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From Gen Z to baby boomers, here’s who really moved away because of the pandemic

A 2021 Qualtrics survey reveals the migration patterns of different workers since the beginning of COVID-19.

From Gen Z to baby boomers, here’s who really moved away because of the pandemic
[Photo: HiveBoxx/Unsplash]
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The advent of remote work brought on a slew of new disruptions to our concept of work, from how employees think about workplace benefits to more enlightened definitions of work-life boundaries.

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The pandemic has prompted workers to not only think about how they work, but where. As Fast Company previously reported, a 2021 report from Urban Land Institute and PwC demonstrated that workers’ interest in new homes and single-family real estate is on the rise (with most growth occurring in the suburbs and in the American south), and office properties will need time to adjust to evolving worker demands (hybrid offices, anyone?). As of yet, it’s still too soon to say what will become of commercial office buildings, with the sector showing signs of a comeback in some cities, while other locales continue to display high vacancy rates.

Regardless, workers across generations have packed up and moved since the beginning of the pandemic, but interest in migrating differs among age groups. According to a recent survey from software company Qualtrics, younger workers were much more likely to say they’ve moved away from their physical office locations than older workers, which the authors claim is due to fewer responsibilities and less job security:

  • 25% of Gen-Zers reported moving away during the pandemic
  • 16% of millennials reported changing locations
  • 9% of Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) workers reported moving away
  • 6% of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) reported moving

Also from the report: 8% of city dwellers confirmed that they had packed up for new living quarters during the pandemic.

The top three reasons given by those who had moved: “I want to be closer to family and friends,” “I felt ready for a change,” and “I want to be somewhere with more space.”

The Qualtrics survey gathered responses from 4,000 employed individuals across the United States, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand over two weeks in March 2021. Read more from the full survey here.

About the author

Diana is an assistant editor for Fast Company's Work Life section. Previously, she was an editor at Vice and an editorial assistant at Entrepreneur

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