Another place, different lifestyle, same job
Do you happen to know people who have moved to the countryside or smaller towns after many years spent in big cities while dreaming of a different lifestyle? Or people who have traded a big city for another big city hundreds of miles away?
In the past, we used to associate these relocations with post-retirement periods, when we were no longer interested in the professional opportunities provided by the big business centers. Some of our parents would retreat to quieter places, close to nature, while we carried on the tradition of office work and sometimes visited them on weekends, tired and stressed after a full week at our city jobs.
The current upward trend of remote work, however, makes it possible to reformulate our initial question without instantly imagining age restrictions: do you happen to know people who have kept their jobs and moved to the countryside or smaller towns after many years spent in big cities? What about nomads who travel from one metropolis to another and whose main constant in life is their career?
Year by year, my circle of friends who dare such enthusiastic and original decisions expands. Trying to make a profile of the former Bucharest citizen relocated on his own initiative, I reviewed my discussions with these friends, their professional experiences, family situations and hundreds of photos which captured their transition to a new way of living.
As first motivation to leave, all of them needed a major change in their lifestyle, choosing either a quieter and greener region or one that would still offer them the cultural and commercial advantages of the city, but among other people, infrastructures and landscapes.
While some of them wanted to move as faraway as possible and discover new places, others responded to the calling of the past, went back to their hometowns and reunited with their families.
Some of them also mentioned the desire to offer their children a more balanced education, considering that harmonious development requires contact with nature and that elite schools can also be found in smaller cities.
Although usually this is not the main reason for relocation, it is no wonder that most professionals who move from a large city notice a significant cost reduction. They obtain more with less money.
In addition to those who move permanently or for long periods of time, there are also people who have a nomadic lifestyle, choosing a bucket list of destinations for medium or short-term periods.
It is natural to ask ourselves how did these changes affect their careers and how did they manage to keep their jobs. Of course, they have professions that allow a high level of flexibility and online work, in business domains such as IT, various counseling services, translations, writing, finance-accounting etc.
A few years ago, I only knew a couple of pioneers who had left Bucharest and started a new life elsewhere taking their jobs with them. Most of them were small entrepreneurs, so they didn’t actually risk losing their positions. Now, especially after the experience of the pandemic, I’m starting to lose their number. Among them, more and more are part of larger teams; being very good at their jobs, employers didn’t want to lose them and adapted to their request of working remotely.
At first you might find it unusual to see one of your employees posting early in the morning on social media a picture with the sunrise from the hill in front of his courtyard, but you shouldn’t be surprised when the same person proves commitment, productivity and increased efficiency at work. Everyone appreciates the chance to combine a profession that they love with living in a place that truly suits them. As an employer you have many other benefits if you encourage the flexibility of remote work in your organization, as detailed in our previous articles.
When we consider the benefits and challenges for employees and employers living many miles apart, we instantly notice another advantage of the remote work phenomena: local communities and economies are being reinforced, and areas that previously risked remaining depopulated are being brought back to life. This is definitely for the good of us all.
As our perspectives on working in fixed offices change, organizations adopt flexible internal procedures and geographically unrestricted staff employment, the possibility of working from anywhere becomes more clear. In the recent past we could only dream of such big life shifts. Now we have enough successful examples around us. Where would you really like to live? What would it take for you to keep your job and relocate to that place, building a different lifestyle?