By Gemma Morris
25th February 2015

We’ve all heard the quote that when you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. But that wouldn’t quite explain the interesting data coming out of the Office for National Statistics – that increasing numbers of young professionals are leaving the capital in search of more affordable housing and better work/life balance in other parts of the country.

It got us wondering why that might be the case. It’s possible that those leaving the city are not so much tired of life, as tired of the stresses of London life in particular. But we think it’s also because of the great opportunities that are increasingly available across the UK.

We know from our own day-to-day experience that there are great information management jobs to be found all over the country. What’s more, we don’t see the trend towards flexible working arrangements slowing down any time soon. That’s why think it’s worth considering what you might be missing out on if you’re focusing your job search solely on London.

London is the world’s most expensive city to work in

Clearly, London is a city with tremendous allure as well as a vibrant, healthy job market. However, as of September 2014, London is also officially the most expensive city to live and work in. No, not just in the UK – in the entire world. This article in the Guardian breaks down the numbers, but in a nutshell, not only is it more expensive for you to live there (meaning a higher percentage of your salary is spent on your mortgage or rent) but it’s more expensive for companies to employ you there.

As a result of the cost of employment in London, we would expect growing numbers of companies to consider other regions, whether they keep a London office and open operations elsewhere, or even relocate entirely.  Employers are also becoming much more flexible in terms of alternative working arrangements.

The rise of flexible working offers the answer

If you do choose to focus your job search in London – or for that matter, if you’re already in London and have thought about joining the ranks of those finding opportunities in other parts of the country – the rise in flexible working may provide some London-based job options that are worth exploring.

What we’re seeing is a rise in positions that involve travel, meaning that even if your employer is located in London it’s not always necessary to live there. Increasing numbers of our clients are offering options to work from home or from a satellite office as well, so even if you do have to commute to London it may only be a few times per week rather than every day. And this scenario doesn’t only apply to London jobs. Just as one example, we recently placed a candidate who commutes from Halifax, West Yorkshire to Chester two or three times per week, with the rest of the week spent working at home or at client offices.

There’s a lot to consider, and of course, you must make whatever decision is right for you and your family. But it’s good to know that, between flexible working arrangements and improving job markets in other regions, there are a growing number of options available to you as a jobseeker. We wish you the best in your search, and as always, our team is here to help you find the option that’s best for you. 

Jobs - London vs North

We’d like to hear about your experiences. Have you left London for a smaller city? What are the pros and cons? Or perhaps you’ve found a successful flexible working arrangement that allows you to live elsewhere? Share your story here.

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