Hiding from the virus, I found myself working from a confined studio apartment without access to the fast-paced culture or inter-office collaboration that kept me fulfilled as an urban dweller. And since I’ve been visiting family outside the city on the weekends, I'm visiting that daydream more often, longing for a backyard and more living space like they have.
Although these cautionary measures are temporary, these last few months gave me a sneak peek at a different way of working and living, which might accelerate my future outside the city. Working remotely has demonstrated that my home and office do not need to be as linked as they were previously. If working remotely a few days a week becomes standard moving forward, will I prematurely trade my city life for a longer commute? While I'm not running for the hills tomorrow, I've gained new perspectives and priorities for my home that have ultimately changed my five-year plan. If you're a daydreamer like me, here are a few things to consider about city life and suburban life before making the jump to the "country."
This experiment has given everyone a chance to evaluate what we consider important in our lives. After my epiphany, I started thinking: if the Stay at Home mandates have changed the needs and perceptions of my home environment, are there other city-living professionals experiencing the same?
After chatting with fellow Bergmeyer city-dweller Amelia Papadakis, I realized I wasn’t alone. But rather than planning an escape from the city, Amelia’s looking at her urban home in a whole new light. The pandemic allowed her to really explore her neighborhood, appreciating all the local shops and amenities she can visit once they reopen. Though Amelia wants to continue life in the city, she has adjusted her “wish list” for her next apartment based on her Stay at Home experience:
“I always used to have the mindset of “oh, it’s okay if I have a dinky little apartment because I’m never home anyway!” but now, if my work culture shifts to working remotely more often, I will absolutely need more space. I have hopped all over our 480 square foot space trying to find the right spot. It would be nice to have at least a dedicated place for the remote-work days. Something I had never previously considered!”
As more employees work remotely, residents like Amelia who want to stay in the city will have different living requirements moving forward. City dwellers who prefer to stay in the city will need to be more innovative and thoughtful in their homes moving forward.
A positive outcome of this Stay At Home experience is we will all be looking at future opportunities with a new perspective. Working remotely is changing our perception of where we live in relation to our office. Staying home has us redecorating or moving to different homes to accommodate our new behaviors better. Our health and wellness have stronger importance as we yearn for safe ways to stay active and social. We've been reminded what's essential in our lives and homes, and whether it's making big changes or small, city-dwellers will be rethinking their home and futures to reflect their renewed priorities.