There’s a solution here

The gurus aren’t just predicting that working from home is here to stay, they’re also prophesying that it’ll be great and cheap. Not only will commuting costs disappear, homeworking will make housing cheaper, as not living near the office will mean everyone is paying small-town rents while earning city-centre salaries. Back in the real world, new research shows that homeworking households actually spent about 7-10% more on housing compared with similar non-remote households in the same region. Why? Homeworkers need more space so have bigger houses. The only thing less fun than a pandemic spent at the kitchen table is a lifetime at one. Homeworkers also tend to live in more expensive areas. Maybe you care more which neighbourhood you live in if you never leave it.

We could stop building the smallest new housing in Europe perhaps….

17 thoughts on “There’s a solution here”

  1. Forgive me if I’m being thick, but is the article not equivocating “cheap-as-in-you-pay-less” with “cheap-as-in-you-get-more”?

    Most people would see having a big house in a nice place as a benefit.

  2. “Back in the real world, new research shows that homeworking households actually spent about 7-10% more on housing compared with similar non-remote households in the same region. ”

    Is he a total moron? “In the same region”. The benefit of work from home is that you don’t have to live in a 2 bed flat in Hammersmith, but can live in a 4 bed detached in Swindon for the same money.

    I can’t believe this level of whining. This is a golden opportunity for everyone in London complaining about Generation Rent. If 90% of your work is on a laptop, you can move to Westbury or Nuneaton. Buy a 2 bed flat for £100K. £450/month mortgage. Work hard, pay off the capital and you can probably get that cleared in 15 years. What are you missing out on except expensive beer, Romanian beggars and suicide bombing?

  3. What are you missing out on except expensive beer, Romanian beggars and suicide bombing?

    If you move to Nuneaton, pretty much everything.

  4. “homeworking households actually spent about 7-10% more on housing compared with similar non-remote households in the same region”

    Low-paid jobs can’t WfH, only high-paid jobs. Therefore WfHers are richer, therefore they spend more on housing.

  5. All office staff relocating to the country is like a dog trying to outrun its own fleas.
    And it’s career limiting; you can only change jobs to another WFH gig.

  6. We could stop building the smallest new housing in Europe perhaps….

    That issue is too caught up in greenery and council pension obligations to change. Shitty little hovels able to be heated with dreams, all crammed together to maximise the number of council tax payers – that’s the foreseeable.

  7. The arrival of lots of well-off ex-London keyboard bashers will drive up prices and take all the decent property out of locals price range. Locals wont even be able to move to the big city as there will be large numbers there already unemployed (and unable to move) thanks to all the keyboarders they made a living supplying goods/services to having slung their hooks. Nor will there be that many new jobs outside London after the exodus. If you are at home you don’t need to go for your lunch. Lower population density means far fewer amenities like theatres etc. Remember that elec cars are shorthand for “no cars at all–first for plebs –and over time no cars for non-elite either”. Not even mugs who can pay 60-90 thou for their wheels. Travelling is to be forcibly reduced by Johnsons green freak show*

    The market will adjust–to the keyboard exodus, not the Marxist greenfreeakery- in the long term. Assuming no political meddling. Which is an increasingly unlikely assumption. But this is a transition that will hurt as many as it helps. On top of Blojerks economic LD storm as well.

    * See this for car grabbing.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/14182066/pay-per-mile-clean-air-zone-new-driving-laws/?utm_medium=browser_notifications&utm_source=pushly

    Yes–it is the soaraway Sun not some “official Tory spokesman”–as if those cunts had 1 ounce of credibility. But it is what is going around. Along with plans for new greener petrol that will make it v diff to run your old car . And smart motorway shite and closed streets. And lots more to come.

  8. We (myself and wife, late 20s) are planning to pack up and leave London in the next year. The thing with London though is that rental prices are actually pretty similar to rent in my home town, where we will likely buy, whilst house prices are way higher. In your twenties before you have a family, even before you have a girlfriend, renting in London if you have a decent job works well enough. Close to work and other job opportunities, lots of people around to meet, date etc, lots of bars, gigs etc to get to. After your twenties trying to live here is stupid – only man-children, gay couples or non-English seem to do so.

  9. BOM4 – is totally right. They don’t “need” bigger houses. They tend to “choose” bigger houses that are more remote than otherwise would be necessary. They can trade proximity for size so a significant amount of peeps do. And even if they don’t they can trade commuting costs for size. . I used to look after the homeworkers in the company. They also get an allowance for that part of the house dedicated to the office. So annexes,loft, basement garage, conversions, are open to them. They also only got to be homeworkers after a certain career progression…i.e. not whippersnappers or people who need the whip cracked.

