Realizing the quality-of-life benefits that come from working remotely

Realizing the quality-of-life benefits that come from working remotely

In his article Finding Pandemic Relief on Canada’s Atlantic Coast, The New York Times reporter Dan Bilefsky explores why so many Canadians are moving to the country’s Atlantic provinces. Mr. Bilefsky traveled to St. John’s, Newfoundland in October, to report on “the recent exodus of urbanites from big Canadian cities like Toronto to the country’s picturesque Atlantic coast. The region has been experiencing the biggest inward migration in half a century, spurred by pandemic doldrums, the flexibility of remote working and soaring real estate prices elsewhere in the country.”

The personal finance and wealth management writer Amanda Pell adds, “If you’re among the high percentage of employees who switched to remote work due to COVID-19, your company leadership may now be discussing whether or not to transition to a fully distributed employee model. If your company does go remote, you may find yourself considering whether it makes sense to relocate now that you no longer need to live near an office.”

The recent launch of Canada’s first-ever Tech Talent Strategy is another added benefit, with new and improved ways to help businesses in Canada thrive and compete for global talent.

Choose space to think, room to work and an opportunity to grow in the St. John’s area.

“Relocating once you’re remote can be a smart financial move. Traditionally, the demand for housing is higher in places where job markets are most concentrated and, as a result, prices in those places are higher,” writes Pell.

Until recently, those who wanted good job prospects, generally had to pay for the privilege with an endless work commute and an exorbitant mortgage.

But has the time come to reconsider how and where work gets done? Are we in a temporary holding pattern due to the never-ending pandemic, or are we experiencing the start of a massive shift in how work will be done, with employment opportunities in a particular region becoming less relevant than the quality-of-life benefits a place has to offer?

The world-class hiking paths of the East Coast Trail are right here in our own backyard.

Freelance writer Amy Freeman points out, “The future of many jobs is remote work. While some roles, such as waiting tables or physically examining patients in a doctor’s office, require a person to be on-site, you can do most 21st-century jobs from pretty much anywhere. Modern technology and videoconferencing platforms make it easy for people to stay in touch and communicate throughout the workday.”

According to Statistics Canada, it is estimated that 39% of Canadian workers hold jobs that can plausibly be carried out from home. That number increases to 59% for those workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher education. It climbs further still, for workers in finance and insurance, or in professional, scientific and technical services, of which 85% can work remotely.

In his article for The Atlantic, Find the Place You Love. Then Move There., Arthur Brooks writes about “how to build a life.” Specifically, “As the economy changes, and quarantine has revealed that many jobs can be performed remotely, you might find yourself with more geographic flexibility than you have had in a long time. If you’re uncomfortable with the status quo, this time when life has been paused might be just the impetus you need to make you consider a change of place.”

A quick search for “remote work” on job sites such as Indeed Canada and Career Beacon offers up plenty of options and the list is growing. This new world of work also figures prominently on social channels like LinkedIn and Facebook, where it’s easier than ever for employers and employees from different areas to connect.

Although the pandemic may have been the catalyst for remote work for millions of workers worldwide, it quickly became apparent for employers and employees that working remotely really works. With a slew of advantages from a better scheduling fit with the needs of your personal life, to no commute stress, to avoiding high-rent, high-mortgage, high cost of living urban centres, some form of remote work for many of us is here to stay.

Additional information from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador can be found at Work Remote. Live Happier.