Remote Workers Should Move To Small Towns
Cities are great. Cities have lots of restaurants, shops, theaters, and other hubs of culture. They have plenty of sights to see. They have tons of people. They usually have better public transportation and more taxis.
There is a lot to like about cities which would attract people to live in them. But a major reason why people move to cities is for the work opportunities that exist there. Many of the best paying jobs are in cities. If a person wants one of those jobs, they have to move to where the work is.
For a long time, this has generally drawn people from around the country, people who formerly lived in rural areas and small towns, to big cities.
And while there is plenty of upside to city life, there are also some challenges. There are some reasons why people might want to leave the city.
There are lots of people. I listed that as a benefit before, but it can also be a problem. There are few private spaces in big cities. Everywhere you go, there will be people. Sometimes it's nice to just walk down an empty sidewalk or go to an empty park.
Everything in a city is more expensive. Any purchase you make from a restaurant or a shop is likely to be more expensive in the city than outside of it.
Housing can be limited and therefore very expensive. People in cities often have to settle for very small and crappy apartments because that is all that is available. And they tend to pay a lot in rent for those apartments.
Commuting can be more difficult because there are more people on the roads trying to get somewhere. All of those cars often slow traffic, making even short commutes time consuming.
For these reasons, many city dwellers would like to leave the city for smaller towns, but they can't because their job is in the city and they would take a significant pay cut to take a job in a smaller town.
But that is changing. Remote work has been possible for some occupations for a while now. But actually finding employers who were willing to let workers do their work from home was hard. They imagined there was some need for all the people doing independent work to be located in the same building. They were stuck in tradition. They figured that jobs had always worked that way, so they should continue to work that way.
But more and more employers are offering jobs that can be done remotely. And that trend has grown by leaps and bounds during the COVID-19 pandemic as people need to work from home as much as possible to prevent the spread of disease.
Now that employees have gotten a taste for how sweet the freedom to work from anywhere is, I doubt they'll be willing to give it up arbitrarily, just to go back to the way things were. And I think employers are realizing that it is completely possible to have an employee work 100% of the time away from the office and that all the work that needs to get done still gets done. They've proved the remote work model. And being able to open up their jobs to a wider candidate pool (remote work jobs can hire anyone from anywhere) allows them to get better quality help even faster.
Both sides of the employment arrangement are now willing to do remote work.
The one thing holding people back from moving out of cities and into small towns is now becoming less of an issue.
People with high incomes can now move to small towns and take their jobs with them.
He suggests that creatives, entrepreneurs, and remote workers should move to small towns and build the sort of community they want.
Building space/leases tend to be cheaper in small towns than in cities, so these sorts of high income folks could take up available space and install the sorts of shops and restaurants they'd like to see in the place they live. They can create the amenities they want.
On top of that, they would have much better access to nature. They could go for hikes in the woods or spend some time near a lake. Once you get out of the city, nature tends to be easily accessible all the time.
Nat believes this movement of people with high incomes to smaller towns will revitalize these small towns and their main streets. The general trend, accelerated especially during economic downturns, has been that small towns shrank and their economies suffered. Bringing high income people to these towns can stimulate their economy and improve life for everyone living there.
It really seems like it is a win-win-win type of situation. The high income people get to live in a more ideal place and feel good about creating and supporting small businesses. The local residents get more people who will spend money in the local economy and they would likely love the new businesses that get created. And the wider economy will do better as money is spread out geographically wider and leaves the highly concentrated cities.
I have vaguely felt that I would like to move to a small town but for the fact that I need to live in a city to earn the sort of income I'd like to earn. I had not thought about it as much as Nat or nailed down as many details of a plan. I really enjoyed reading about Creator Towns and I really hope it works out. I hope that I can participate in one someday.
Do you prefer city or small town life? Would you like to take a relatively large income and build businesses in a small town? Can you think of any added benefits to this plan? Any downsides? Let me know in the comments!