- Remote work options are allowing some workers to flip the script on where to live, and many are making the move.
- Those who have new-found work flexibility and who no longer need to live where they work are trading city life for homes in rural areas.
- Jamie Orr is seeing this change at Coworking Tahoe, a rural coworking space near the resort town of Lake Tahoe, and membership is growing.
Where we work is changing, and that change is likely for good.
Amid continued concerns over the spread of coronavirus, particularly in the United States, many companies have announced that their employees won’t be returning to their offices until 2021.
Some of the largest tech companies, such as Twitter, Facebook, Square, and Shopify have even stated the switch to remote work is a permanent option.
Employees of these companies have been working from home for months after a rapid shift away from the traditional work day at large office campuses. Now, they are finding themselves with the option to work remotely forever. No longer required to live near a corporate office or make the long commute to get to it, many are opting to move away, some to more rural areas that can offer a better quality of life.
“The mountains are calling and I must go”John Muir
This is precisely what is happening in Tahoe, a beautiful travel destination situated in the Sierra Nevada mountain range between California and Nevada on the shores of pristine Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe is experiencing an influx of new residents who are trading their apartments and long commutes for miles of hiking trails and mountain air. With the ability to work from anywhere, some are taking advantage of their new found flexibility and moving to places they previously would only visit on vacation. The residential market in Tahoe is seeing a huge increase in home sales, to the point that inventory cannot keep up with demand.
The region has seen hot housing markets before, usually tied to the boom and bust of Silicon Valley. But this time is different. The majority of these buyers are not looking for vacation homes, but primary residences now that they only have to be in virtual proximity to the corporate office.
Despite the freedom to never return to an office again, many people still prefer a professional work environment, at least some of the time.
The social interaction of a workplace and the ability to physically separate work and home life are still seen as key benefits of office life. As a result, coworking spaces like Cowork Tahoe are currently experiencing a similar increase in membership inquiries and sign ups, primarily from new residents to the area looking to take full advantage of a more flexible lifestyle without a commute, and easy access to outdoor recreation.
This demand goes beyond taking a workcation, where people may visit a more rural locale for a few weeks, extending their vacation time by logging in a few hours each day. What we are seeing instead is a complete lifestyle change.
Remote work options are allowing some workers to flip the script on where to live.
What once was a decision to live where you worked is now becoming a more open ended choice to work where you want to live.