Remote working: Almost one in three would consider relocating to live


Published  22 August 2021
   5 min read
  • 18% would consider moving to the countryside or town
  • Only one in 10 would like to return to office work full-time
  • 56% would like a mix between the office and remote working

Almost one in three people in Ireland would consider relocating to live, now that remote working has become the norm for many. This is according to the latest survey from leading protection specialist Royal London which found 18% of people are in favour of moving to the countryside or town, 8% would consider moving abroad and 5% would move to an Irish city (see Appendix 1).

The nationwide survey was commissioned by Royal London and carried out by iReach earlier this year. It asked more than 1,000 adults throughout the country for their views on remote working and whether they would consider relocating permanently to live if their work allowed for it.

Barry McCutcheon, Propositions Lead at Royal London, commented on the survey findings,

“Since the pandemic hit in 2020, nearly overnight we experienced a remote working revolution. The ‘working from home experiment’, which has presented both challenges and opportunities, has enabled many people to experience working remotely and consider what it would be like as a full-time arrangement in the future. When we asked people across Ireland for their views on working remotely, the majority (56%) said they would like a mix between office-based and remote working, 34% of people would like to work remotely exclusively, while just 10% said that they would prefer to return to the office full-time.

“There are pros and cons to remote working, depending on your personal circumstances and preferences. One often cited benefit is the lack of a commute, which can save time, money and potentially reduce stress levels. Working remotely can provide more flexibility during the working day and it may allow for more time to do things you enjoy, like spending time with family and friends. However, living and working remotely in the same environment can make it difficult to separate home life from work life, for some. Of course, it’s worth noting that working remotely and working from home are not the same. Remote work is a flexible style of working which allows employees to work anywhere outside of the organisation’s usual physical place of business, for example a coworking space or a café. It includes working from home – and at the moment that’s what most of us are restricted to. However, once the pandemic is under control, the freedom to work remotely would not just be limited to working from your kitchen, bedroom or spare room. Additionally, with schools and creches back open to full capacity, those minding children won’t have to do so while working from home.”

Move to the county

Over the course of the pandemic, the housing market has seen a shift away from the predominant focus on urban living and more towards rural locations. A recent report from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland found that the expected increase in property values for 2021 will be highest in Connacht and Ulster.*

Mr. McCutcheon commented, “The opportunity to work remotely full-time due to the pandemic has resulted in a growing number of people considering a move out of the city: 18% of our survey respondents said they would consider moving to a town or to the countryside, given the opportunity to work remotely. Perhaps some have been renting in Dublin and now they plan to move back to their hometowns or maybe people are happy to relocate to somewhere rural in order to avail of more green space and potentially more affordable housing. 43% of respondents said they would stay where they are living in a town or the countryside and 26% said they would stay living in a city.”

The Royal London survey findings revealed differing views between the genders and age groupings:

  • 42% of men would prefer to work remotely full-time compared to 26% of women.
  • 64% of women would rather have an office as a base and be able to work remotely a few days a week as opposed to 48% of men.
  • 22% of men versus 13% of women would consider relocating to a town or the countryside to work remotely.
  • The desire to relocate to a town or the countryside to work remotely was highest among 25–34-year-olds and lowest among the over 55s, at 31% and 7% respectively.

Mr. McCutcheon concluded,
“It’s interesting that back in 2019 we conducted a similar survey which found that 83% people in Ireland would embrace having the opportunity to work remotely, if they were given the option by their employer to be part of a mobile workforce.** Little did we know that a few years later working remotely full-time would become a reality for many of us as a result of the pandemic restrictions.

“Our 2021 survey has revealed an even bigger appetite for remote working among the public with 90% of respondents indicating they would like to work remotely either part-time or full-time. It’s fortunate that remote working is more possible than ever before due to technology. And with the rollout of the National Broadband Plan well underway, the feasibility of successfully relocating to work remotely from rural parts of Ireland is becoming an increasingly realistic possibility.

“All in all, there has been a seismic shift in the way we work and the future of how we work will certainly cater more for remote working. That said, regardless if you work remotely or not, your source of income is something you should think about protecting. By speaking with your local Financial Broker, you can discuss your options and the benefits of putting a protection product like Income Protection in place.”


About Royal London Ireland

Royal London Ireland has a history of protecting its policyholders and their families in Ireland, and recently launched a new Pensions business in Ireland. Our business heritage in Ireland is nearly 200 years. The Caledonian Insurance Company's first office outside Edinburgh opened on Dame Street, Dublin 2 in 1824.

Today, Royal London Ireland is owned by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – the largest mutual life insurance, pensions, and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of €178 billion, 8.6 million policies in force, and 4,100 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2023.

Royal London Ireland’s office is based at 47-49 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.