Dreaming of green fields, trees and a big sky? You’re not the only one. The call for more flexible and remote working in the hope of a happier lifestyle just received its biggest fast-forward button ever. A global pandemic will do that.
Careers advisory service Escape the City found that the number of job seekers looking to leave London in ate July had doubled in a fortnight. Some 51% of the 1,000 signed up wanted to leave, compared with 20% in 2019.
It is likely that most British cities will be witnessing the same trend, with even less stifling cities such as Cardiff losing residents to the beautiful Welsh countryside.
Goodbye forever to offices?
Covid-19 will accelerate this shift as the traditions and restrictions for office workers in the third sector, housing or education are taken apart and reimagined, most likely forever. Many companies have adapted quickly and many plan to. In a London Chamber of Commerce survey of London businesses, 13% said that remote working would become standard practice.
The changes throw up many questions: Can workers be as productive from home? Will cities become safer and more pleasant for residents and visitors? Will there be a positive effect on health and work-life balance? Will industries such as the housing sector be affected by people moving out of cities, for example?
It can easily be predicted that demand for office space post-pandemic will plummet. Even as bosses implement strict social distancing regulations, far few workers will make their way into an office every day, so it is unlikely to result in companies looking for additional or larger premises.
Technology will keep us connected
If a pandemic had to arrive, it certainly arrived at the right time for the world to keep turning to a degree thanks to the technology that now serves us. Video conferencing keeps business and teams viable, as well as other collaboration software that is suddenly the norm. If offices do make a resurgence, it will most likely be to offer working hubs or meeting spaces.
How will working and living landscapes change?
We could see an expansion of hot desk providers, huge shifts in housing, retailers and hospitality providers radically overhauling their ways of working, and rural and suburban areas could see an influx in provisions as people flock there.
Public transport could become unrecognisable and the property sector could be inundated with radical changes that are yet to be predicted. Homeowners and renters could create the biggest shift of all in their desire for a home office and a lack of need for transport links.
The working population may see huge benefits in health and lifestyle, without stressful commutes and healthier spaces to live in, while cities could lose their congested and overly polluted characters. The environmental impact could have huge positives for the future of the planet and families may get more time together in the great outdoors.
Watch this space!
We are here to help during this shifting period in time and we’d love to offer you guidance and support if you’re looking to change jobs during this uncertain time. Just get in touch!