“If we move to Akron, we can buy a mansion!”
But don’t let housing cost drive your entire decision. Generally, cheaper locales are that way for a reason, and buying a dream home in a random city isn’t necessarily a recipe for happiness. Consider spending time as a “slo-mad” in a cheap city before moving there.
5. What do you value?
This is the final consideration on our list, but really it’s the most important. Remote work affords options, and which option you choose will depend on what you value. Do you want to be close to family? Or to friends? Do you want to live cheaply and retire early? Or do you want to make the most of the money you’re earning now and live in a vibrant, dynamic city?
Many people never have to confront these questions. They simply live near their work and make the best of it. Switching to a remote mindset can — and should — prompt some difficult questions about what you care about and how you will build your life in order to maximize these values.
Remember: Very few decisions are permanent, and you can always test out something new and reverse course. Try experimenting with one variable at a time (e.g., whether to keep a permanent home) and see what works and what doesn’t.
The bottom line
The pandemic has changed many aspects of everyday life, ranging from the banal to the monumental. And if your job has offered you the chance to work from home permanently, you have an opportunity to change the very structure of your life — or not.