Upping sticks: Mid-thirties most likely age to relocate as big city life may become too much

3 November 2017

  • Poll for Nationwide reveals 36 as age people most likely to start thinking about relocating for work
  • London workers that would relocate are far more inclined to escape the capital to pursue a new job in their 30s
  • Almost half of British workers would move if a role offered a better work/ life balance
  • Despite flexible work policies, just under two thirds say they never work from home

Flocks of 30 somethings could be ditching city life to work across the UK’s regions as research reveals the age at which people consider relocating to work.

With unemployment at its lowest since the mid-seventies, an online YouGov survey commissioned by Swindon-based Nationwide Building Society shows that our thirties are by far the most popular age at which people think they would consider escaping the hustle and bustle.

According to the poll of more than 2,000 British workers, the prime age they would start considering relocating to another area for work are from 36 until 44 years old, with more than a third (34%) of respondents picking this age group. Londoners within this age bracket are by far the most likely to escape city life with around nine in ten (88%) opting to move from their mid-thirties – more than double the percentage of Welsh workers wishing to relocate (43%). This could be because of the associated upheaval with relocating - around half of workers that would consider relocating for work between 36 to 44, (49%) have children aged four or under.

Nationwide’s poll, which was conducted to better understand what drives people to relocate for work, found that almost a quarter of people (24%) would relocate for a job in the future.

Work to live, not live to work:

While money is the biggest driver for relocating (62%) for workers in Britain, almost half (45%) of those polled said they would relocate if their employer could offer a better work life balance. While 15 per cent stated the appeal of an organisations’ culture or values would actually encourage them to relocate. This was significantly more relevant for younger workers (19% aged 18-24) than older groups (11% aged 55+).

Flexible working still not part of the working norm:

With the average travel time to work being 32 minutes according to the poll, it is perhaps surprising that nearly two thirds (64%) say they never work from home. On average, workers average a day a month working from home, although Londoners are far more likely to do so, at 16 days per year on average, with just under a fifth (17 per cent) working from home at least twice a month. This may be because Londoners face the longest average commute, at around 44 minutes. Some 12 per cent of workers living in the capital spend more than an hour getting to work.

When it comes to staying away from home for work purposes, while the average is six nights per year, just under one in ten (9%) record 13-plus nights. However, those in the East Midlands are most likely to also pack an overnight bag, spending an average of nine nights from home. Men also spend around double the nights away than women (8 vs 4 days on average respectively) and commute further to work on average (11.26 miles from front door to office for all workers vs 12.8 on average for men)

Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill, Nationwide’s Director of Resourcing, said: “It was always assumed that to work for an innovative, leading organisation meant living in a metropolis. But our latest research puts pay to that view with more and more London workers moving beyond the M25 to locate that perfect job as an increasing number of companies base themselves in other parts of the UK. The BBC is just one recent example, having established its headquarters in Manchester.

“Furthermore, according to a recent survey1 of over 8,000 global businesses who had increased their proportion of flexible working, the overwhelming message was of enhanced performance with 83% reporting an improvement in productivity and 58% believing flexible working had a positive impact on their organisations reputation.”

Notes to Editor:

  1. The poll of 2,185 British workers was carried out by online market researchers, YouGov, and took place between September 1st – 4th, 2017.
  2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc
  3. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  4. 1Vodafone - Flexible: Friend of Foe survey, 2016

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Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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