In this guest post, Nancy Zafrani of Oz Moving & Storage explores how to relocate when you’re a remote worker — and offers expert tips on making your move as smooth as possible!
The latest data shows that 17.9 percent of employees work from home full time. By 2025, experts estimate that nearly a quarter of the workforce will be fully remote. If you can work anywhere, you can also live anywhere, right? When they secure a full-time work-from-home job, many people decide to pack up and relocate to a new place — perhaps one with a lower cost of living or one that is closer to their loved ones. Are you thinking about relocating? If so, this remote worker’s relocation guide discusses everything you need to know to ensure a smooth move.
The Remote Work Revolution and Relocation
The rise of remote work has caused many professionals to relocate, primarily those in large, metropolitan cities with high costs of living. During 2020 and 2021, 110,000 remote workers moved out of the San Francisco metro area (compared to just 20,000 in 2018 and 2019). Two hundred thousand remote workers also left New York City in 2020 and 2021, compared to 40,000 in 2018 and 2019.
Even though many people have returned to the office as the pandemic slowed down, plenty of people are still working from home full time — as evidenced by the research linked at the beginning of this guide.
Planning for a Seamless Remote Worker’s Relocation
If you’re part of the work-from-home revolution and want to relocate, you need to find a way to move without interrupting your workflow or hindering your productivity. The following are some planning strategies that can help you prepare for a seamless move:
- Start early: If you leave things until the last minute, you’ll find yourself scrambling to schedule movers, pack your belongings, and meet deadlines before you move to your new place.
- Set multiple deadlines: Use the same process you use when handling a big project at work. Break the process of moving into several smaller tasks, and give each one a deadline.
- Reach out to movers early: Hiring professional movers will help you get your belongings to your new destination efficiently and in one piece. Look for a moving team early, though. Otherwise, you might struggle to find a reputable service that you trust with your possessions.
Researching Your New Location: Essentials and Amenities
Not sure where you want to live now that the world’s your oyster? Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when researching a new location:
- Affordability: How much can you afford to spend on rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, etc.? Review your budget and consider which area will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Proximity to family and friends: Do you want to live closer to your friends or family members? If so, look for cities near them (and ask for their recommendations on the best neighborhoods).
- Climate: Do you prefer a place where you can experience all four seasons, or do you want to enjoy the sun year round?
- Safety: What are the crime rates in the city you’re considering? Will you feel comfortable going for a bike ride in the evening or walking to a corner coffee shop?
The Remote Worker’s Relocation Logistics: Packing, Shipping, and Unpacking
Of course, you can’t prepare to relocate without considering the logistics, including packing your belongings, shipping them to your new home, and unpacking. These tips can help you streamline these tedious but essential processes.
- Remember to start packing early. Gather plenty of boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and other supplies so you don’t have to regularly run out for more during the packing process.
- When packing, it helps to start with the items you won’t need anytime soon, such as holiday decorations or out-of-season clothing. As the moving date gets closer, you can start packing up more important belongings.
- Don’t forget to label every box when you’ve finished packing. Note what’s inside and where it belongs (for example, “Pots and pans — Kitchen”).
- Working with professional movers saves you from having to do all the loading and unloading yourself. Let the experts help you move boxes out of the house and into the truck and then transport them to your new destination.
- Keep some items with you during the move, though. Pack a bag of essentials (a couple of changes of clothes, toiletries, important documents, your laptop, etc.) so you can clean up and get some work done while you wait for the rest of your belongings to arrive.
- If possible, take a couple of days off work to unpack when you arrive at your new home. Give yourself some time to settle in and get familiar with the neighborhood before you throw yourself back into your job.
- While unpacking, focus on the necessities first. For example, start by unloading the kitchen and pantry items, bedding, and items stored in the bathroom. If you can at least get these essential areas unpacked right away, you’ll feel more comfortable while you tackle the rest of your belongings at your own pace.
Setting Up a Productive Remote Workspace in Your New Home
Once you arrive at your new location, one of the most important areas to set up first is your remote workspace. Here are some suggestions to set up a productive home office:
- Establish a dedicated office space: Ideally, you’ll have a separate room that you use exclusively as an office.
- Let natural light in: If possible, choose a room with a window so you can enjoy natural light during the workday.
- Gather the proper equipment: This list should include ergonomic furniture, adequate lighting, and noise-canceling headphones.
- Check the internet connection: Make sure you have fast and reliable internet so you can work uninterrupted.
- Add some plants: Bringing in greenery can purify the air and breathe new life into your office space.
Embracing Change and Adapting to a New Environment
Are you ready to start your next chapter as a remote worker? Follow the guidelines shared above, and you’ll have a much easier time planning and executing your move, as well as settling into your new location.
Nancy Zafrani is the experienced General Manager of Oz Moving & Storage, with 30 years in the industry and a lifetime of knowledge as a New Yorker. She helped grow the company from 3 employees to 200 with 50 trucks and locations across the US. Her experience and organizational skills have led to over 500,000 successful moves. She is proud to lead a company that provides the best possible moving experience.
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