The average American commute is 25.4 minutes, according to the US Census Bureau. That's nearly an hour a day, or 200 hours a year, spent getting to and from the office – and then some if you live in places like New York. Oh, and it costs $2600 a year. Commuting is just one of those necessary evils, like death and taxes. Or is it?
With rent and property values trending ever higher around the nuclei of major urban centers, an office worker pays a premium to have a more manageable commute, which keeps them in a job, which keeps them close to the city, and so on. As remote work becomes more plausible for more people, I wonder if young, ambitious professionals will still default to urban lifestyles and the expensive quality of life inherent in being in a hub. If millenials gravitate to remote working, what could this mean for urban real estate values and for demographics of desirable non-urban areas and more affordable second cities?
I think about this a lot, as I am preparing to move to a non-urban environment for the first time in my adult life. I've been running my own business entirely remotely for a few years now, and I find that I feel calmer, more inspired and energized when I'm by the ocean. I'm moving somewhere people go on vacation and/or dream of retiring to. I don't see any reason not to situate myself in a place I love, when I can work with clients from all over the world, and when it's more affordable than living in the city, which just doesn't do it for me like it used to.
If you didn't have any constraints around where you could live and work, where would you go?