In many ways, the pandemic was the catalyst for a remote work movement that allowed people more freedom to make permanent moves away from their current city.

Certainly, the era of COVID-19 has rocked traditional working methods. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many employees have experienced workplace change. This has included an extension of remote work.

Remote work means working from any location other than the central office. This could be another workplace, or it may mean at home. To facilitate remote working, workers have replaced face-to-face interactions with digital tools to video conferencing, plus other tools to handle tasks, complete projects, and communicate with their team.

To assess how the pandemic has altered work location patterns, the company CapRelo surveyed over 1,100 U.S. citizens in relation to their post-pandemic moving desires and motivations.

Although remote working is not for everyone, the inquiry found that 3 out of 4 people said they would consider moving if given the opportunity to work remotely post-pandemic. This is a figure higher than that prior to the pandemic, suggesting that people are starting to value remote working opportunities very highly.

In terms of what is the key motivation for seeking greater remote working opportunities, the survey found that for 64.3 percent of respondents, a more affordable cost of living was the top motivating factor for moving. This includes aspects like lower house prices and a reduction in travel costs, mostly through the ending of the daily commute.

Many businesses have seen the advantage that remote work presents, and as well as productivity (albeit a nebulous concept), there are other benefits that can be realized, such as employee retention and engagement, and reduced staff turnover.

Other employers are less sold on the practical value of remote work and are of the view they get less out of employees. While many employees are working longer hours, for example, the output levels are not necessarily greater than those stopped over a laptop at home.

While people are expressing a willingness to move, this is not a move too far. With this sentiment, 41 percent of respondents said they would like to live in a different city that is only three hours or less, in terms of driving, away from their current home.

There are downsides to remote work as well. Many employees have experienced mental health problems. Plus, there are risks that as remote working becomes easier, many companies will simply direct services overseas to cheaper labor markets.