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WORKSPAN
Workspan Daily |

Cost of Living Driving U.S. Employees to Push for Remote Work


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Soaring housing prices in large U.S. tech hubs is causing many employees to rethink their work situation.

Citrix Systems survey of 5,000 knowledge workers found that 70% who live in urban locales would move to outlying areas if they could perform their jobs at the same level.

Thus, it would behoove organizations to have a remote work model in place.

“Traditional work models, where work is organized around a hub like a call center or office building, are fundamentally broken, creating a frustrating employee experience and exacerbating the war for talent,” said Tim Minahan, executive vice president of strategy and chief marketing officer at Citrix. “People today want to work where they want to work. And to attract them, companies need to rethink what the workplace means and create a more flexible way to work that enables them to get the right people in the right places to unlock innovation, engage customers and move their business forward.”

More than half of those polled (58%) cited the costs of city living as “crippling.” As a result, they’re ready to move. 70% of workers currently living in cities stated they would be very likely/fairly likely to consider relocating to suburban or rural areas if they knew their professional life wouldn’t suffer and they could still perform their role to the same level.

Of those who participated in the survey, 31% indicated that sourcing talent for skilled positions is an issue in their organization and 18% suggested it’s likely to become one in the next five years. Many are taking steps to try to attract a broader range of talent including:

  • Increasing wages for skilled roles (36%).
  • Actively promoting diversity initiatives to encourage applications from a range of backgrounds (28%).
  • Investing in education and training programs, outside of city locations (20%).

The real ticket to finding and keeping people lies in enabling flexible and remote work:

  • 85% of respondents believe they could do their job just as effectively from anywhere.
  • 62% of those not already working remotely believe that they could work away from the office at least one day per week.

And they see a number of positives in remote work:

  • 69% said working remote would enable them to be more productive and focused.
  • 83% think it would enable them to strike a healthier work-life balance.
  • 77% indicated they could save money by reducing commuting costs.

Companies are beginning to embrace the notion that to get the people they want and need to make their business succeed, they’ll need to rethink the traditional workplace and employee experience. To that end 35% of respondents said they are introducing better flex/remote work policies to widen the talent pool, and 31% are searching for talent nationwide, including in rural areas.

Only 33% of workers polled currently work remotely at least one day per week. What’s holding them back?

  • Connectivity was cited as a key challenge by 58% of respondents who said the current quality of broadband negatively impacts their ability to reliably work from home.


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