Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 50 total)
  • Living somewhere where the only decent jobs are remote
  • bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Anyone do this, or considered it? That is, living somewhere where there are no jobs in your domain that are commutable, not even as a hybrid one day a week in the office. The kind of distance that a day in the office means at least one overnight stay.

    Obviously it’s very attractive to live where you want to live, rather than where you have to due to work, without having to give up the satisfaction and money of a decent job. And after the pandemic there seem to be a lot more remote and hybrid jobs advertised, although most of the hybrid ones have at least a day a week in the office.

    But it seems risky long term to be far out from the cities where all the action is. Easy enough to wait until a suitable job comes up that you can win and then move, but eventually when you need another due to loss or whatever, you’ve a lot less options and likely considered a less attractive candidate. Worst case scenario you end up having to e.g. move back, or quit your career to do something local.

    Caher
    Full Member

    I’m trying to persuade my company to let me move to Portugal, I work remotely anyway.

    wbo
    Free Member

    Well everything is a compromise isn’t it.  Here you compromise some potential jobs for the upside of living somewhere you like.

    Living somewhere you don’t like is one hell of a compromise to have made and it had better be a damn good job to be worth that

    wbo
    Free Member

    How fulfilling is your job by the way?

    robertajobb
    Full Member

    I could have earned a fair bit more £££ for the past 30 years if I chose to work in London.

    But **** that, it’s a shithole filled with arseholes.  So I compromised and live in the midshires where there’s greenery and hills, and accept less £££.

    longdog
    Free Member

    The planning office where I used to work in Shetland apparently had someone working as a development management officer remotely from Bulgaria now, there was also someone working remotely as a development plans officer from Kent when I was there (had to go there and agreed 3 weeks during a year iirc).  Also was some admin support from Belgium for a while.

    Largely due to a difficulty getting people to actually relocate, or actually stay any length of time if they did. I know someone didn’t last a week, and another got off the ferry and got back on the next ferry back to the mainland 🤣

    There’s a big problem with all the northern and western isles recruiting to posts in LAs and NHS, so there can be opportunities in some roles that you’d not get elsewhere.

    So you could both work in a remote place (or where ever)  for a remote place if your skills match.

    thebunk
    Full Member

    I’ve done it. Moved from walking distance to Bristol city centre to the Moray Coast. Can’t see myself going back to an office job anyway. In theory you can apply for a remote role anywhere in the world (or the UK at any rate) which evens out the equation some what. But if I’m being honest it does mean I feel a little less mobile in terms of career options but I’m very fortunate in my job so that’s not currently a huge deal.

    Worse comes to the worst:

    Find another remote job. In my simple logic, these jobs are for companies more aligned with how I think anyway, and I like to think I’m good enough at what I do that I would be a catch for another remote company.

    Or: Turns out I can actually leave my house in the morning and get to Canary Wharf for a 10am meeting. Early start, stressful in terms of hoping planes and trains are on time, and a late finish to work a full day, but doable (though would probably get better acquainted with Premier Inns and Travelodges if I had to). So for the right company and the right pay, I could get a hybrid role in London or similar.

    Or: Downsize and find job(s) locally that ideally have some upside in terms of hours or stress. Use a combination of savings and frugality to survive and ride my bike. Plenty of people that live here do that.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    My choice of offices is Aberdeen, Glasgow, Houston or Singapore. I’ve not been to any of them since November. I live in Devon. It’s unlikely I’d chose to do an office based job again.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Its a risk.  Theres less remote jobs up currently.

    Though I’m in Scotland my office is Cheshire.

    Though I’m an area manager so a little bit different

    OwenP
    Full Member

    As someone who WOULDN’T do this, I’m happy to explain that my reasons are around a complex mix of things. Career jobs for both me and a partner, so taking two employer’s views (and possible future views) into account. Schools for kids and how good they are. Job opportunities after school for said kids (longer term). Proximity to good health care (which we have needed for said kids), that sort of thing.

    If it was just me and a job, yeah no worries and lots of flexibility, as there is a general ‘skills shortage’ if you are qualified and experienced. It’s the mishmash of different factors for many people that prevent us taking what might be seen as a more ‘radical’ move. If those don’t apply to you personally, you probably have a lot more flexibility than you are worrying about.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Living somewhere you don’t like is one hell of a compromise to have made and it had better be a damn good job to be worth that

    Not as clear cut here; place is good enough, job is pretty good.

