Why employees are sick of cities and want to work remotely

Some 70% of knowledge workers said they would move out of their cities if they could conduct their work remotely, according to a Citrix Systems report.

Why employees are sick of cities and want to work remotely

Initially drawn to career prospects in big cities, more than half (70%) of US professionals are ready to leave their overpopulated, overpriced metros, according to a study by Citrix Systems released on Tuesday.

Of the 5,000 US knowledge workers surveyed, the majority said they saw living in major cities as a necessity for their careers, due to the vast number of employers located within these urban hubs. However, as more people have moved to bigger cities for that very reason, the job opportunities aren't as great as they once were, the report found.

SEE: Working remotely: A professional's guide to the essential tools (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The price tag for living in big cities has begun to outweigh the benefits of the locale, the report said. Some 58% of respondents characterized the costs of city living as "crippling," resulting in an eagerness to leave.

Big cities are also facing a significant talent crunch, the report found. Some 31% of respondents said that sourcing talent for skilled positions is a problem for their organization, forcing many companies to make changes that would attract more talent. These changes include increased wages (36%), promotion of diversity initiatives (28%), and investment in education and training programs outside of city locations (20%), according to the report.

However, the real way to retain and attain talent in the current economy is by offering flexible and remote work lifestyles, the report said. The majority (85%) of respondents said they could do their job just as effectively from any location. Professionals see plenty of positives in remote work including more productivity (69%), a healthier work-life balance (83%), and a reduction in commuting costs (77%), the report found.

"People today want to work where they want to work," Tim Minahan, executive vice president of strategy and chief marketing officer at Citrix, said in a press release. "And to attract them, companies need to rethink what the workplace means and create a more flexible way to work that enables them to get the right people in the right places to unlock innovation, engage customers and move their business forward."

For advice on how to best manage remote workers, check out this TechRepublic article.

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