WHAT: US moving companies have been used as a measure of changes in US internal migration patterns between 2019 and 2020 – before and during the pandemic. More people are now moving for personal reasons such as family health and well-being; changes in working conditions (such as teleworking); and requests for lifestyle changes and improved quality of life. Several states with large cities such as Washington DC and New York are among those with a net loss of population, while more rural states such as Vermont and North Dakota have experienced a net increase in population. Permanent moves have increased by 2 percent compared to 2019 and temporary moves have increased by 27 percent.
Half of respondents say they will not return to jobs that do not offer telework after the pandemic and 75 percent report that they have the same or increased work productivity when working from home compared to the office. Almost a quarter of full-time employees are willing to take a pay cut of over 10 percent to work from home at least part of the time, and half of them state that they would move if they could work from home all or most of the time. Up to 23 million Americans plan to relocate as a result of teleworking, which increases the rate of migration by four times from pre-pandemic levels. People are willing to move further away than a normal commuting distance to get a cheaper accommodation.
SO WHAT: The permanent emigration of employees out of cities, and that they do not want to return to a companies not offering teleworking is something employers will have to account for if they want to retain and attract talent. Good guidelines are needed to ensure that teleworking is successful, and that the well-being of employees is taken into account. Strategies to be able to offer social contexts in the form of co-working hubs for teleworkers, simultaneously ensuring that the work environment in the home office works, will be important when new policies are developed for future post corona working methods.