    So I compromised and live in the midshires

    You can still get to the cities once a week from there though without it being too onerous. What I had in mind is something more extreme like north Scotland.

    In theory you can apply for a remote role anywhere in the world (or the UK at any rate) which evens out the equation some what.

    Indeed, but you’re also competing against the entire world for those roles. That means better people, and people in cheaper countries willing to work for less.

    Turns out I can actually leave my house in the morning and get to Canary Wharf for a 10am meeting

    Interesting, London is uniquely connected like this.

    If those don’t apply to you personally, you probably have a lot more flexibility than you are worrying about.

    Yep, just me.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I have friends living near me (Scottish Highlands) that work remotely and in fields that local options just don’t exist. Travel ranges from 2 days per month down to an irregular visit to an “office” or customer. It seems to work pretty well. It helps that we have a railway station (sleeper being an option) and it’s an eay drive to Inverness airport.

    Clover
    Full Member

    I live in the Pyrenees and work as a consultant remotely. I do worry as it’s a trek to get anywhere but I like the sleeper train and show up in the UK for speaking engagements and conferences every couple of months. It’s been good so far – the contrast when I spend a week in a city with home is quite pleasing and I’m happy to get back to the mountains

    andrewh
    Free Member

    Not nearly as remote as some here, but I live at the end of the Tweed Valley and work for a Northampton-based company, albeitwith the opton to work in the office of a sister-company in Selkirk (with an EWS stage as a commute-option)

    Where I live is far more important than the job, find a nice place to live and then try to find a job there.

    What’s the point of taking a better paid job somewhere you don’t want to live? So that you can buy a bigger house somewhere you don’t want to live and buy a nicer car to drive to the place you’d rather be? I’d rather have a little house and it all on my doorstep.

    kilo
    Full Member

    …if I chose to work in London.

    But **** that, it’s a shithole filled with arseholes

    All 600 ish square miles and 8 ish million people ?

    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    Since 2006 I’ve worked mainly in a professional services role for a company whose uk office was in Maidenhead, while I live in the north east of England. I was asked if I’d move during interview, to which I replied that I’d rather shove wasps up my ass than live in the South. They took me anyway. I’d have to be in m/h once a month or so. Fine. In reality I was on customer sites far more than they let on and only ended up in Mordor once every six months. If that.

    I moved sideways to our training department after a few years. My nearest team member became a guy in Halifax. Halifax Nova Scotia that is. My boss was in Detroit and my official office was in Kanata, which is a commuter village for Ottawa. I had an actual desk, with a pedestal as there appeared to be no way to hire someone and not have a space for them. I’d visit maybe once a year: leaving curious things in the pedestal like teabags and a copy of Viz.

    I retuned to consultancy in 2014 and found that we no longer had a nice office in Maidenhead, so I chose to be based out of Berlin. Again, following German works council rules, I have a desk, chair and a pedestal, except in Köln as we ran out of space in Berlin. I’ve never been to my desk or that office in ten years.

    I used to travel loads: like 200 flights a year loads.  It was shit. Flying is great but I hate the hassle of airports, the stress of having to make this connection, the disappointment of being delayed, the general crapness of hotels.  The environmental issues also made me angry. Pointless travel.  Thanks to covid that all changed.  I haven’t been on site since 2022. I haven’t taken a business flight since November that year.  Every customer is now fully remote: even most of the sales cycle before I engage is remote. Customers finally “get” that they don’t need bods on the ground to get the job done. Teams, o365, Remote Desktop and good internet lets me be a part of teams in Belgium, Norway and Birmingham simultaneously while hiding in my shepherd’s hut here in County Durham. It’s bloody brilliant. Though I have lost my KLM gold status 😭

    One thing to beware of is it can get lonely.  I do miss some office banter. having a great wife helps as does forcing myself to do a school run where I and the other WFH dads will hang out after drop off for about 20mins and put the world to rights.

    slowol
    Full Member

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that decent and highly paid jobs are the same thing.

    There are people making a living doing very decent jobs on remote islands and people doing crappy jobs that we lead to early burn out poor health for higher wages in big cities like London.

    Most jobs are location dependent. You can’t be a nurse, farmer, electrician or teacher away from your clients or tools. Having to move to change jobs is, for many, just a fact of life.