  10. It’s been a year. Certainly many people have moved out of the various cities in the world, often with a noticeable effect on prices in core urban areas, but most people working from home are living in the sames home they had before the lcokdowns.

  11. A place I used to work at would revisit salaries of employers asking to work from home more than 2 days a month. They would rebase your salary to the salaries near where you lived, rather than near their office.

    Yes, they were total cunts.

  12. I’d make another prediction.
    What sort of work can be done from home? Basically it’s information processing. Or to borrow from computerworld rules based distributed processing. That’s what most office jobs are, aren’t they?
    A business needs to handle information. Let’s take a small one-man-band business. A joiner making custom furniture in his workshop. He needs to design, source & order the timber, the fastenings, fittings & finishing materials. Some he already have in stock, so he has to know his stock levels. Or he may have to order in from his suppliers & be making purchasing decisions. And, of course, he has to think about paying the rent on his workshop, the electricity bill, getting the van serviced, his cash flow, whether he can afford a new lathe & of course, sort his taxes out. And pretty well all of this he does in his head & some figures scrawled on the back of a used envelope. There’s nothing very hard about this. Thousands of people do this every day. Our joiner would say the hard part’s making the furniture, the purpose of the enterprise.
    And there is absolutely no difference between his doing this & IKEA. Just a difference in scale. On the information side, there’s too much for one person’s head & the back of an envelope so the processing gets distributed amongst a large number of people. Your typical office bods. None of the individual tasks are much different from hose confronted by our joiner. It’s the scale that makes it complex. Something like 90% of the workload of the individual processing nodes (bod at desk) is communication with the other nodes (bods at other desks, some situated in other businesses) Letters, e-mails, phone calls, the hallowed meetings
    Automation’s cut a swathe through the manual side of manufacturing Companies can have more people working in the offices than actually make the product. Now I reckon the same thing’s going to happen to office work. The typists & the scribbling clerks went. Now it’ll be the turn of the rest. Despite their claims, what the vast majority actually do isn’t exactly rocket science. Some information processing tools maybe acquired at uni. A knowledge base. A great deal of it’s repetitive. It’s ripe for being replaced by AI. It’s already happening.
    I’d say there’s a great deal of similarity between the information processing side of businesses & bureaucracies. They are, after all, doing much the same thing. They tend to become the reason for their own existence. It’s the route by which the people at the top of companies got to be where they are. There’s a lot of empire building goes on. Move these information nodes from the office to a corner of the kitchen table & you don’t have Steve & Stephanie at the water cooler singing their own praises. Maybe there’ll be thought about whether they’re needed at all. I’m thinking the coddled middle classes have some serious shit coming down the pike. And the so called professions won’t be immune. A lot of them consist of little more than acquired information handling tools, a knowledge base & a measure of regulatory capture.

  13. BiS “Our joiner would say the hard part’s making the furniture, the purpose of the enterprise”

    Not sure about that, I suspect most regard the admin &co. as a chore they would rather not be doing. Those that do have an aptitude for it tend to grow the business and do less of the hands-on work. Which is why it can be so hard to find really satisfactory tradesmen, the combination of artisan skills and business management is rare.
    OTOH I agree, once a business grows the admin takes over, and as you say the coddled middle classes are in for a shock.

  14. “Despite their claims, what the vast majority actually do isn’t exactly rocket science. Some information processing tools maybe acquired at uni.”

    At *UNI*????? You get a degree to LEARN HOW TO TYPE????? If these people willingly paid 30 grand to learn how to type – and in this day and age HTF did they not know how to before uni – they are morons. Either that, or they’ve been ripped off.

    “How to type” is today’s “how to drag a pencil over a sheet of paper”. It is basic ground-level societal functionality. It’s like leaving school not knowing how to flush a toilet. And going to UNIVERSITY to “learn” how to to do office admin???

  15. “the combination of artisan skills and business management is rare.”

    In the old days the man would do the trade and the wife would do the books, after doing a few evening classes. But that would be patriarchial chauvanism.

  16. jgh- Exactly !

    Watch episodes of The Good Life – Barbara at the table with spectacles and pencil in mouth and Tom milking the goat or (God forbid) listen to The Archers before it went gay.

    Felicity Kendal… sorry, I have something er… important to attend to…

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