work remotely. Some are offering free plots of land if you commit to building a home there, while others are giving away money in the form of relocation expenses coverage. Lincoln, Kan.; Natchez, Miss.; Newton, Iowa; Fayetteville, Ark.; and Shoals, Ala., are just a few places trying to draw out crowds from the big cities.