    The other option for living remotely is to work on a ship or oil rig where you work 2 to 6 weeks on board and similar off. It’s disruptive but usually well paid and plenty of people do it. Making it work with family life is a challenge for many though.

    tall_martin
    Full Member

    This weekend I’ve ridden past aom amazing houses in amazing places in the lakes. I had me thinking about what happens to the kids of the people who can afford places like that.

    Where are the kids going to get a job in the lakes that will let them buy a place in the lakes? London? Remote from the start of work?

    I’ve got no answers and I’m not going to move out of a city any time soon

    willard
    Full Member

    Kinda, yes.

    All the good jobs in my field are in Stockholm, but I have lived about 20km north of Uppsala for the last 2-3 years, so looking for new jobs is a challenge. The commute for me is a tasty 2+ hours of pubic transport, or about the same (depending on traffic) via a car with all the expense that comes with that. The one thing that annoys me is that my company is all over the country, so being in an office makes no sense.

    It does seem that a lot of companies are really trying to push people back into the office though and the “hybrid” tag I see usually means “choose between office A or office B” or “three to four days in the office a week”. I spoke to one place recently and they were more or less ok with three days in the office (negotiable) but then later changed that to “we want a commitment for four in the office”. So that was a relatively easy decision of “no” from me.

    I’d be ok with a job locally (i.e. Uppsala) that was not mandated 100% office based. There’s no need for it in what I do.

    nicko74
    Full Member

    Interesting question, partly because I find myself in this sort of situation. 3 years ago I was living in Toronto, and we decided to move the whole family (incl small dog and smaller child) back to Europe. We settled on Dublin as a sort of halfway house – close to family, but avoiding the challenges of being back in the UK – and now we’re settled in it’s a great quality of life.
    The one shortfall is the jobs market; both me and my partner work in desk jobs where we’d have way more opportunities if we were in London. It’s not that there’s nothing in Dublin, but there’s much less choice; so both of us are working remotely. And I’ve looked at a couple of jobs in London, on the basis that I could commute 1 day a week/ 4 days a month.
    The biggest issue so far seems to be a bit of a lack of imagination of the employers – while they say they’re open to people being in the office 1 day a week, the idea of coming in from another country to do so is beyond them.
    Although there may also be a local presence thing – if their employee is doing work in Ireland, does that mean that legally they have an entity (for tax etc) in Ireland?

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    A good job does not have a fixed relationship to the salary IMO.

    I have family and friends who earn twice what I do – and live life exhausted, being interrupted by work phone calls on the weekend, and hate what they do to own a big house and earn ££££. Some of the happiest people I know, and who ride nice bikes and spend a lot of time playing outdoors, in great relationships, with kids at nice schools, earn very modest amounts.

    It’s all balance and compromise.

    I feel we’ve a reasonable balance of earning, access to the central belt cities of Scotland where if we need anything we can find it, yet turn 180* and you are heading for Munro’s, west coast islands, great riding and paddling etc.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    I’m trying to persuade my company to let me move to Portugal, I work remotely anyway.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/29/portugals-bid-to-attract-foreign-money-backfires-as-rental-market-goes-crazy

    john dough
    Free Member

    I want to relocate to Coulport as fast as I can possibly get out of the bit that is south of the border , It is half the money as just outside London but not sure I would want to work remotely anyway as its a nice area

    mjsmke
    Full Member

    I’d love to be able to work from home.

    No comuting costs.
    More time to do stuff.
    Less people.

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    I think the key thing for remote work is what you do outside of work. The more remote you are, the more important I think it is to embed within your community. So sports clubs, volunteering etc. Its fine working from m home full time, I mainly do that and I love it. But am am also active with local mountain rescue so I have a regular contact with real people, which works well for me.

    Very few people suit being hermits, however hard they try to tell you otherwise. So plan in time for real contacts, just doesn’t need to be in an office.

    poly
    Free Member

    Where are the kids going to get a job in the lakes that will let them buy a place in the lakes? London? Remote from the start of work?

    it’s an interesting notion that people should necessarily (a) want to or (b) be automatically able to – find work that lets them live in the same place their parents did.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    The cost of housing is such that many have no option other than to live with their folks for many years.

    thebunk
    Full Member

    Where are the kids going to get a job in the lakes that will let them buy a place in the lakes? London? Remote from the start of work?

