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Is Remote Work Driving Shifts in Moving Patterns?

What happens when a large segment of the workforce goes virtual for over a year and half? Employee preferences change, and perhaps for the long term. According to a new Zillow report, the work-from-home life is fueling a “Great Reshuffling,” allowing homebuyers to prioritize affordability and space instead of a short commute and shifting moving patterns.

Key findings:

– 84% of U.S. workers want to work remotely at least a few days per month
– 44% want to work from home all the time
– 50% who work for an employer who hasn’t clarified post-pandemic plans will likely consider getting a new job if they go back to working in person more than they’d like
– 69% say having control over their life and time is now very or extremely important to them
– When given the flexibility, remote or hybrid workers are more likely to move, according to 23%, compared to 13% of in-person workers who say the same

The takeaway:

“Workers are clear in their desire for more flexibility,” said Meghan Reibstein, vice president of organizational operations at Zillow, in a statement. “It’s no surprise employees are willing to change jobs to get to this more sustainable way of working, and employers risk losing people if they ignore employees’ preferences. If given the freedom to move, employees can work where they’re happiest and most productive, which is a win for them, their organizations and their communities.”

“Lingering uncertainty over permanent flexible work policies suggests that we’re closer to the beginning of the Great Reshuffling than the end,” said Chris Glynn, Zillow senior managing economist, in a statement. “As more people learn how often they’ll have to be at their workplace or make a job change to gain that flexibility, we expect to see more people move. Remote work will be a significant driver of housing demand for years to come, along with demographic trends.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to [email protected].

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash