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The UK’s Relocation Habits and Preferences

According to Brycelands Removals & Storage , every year approximately 4 to 5% of the UK population will move to a different city or county within the country.

Relocating to another city or county allows us to test our limits and taking that leap of faith can show us what we’re capable of and how far our limits can go.

It also allows us to broaden our horizons and moving to a new country isn’t always a requirement for this! Even relocating to a new city in your own country can allow you to experience a completely new way of life.

That’s why here at Moneypenny, we surveyed 1,000 UK office workers regarding their relocation preferences.

We also looked at demographics such as age, region and gender to analyse if there were any patterns in these attitudes towards relocation.

Job Relocation
We explored the percentage of UK workers who would relocate for their job. 35% answered they would and have done so before, 24% responded in the survey that they would relocate for a job but haven’t done so yet and finally, 29% would not do so.


We also investigated how many would move to another city if they were required to because of their job. We found that over half (53%) would move cities if it was a prerequisite, on the other hand, only 20% wouldn’t.

The age demographic most likely to be open to relocating for a job and in turn have done so already is the 35-44-year-olds, at 41%. Conversely, the slightly older age group (45 to 54) are the least likely to want to move areas for a job at 37%.

We also found that men were more likely than women to move for a job. When we looked at those who answered they would be willing to relocate, the results were 51% for women and 69% for men.

From exploring regional data, we discovered that London was the region where the most people answered that they would relocate for a job and have done this before at 50%.

Job Location

The location of a job is extremely important because it has a direct effect on employees’ job satisfaction and their work/life balance which can be one of the easiest factors workplaces overlook.

We have therefore looked into how far from their current location those polled would be willing to relocate to, for a job. The table below explores the general percentages in descending order:

Motives for Relocating

Not only can moving cities and towns mean you gaining a whole new social circle thus allowing you to meet many new people of different backgrounds, but it can also provide you with an opportunity for immediate or potential growth. There may be other incentives like an increase in salary, promotions and access to more connections in your work sector.

This is why we also investigated the motives people say they would have to relocate for work:

The average number of miles people were prepared to relocate from their current location was 250.6 miles. We were surprised to discover that the age group most likely to be willing to relocate the furthest from their workplace at more than 1,000 miles are those aged between 45-54 at 32%.

However, what was perhaps even more surprising was that the second-youngest age group (25-34) had the highest percentage of people answering they would only be willing to relocate only 1 to 10 miles for a job.

From investigating regional data from the survey, we found that the region that was most likely to answer that they would only be open to relocating 1 to 10 miles for work was East Anglia at 39%. On the other hand, we found that those from Northern Ireland responded the most; they would relocate more than 1,000 miles at 38%.

Rural Areas v Urban Areas

Rural properties are far more likely to be larger and have a garden than those in the city, making them perfect for those raising or looking to start a family. The countryside also allows people to be at one with nature and wildlife.

There are downsides to living in more rural areas such as a lack of leisure activities, rural areas not having the general infrastructure that cities have and there being a lack of employment opportunities. Since the pandemic, however, this may not be the case with the rise in remote working.

We, therefore, wanted to discover from the survey how many UK office workers would leave the city to move to a more rural location.

We found that 27% of those polled have left the city to move to somewhere rural and a whopping 42% would be happy to relocate somewhere more rural but haven’t done so. However, only 17% of those surveyed would prefer to stay living in a city.

When investigating if respondents would or have relocated if their company allows or allowed flexible or remote working. We found that nearly half (46%) would move to a more rural area. 29% would relocate to a more urban area or city within the United Kingdom and finally, 10% would prefer to live abroad.

Our data follows the trend that the younger you are the more likely you are to want to relocate to a more urban destination. For instance, 56% of 18 to 24-year-olds would move to an urban area if their company allowed flexible or remote working compared to just 19% of the over 64 age demographic.

From exploring age demographics, we found that perhaps unsurprisingly, the oldest age group (above 64) were most likely at 41% to answer that they would leave the city to go somewhere more rural. 41% answered that they would and have done so already. On the other hand, the second-youngest age group, (25 to 34-year-olds) were most likely to respond that they would prefer to stay in the city at 23%.

Motives for Relocating

Not only can moving cities and towns mean you gaining a whole new social circle thus allowing you to meet many new people of different backgrounds, but it can also provide you with an opportunity for immediate or potential growth. There may be other incentives like an increase in salary, promotions and access to more connections in your work sector.

This is why we also investigated the motives people say they would have to relocate for work:

The survey highlighting that the top motive for moving cities being a cheaper cost of living is perhaps unsurprising with the constant rising living costs in the UK, especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to data by the Office for National Statistics, 88% of UK adults have experienced an increase in their living costs in May 2022. Additionally, in their March 2022 forecasts, the OBR also expects household incomes after tax and adjusted for inflation to start decreasing in 2022 and not to start to improve until 2024.

The motive that men were most likely to give for moving to another area is the cost of living is cheaper (46%). However, the most commonly answered motive for women was the ability to start a new chapter in their lives (56%).

Relocation Regret

The grass may not always be greener on the other side, and it can be possible to relocate for a job opportunity and then regret this afterwards. This could be due to a whole host of reasons such as moving away from family and friends, stepping out of your comfort zone or simply not liking your new place of work. We, therefore, explored this further.

We discovered that over a third (36%) of those surveyed said that they have relocated due to a job and didn’t regret it. However, 29% responded that they have moved jobs a couple of times and regretted it later and 28% of those polled answered that they have moved once and regretted it.

From investigating age, we discovered that the youngest age group; those aged between 18 and 24 were most likely to have moved locations for their job, regretted it later and consequently moved back at 28%.

In contrast, the oldest age group explored in the survey (those aged 64 and over) were most likely to answer they didn’t regret their decision to move at a whopping 81%!

Final thoughts

Overall, we believe the survey provided some really valuable insight into the UK’s attitudes towards relocating, sourced directly from office workers all across the nation.

It’s valuable to see how our attitude to moving can change depending on region, age and gender.

With the huge impact that moving to a new place has on our lives, we hope that we have increased your understanding of the UK’s relocation habits and preferences.

If you’re looking for outsourced support for your calls, live chat and more, then consider choosing us as we are the UK’s number one answering service.

We’re also the only provider to give you dedicated people, hand-picked to look after your customers as if they were our own.

Methodology

One Poll surveyed 1,000 UK office workers, questioning them on all things relocation-related. The survey was carried out between the 13th of June 2022 and the 20th of June 2022.

 

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