    It was a conscious choice to step off the treadmill of house prices, schools in expensive areas, higher paid jobs, longer hours, retirement a long way away. So moving to the Lakes, or Cornwall or other areas that are beautiful but have high housing costs seems pointless to me.

    In terms of work for my daughter – well, it’s hard to know what work looks like 10-15 years from now, but it’s not something that overly worries me. For us and our daughter, we felt it was important that she has happy parents that aren’t thinking “what if”, and we felt that for her personally the move would be good for her, which it has been. More than ever learning that there are options and choices and no predefined paths seems like an important lesson for us to teach, and this has been a big lesson for all of us (but a lovely one).

    Basically, YMMV, but if you can get past worrying about the uncontrollables and focus on what actually matters to you, you’ll be able to figure it out.

    w00dster
    Full Member

    I know for me personally my life works better when I’m doing an interesting job that I enjoy, I get a lot of personal fulfilment from what I do. I have a place in Liverpool where my office is and my family are in North Wales. We purposefully picked North Wales so it was “remote” in feel only. Realistically we are close enough where I commute to the office but I like to stay over one or two nights a week.

    In terms of the OP question, only you can answer. I couldn’t do it, I have aging parents so I need to be  relatively close to them. Watching my parents age also makes me think in the coming years I won’t want to be too far from a hospital (only 50 and healthy but got to think about the future). From a job security point of them, all depends on whether you are financially secure enough, should you lose your job for what ever reason, do you have enough funds to use savings while waiting another opportunity.

    We as a business are encouraging people to work from the office as much as possible, lots of social events. Breakfast clubs, quiz nights, for the Euro’s and Wimbledon we will have deck chairs, jumbo screen TV in the plaza etc. Whilst we would still employ remote workers, there would likely be a caveat that they attend core meetings at least once a month. (I work for a large multinational investment bank)

    As an aside, we don’t keep a record of people’s attendance, nor do annual performance reviews reflect attendance, we leave it to the individual and hope we are doing enough to encourage them to attend. But for me personally I really do notice the difference being in the office makes. Even though we have staff globally there is still a hub in the Liverpool office, whilst we don’t work together day to day, meeting people face to face really helps. (That’s is helps me with how I like to work, I completely understand other people work differently)

    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    On the other human interaction front: it’s half term so I don’t get my usual 20 mins of chatting with a real person not in this household that I mentioned above. I really do notice & it’s only Tuesday! Don’t downplay this bit.

    finbar
    Free Member

    it’s an interesting notion that people should necessarily (a) want to or (b) be automatically able to – find work that lets them live in the same place their parents did.

    Yeah, weird take. If your parents own the kind of house folk cycle past and lust over, chances are you will more likely than not be going to university (probably Russell Group) then getting a grad job somewhere and living away from home. Of course you won’t want to live in the arse end of nowhere age 21.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Of course you won’t want to live in the arse end of nowhere age 21.

    I actually know a few who do.
    One on Jura by choice, a couple just starting life on Orkney, a few all over the Highlands starting a raft of jobs from Teaching through to rewilding projects, an electrician, and one son considering a northern Scotland base for the future (he moves to Aviemore today…).

    andrewh
    Free Member

    Of course you won’t want to live in the arse end of nowhere age 21.

    I did. Grew up in rural Lincolnshire, which was great apart from the obvious lack of hills, and then did three years at university in Reading. That absolutely convinced me that I did not want to live in a city, town or the south east. After another spell in Lincolnshire I moved to a little village outside St. Andrews and am now at the end of the Tweed Valley. I am far from alone

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I did. Grew up in rural Lincolnshire, which was great apart from the obvious lack of hills, and then did three years at university in Reading. That absolutely convinced me that I did not want to live in a city, town or the south east. After another spell in Lincolnshire I moved to a little village outside St. Andrews and am now at the end of the Tweed Valley. I am far from alone

    Reading is not the best example 😂

    It’s a small City*, with a town center built to serve the affluent commuter belt surrounded by a town with some seriously deprived areas and traffic problems because no one want’s to admit that the A33 and A329(M) are the problem funneling thousands of cars into a town center designed for trains and trams.

    *yes it’s technically a town

    One on Jura by choice, a couple just starting life on Orkney, a few all over the Highlands starting a raft of jobs from Teaching through to rewilding projects, an electrician, and one son considering a northern Scotland base for the future (he moves to Aviemore today…).

