Coronavirus: Rise in office workers leaving city to ‘work from home’ abroad or by the coast

Over half of people in poll said option to work remotely now influences decision to apply for jobs

Adrian Hearn
Thursday 15 October 2020 16:10 BST
One woman, who has temporarily moved to Porto, in Portugal, to work said her life has been revolutionised by the change in office-working culture
One woman, who has temporarily moved to Porto, in Portugal, to work said her life has been revolutionised by the change in office-working culture (iStock)

Office workers are adopting a “work from anywhere” approach by looking for temporary home offices on the coast or away from the cities, a study found.

A survey of 2,000 “WFH” adults found six in 10 would consider working remotely from somewhere other than their primary residence.

And the average office worker would like to pack up their PC and spend two-and-a-half weeks doing their job from a more exciting or exotic location.

Water-based homes are considered the ideal destinations - with 37 per cent wanting to base themselves in a property on the coast while 18 per cent are angling for a home by a lake.

The research, commissioned by Airbnb, also found 54 per cent would work elsewhere for the change of scenery, while 29 per cent felt a new location would make them feel more creative.

And a fifth simply want to be closer to friends and family.

But employers should also take note as 58 per cent said the possibility of flexible or remote working will influence what job they take in the future.

Samantha Scott, an operations manager at a marketing agency, is one of many Britons who has chosen to work remotely - and is currently doing her UK job from a Porto Airbnb.

She said: “Prior to working remotely, I was living in London full-time with expensive rent and travelling less.

“Now, my partner Chris and I are working from Porto, but I’ve also spent time in Lisbon and the south previously - it’s a beautiful country all year round.

“I’m able to travel to new places, make friends all over the world but also save money.”

The research also revealed that of those who have gone on holiday since lockdown was initially lifted this year, 33 per cent extended their trip so that they could stay longer and work remotely from the location.

More than a third of those surveyed by OnePoll even said they would consider letting their primary residence so they can fund a longer term stay elsewhere.

And 37 per cent are planning to spend some time working remotely in the upcoming months.

According to Airbnb data, 65 per cent of “amenity searches” on the platform were for homes with WiFi in September – with overall searches for homes with WiFi up 10 per cent year on year.

Emmanuel Marill, Airbnb’s regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “The pandemic has prompted a real shift in consumer behaviour towards travel, and part of this change has been to normalise the idea of working from anywhere.

“There are an increasing number of hosts who are using the flexibility afforded by the platform to cater for and encourage longer stays.”


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