I authored this article as the Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) hauled up outside my front window installing fibre to our small village. Hurrah!

Working patterns in Europe and the US are now shifting—this trend is now obvious from the rise of online meeting apps like Zoom and a significant increase in people spending their own funds to set up home offices.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shone a light on the “usual” working patterns of urban dwellers, including the financial cost of getting to the office and even having a physical place of work.

The move to digital continues at breakneck speed with the high street in its death throes as increasingly stringent lockdowns are placed on society to stop the spread of coronavirus and peoples shift to online shopping giants to purchase all and sundry.

With these monumental shifts in place, a recent study by the Adecco Group and conducted by YouGov has highlighted the radical transformation in the idea of the “urban” and cities in general, including the reposition of where one chooses to be.

A study of 1,000 workers conducted by the well-known polling organisation suggested that 57% of those polled believed the pull of London and other large cities is gradually weakening as new working practices continue to lay shape.

This philosophy is not entirely supported on a national level, with only 42% of those in Wales and 46% of those in Scotland suggesting the flight from the city would be as significant.

Of the data, two-thirds (61%) of those who work in finance and accounting predict there will be a movement of professions to regional and rural areas. Showing the biggest winners—at least to come out of the pandemic stronger is white-collared workers, with the disposable income and power to move.

Other tertiary-level industries including 67% of those who work in education, 75% of those who work in real estate and 62% of those in media, marketing and advertising favoured upping sticks to the countryside.

As expected, those in more menial or heavy work, including 43% of those who work in manufacturing and 42% of those currently in the retail environment felt we would see talent leave the urban environment.