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Should you move if your job is staying remote?

A man uses his smartphone and laptop as he sits on the shore of the Gulf of Finland amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Saint Petersburg, Russia May 27, 2020.
Reuters/Anton Vaganov
Think long-term.
  • Jackie Bischof
By Jackie Bischof

Deputy membership editor

If you are now working from home for the foreseeable future as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you might be starting to notice things about your home, and neighborhood, that weren’t evident when you spent much of your time at the office.

Perhaps you have a neighbor with a dog who won’t stop barking when packages are delivered (that neighbor is me). Another neighbor might have decided to do extensive work on their apartment, or roof (the home above me, and the house next door). Or you might be facing the prospect of many more months of lockdown with your family in a space that is not ideal for 24-hour living (again, me). So, is now a good time to start looking for greener pastures?

This question is on a lot of people’s minds, whether the move entails looking for an apartment with a balcony for working outside on sunny days, pondering a move to the suburbs, or even making bigger geographical strides across states or countries. In the US, preliminary moving data are hinting at higher interest in more residential parts of cities and in suburban areas—a trend that was picking up before the pandemic. In the UK, Londoners looking to work from more bucolic countryside settings have resulted in a summer of record-breaking home sales (a pause in the tax on home sales has helped). And some countries are even advertising their pristine settings to draw remote workers. A “Work from Bermuda” certificate, for example, offers visitors the chance to “work and study remotely from the island in a stunning and worry-free environment.”

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