The pandemic has brought with it a whole new way of working, with many businesses now offering a hybrid model, and others ditching their offices entirely and allowing employees to work remotely full-time. But what does this mean for big cities that once drew people in for work? Do people choose London for the city itself, or is living in the capital purely based on having to be there for work? What if we could keep our jobs and work anywhere, would people still want to live in cities like London?

New research from flatshare site SpareRoom reveals that almost half (49%) of London renters would move out of the capital if they could still keep their job. Over a third (38%) who would move out said they’d leave the country altogether and live abroad if they could still keep their job. Nearly a quarter (22%) would choose to move to the countryside, while others would opt for a new city (19%) or a new town (11%). Some even said they’d choose to not settle in one place at all (10%).

It’s not just London renters who would leave their town or city – over half (51%) of those currently living in other major cities, and 62% of those not living in a major city, want to move from their current location if they could keep their job.

SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson says: “The pandemic has shown that most of us can work from anywhere, opening up the opportunity for people to choose a place to live because it better suits their lifestyle, rather than their commute. What’s clear from this research is that renters are eager for a lifestyle change, with the majority wanting to make the move, whether that be from a city like London or a small seaside town, if their employers allow remote working.”