WASHINGTON, DC—(Pinkston News Service)
New research shows that close to 5 million remote U.S. workers have relocated since the start of the pandemic, with another 19 million Americans considering a move. In what has become dubbed “The Great Relocation,” many suburban and small town communities have opened up their doors, some in a big way, to welcome them.
From offering up to $10,000 to cover moving expenses, providing free land and co-working spaces, to low interest home loans and just about everything in between, relocation incentive packages abound throughout the country. And a shift that started long before COVID-19 but rocketed due to the pandemic, has put workers squarely in the employment driver’s seat, says one remote work trends expert.
“People with remote jobs can choose to live wherever they want, and they’re moving for all kinds of different reasons, maybe to find some places more affordable, to find someplace that’s closer to home. But it’s not their employer’s decision anymore,” said Evan Hock, co-founder of MakeMyMove, on a recent episode of the Coffee with Closers podcast.
MakeMyMove (www.makemymove.com) bills itself as the nation’s only marketplace that helps connect remote workers and their families to communities across the country offering financial and other relocation incentives. It lists about 70 communities offering relocation packages on the platform. One of those communities, Greensburg, Indiana, is offering its very own babysitting service provided by a local couple who are grandparents.
“The grandparents on demand has been incredibly exciting and well-received in the way that it is something that we can say this is part of our community,” said Greensburg Mayor Joshua Marsh. For their competitive offering, the town received 1,800 applicants from all across the country for 5 spots.
A new Bankrate survey shows more than half of workers “say that the ability to work from home or have a more flexible schedule is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic.” And a new Census Bureau report found that more than 73% of U.S. counties experienced a population decrease in 2021, with people migrating from big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago to smaller metropolitan areas.
As with any shift, there are always growing pains and in this case housing availability.
“Housing is a problem in almost every community that we are recruiting. But we see a silver lining there where there may be some near-term disruption to the housing market, but you know, fresh blood builds new houses,” added Hock.