As some companies adapt to the ‘new normal’ of allowing staff to work from home (or from anywhere), people are realizing that they can potentially move to more rural areas — without the need to commute regularly.
This triggered the expectation of an exodus from cities, with rippling ramifications.
Interestingly however, new research from Gensler Research Institute suggests that instead of moving away from cities, some remote workers are actually more likely to move toward them — particularly larger cities, or to cities similar in size to their current home.
“We found that the people who have that ability to work remotely are 11 percent more likely to want to leave their current city than the people who didn’t have that ability,” said Sofia Song, global cities lead for Gensler. “That ability to work from anywhere has really allowed people to think about where they want to live.”
What makes a city desirable to live in?
During the current situation, cities need to have ‘micromobility’ — such as bike-sharing or scooter systems — while cities that are considered too noisy, crowded, congested or losing their cultural heritage are less attractive to residents.
It also needs to be affordable.
According to Song, residents want their neighborhoods to feel beautiful, authentic, and to prioritize people over cars. For employment, people want to feel they can advance.
“With employment opportunities, it’s not just having jobs that are available,” Song said. “It’s the feeling that there’s opportunities for career advancement.”