    And none of them went to uni (i.e. went a lived in a town at age 21)?

    Yeah, weird take. If your parents own the kind of house folk cycle past and lust over, chances are you will more likely than not be going to university (probably Russell Group) then getting a grad job somewhere and living away from home.

    This resembles me.  I grew up in a succession of remote-ish places, left to go to uni and now live on the outskirts of a town out of necessity.

    The trouble is most people live based on where they work and can afford, “choice” is a luxury very few people have.  That’s why 85% of people live in urban areas.  And why Omaze make a fortune selling them lottery tickets for houses in the country (sounds like something out of Black Mirror doesn’t it).  There will never be a TV show called “Escape to Luton” and Omaze are never going to offer a house in Coventry.

    If you can live with the drawbacks then do it. Your house might be expensive compared to a rabbit hutch in Reading. Your heating might have to be oil fired. Your 17th century house might cost a few quid to heat.  Public transport might involve having to phone the bus company to have the minibus actually visit your village that day.  Your kids might have to move away for work / housing.  Your earning potential might drop.  But you’re living an unaffordable dream for most people so just don’t complain about it too much 😉.

    andrewh
    Free Member

    I think TINAS has that the wrong way round, there’s no way most country dwellers could afford to live in the city. I just looked at Edinburgh on Rightmove. If I sold my two bedroom place with a little garden and moved there I could afford a wide variety of parking spaces, a few garages, half a shared ownership flat or a retirement flat. Two flats in the whole city in my price range, one I’m not old enough for and one is only half a flat.

    My 19th century place in the country isn’t an unaffordable dream…

    hot_fiat
    Full Member

    Agree with you andrewh. 350m^2 4-bedroom 1850 barn conversion in Co Durham = £450k. Two miles down the road in Whickham you’d be looking at double that for something that has three mean bedrooms and a cupboard with sleeping facility aspirations.

    aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    I moved to the highlands from Aberdeen a couple of years ago (almost). I had rapped in working in the oil industry so it suited me and my wife picked up a job here easily (NHS).

    On the subject of kids when I was in Aberdeen my oldest moved into student accommodation when she went to Aberdeen uni. She could have stayed at home but had outgrown living with her parents. Dont blame her. So for the younger 2, who are still at school, I imagine they will go to uni in one of Scotlands cities. The 15 year old is dreaming about moving to Glasgow as it is an exciting place for her as opposed to rural highlands.

    So I wouldn’t worry about location wrt kids working and living at home. They will do what they want to do not what you have planned for.

    wbo
    Free Member

    This is an interesting thread to look at to understand the psyche of the typical UK lower manager…..

    I left Cambridgeshire when I was 18, and that would definitely rank as the arse end of nowhere, and has zero possibility for interesting.  I ended up in SW London which I like quite a lot… but circumstances change. Now I live in what some would consider the arse end of nowhere, but I like it, and good jobs are local.

    I’m intrigued by the definition of decent job as well.  Middle rank spreadsheet shuffler isn’t really that much to aspire to,so why is it considered ‘decent’ when others aren’t? Wages?

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    And none of them went to uni (i.e. went a lived in a town at age 21)?

    All went to Uni or college, from Edinburgh to UHI (Shetland and Inverness). All under 25. All happy to leave a city behind, a couple I know almost resent that they had to go to a city for university.

    There are young people with a different view of the world. We’re all different.. Let’s encourage those who do want a rural life.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Agree with you andrewh. 350m^2 4-bedroom 1850 barn conversion in Co Durham = £450k

    It’s amazing, why are we building shared ownership terraces and flats in towns when all people have to do is move to Co Durham and spend their £450k on a barn conversion.

    Clue, most people don’t have £450k, and couldn’t afford the extra commuting costs (both real and in terms of working hours lost).

    And as a counter anecdote, when I worked on Wilton you could buy a house in Middlesbrough for a nominal amount. A house in an outlying village or small town was ~£50k for a terrace upto £150k-ish for a 3 bed semi.  If you wanted to spend £450k you had to revise the search criteria well outside of town (or be looking at entire blocks of flats in converted hotels).

    Even in Reading with the new faster trains and Crossrail distorting things, once you pass a commuter friendly inflection point a few miles from the station inside which flats sell for silly money, you pay a lot more in the Chilterns than you do in Twyford and Woodley.

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