Flexible and remote work platform Upwork recently released a new report that shows how the increase of working remotely is impacting migration patterns.
The survey revealed that nearly 20 million Americans plan to move due to remote working arrangements now that they are not restricted to commutes.
This has led to workers moving further away from their current residences, with 28% saying that they are moving over four hours away, while 13% said they are moving between two and four hours away.
These distances suggest that many of these workers will be operating mostly remotely as they were able to choose a new city to live in based on their own preference, rather than proximity to an office.
However, as society has started shifting to a post-pandemic reality, companies have begun calling workers back into the office. While some are hoping for a full return to pre-pandemic normalcy, many have embraced hybrid policies that allow employees to split their time between home and the office.
Cities that are likely to see people leave are those with a high cost of living, as well as those that are home to many remote positions, such as San Francisco.
While it is still too early to confidently say how remote working is impacting geography, the report indicates that these moves will be in the long term.
Still, the survey suggests what respondents plan to do, not what they have already committed to. Moving is not an easy process, and the fatigue of the last two years has emboldened companies to usher workers back into the office.
Politicians have also started encouraging workers to come back into the office, with President Joe Biden saying that it was time to “fill our great downtowns again” during his State of the Union address.
As a result, the survey indicates that moves may continue in the future, but that they will be in nearby suburbs to accommodate hybrid work policies, which are emerging as one of the more popular post-pandemic arrangements.