Covid-19 is changing working patterns for a lot of people. So many more of us are working from home, with the prospect of this becoming part of a new post-virus work landscape.
In turn, it’s coupled with a rise in the number of people and families wanting to move out of London and other cities to more rural destinations. If we’re not tied geographically to our workplace, what’s to stop us? Less time commuting to offices frees up time to spend with families, doing the things we love.
Devon and Cornwall will be in many people’s radar as a destination of choice. But holidaying here and living here are two different things and relocating here will require a different set of criteria for determining where to settle.
So do make sure you do your research and explore different areas as much as possible. Don’t just opt for the obvious, well-known holiday destinations which can get crammed in the summer. Explore lesser-known places which don’t get so busy in the main season – and conversely don’t become deserted in the winter because of the number of second homes.
You may still need to travel to an office periodically so it’s important to think about travel connections. Exeter to London is normally about two hours 40 by train but from Penzance it’s more like five hours. By car, it’s about a two-hour drive from west Cornwall to east Devon to pick up the M5.
Internet connections and download speeds are obviously vital. These can be great but they can also be poor. It’s critical to get the best you can.
Visit schools and make appointments to view. Taster and open days may not be feasible right now but do try to view on a one-to-one basis.
You’ll have to bear in mind that you’ll probably spend more time in the car than you’re used to. Public transport can be patchy and taxis aren’t always easy to come by. So think about what there is to do in the area and how far you’ll have to travel to get to places and do the things you want to do.
And then, of course, you may be looking at internal space differently. You’ll be looking for a dedicated work space. Annexes may be useful for inter-generational living, creating a self-contained, but not isolated, living space for grandparents. Already, there is demand for second sinks in kitchens, outside sinks and entrances that provide a dedicated space for people coming to the house to take off shoes and leave bags before entering the main house. As for gardens, we’ve all come to realise just how important outside space is for our wellbeing.
Do your homework and chances are you’ll love it here.