Valencia is a place that benefits from what the World has become over the last couple of years in general. It benefits because the basics for a good life are here with a more than reasonable climate (one of the best in the World according to many official sources), an excellent work life balance, an affordable place for people to move to from many more expensive areas of Europe and the World, a progressive outlook and from it being a comparatively safe place to settle in terms of personal safety and also safety from natural disasters, potential conflicts and more. Moreover, it definitely benefits from homeworking and in this article we are going to explain why.
Covid-19 changed everything of course. It changed the way we think, the way we interact (No cheek kisses or handshakes any more) but most of all it changed the way we work. Spain had been the paradise of micromanagement; interminable meetings for no reason throughout the working day and a tiered structure in work meaning that nobody ever took decisions because all decisions had to be filtered through the boss.
Unfortunately that continues to be the case in many places. Change is happening but it is slow
However, around the rest of Europe and the World the change to remote working has been more accepted and despite governments saying people can now "go back to the office" many people don't want to do that. They discovered more freedom, a lack of micromanagement, no fear of close contact with potential Covid carriers and also that the wasted hours of the commute were essentially pointless and they started to look for something different.
In the United States what Covid has led to has been defined as the "Great Resignation". Thousands upon thousands of employees have essentially said "F**k this for a lark" and have simply left their jobs for something simpler. Many of them are at an age where the hamster wheel of work for work's sake to be able to buy a bigger house, car or other trinkets no longer holds the same attraction that it once did and the reason for that is largely because of Covid. If everything you were working for could end tomorrow then people are thinking why wait to do what they really want to do. The "You Only Live Once" mantra is brought into sharper focus during a pandemic especially when your government and leaders want you to forget that it ever happened and get you back into the office and back to what life was like beforehand. Check out the Reddit group "Antiwork" for people supporting each other on taking the step of leaving jobs and trying something else.
The USA has a major problem for people doing that though and that is the cost of healthcare. Because of this and the insecurity bred by Trump and the MAGA nutters people have decided to leave in their droves and Valencia is one of the places they are arriving at after doing their research. Cheap and high quality healthcare is one of the big attractions for Americans coming here. We talked about this in our latest podcast in which we included an interview with James Blick from Spain Revealed and he talked about why most of the people joining his course to learn how to move here are from North America and what they are looking for. Check it out below.
The USA is not alone though. In other countries people are coming to the same conclusion. Why live in a cold, dark, unwelcoming place when warmth and light are available in a place which oftentimes is considerably cheaper than where they currently live all the while maintaining a great lifestyle?
The Case of the Dutch
Many Dutch companies are relocating wholesale to southern Europe and taking their employees with them and many employees in Dutch companies are being given the ability to work from anywhere in Europe as they are working from home and they are choosing Valencia. In the first two months of this year we have made as many sales to Dutch clients as it the previous two years and the Dutch are one of our major client bases every year.
They tend to be sick of lockdowns in the dark and cold in properties that can easily cost four times the price of a similar property here in Valencia. When their companies give them the chance to work from anywhere on the same wages that they were getting in the Netherlands then they tend to jump at the opportunity to move.
Allied to this is the change in the tax laws in the Netherlands meaning that second home purchases are disincentivized within their own country through the tax system but that is not the case for property bought outside the country. For the Dutch, moving down to Valencia is a win-win-win-win situation and huge numbers of people are taking up that opportunity.
The determination of the Brits to get away from their dysfunctional political system and back into the European countries they used to call home before Brexit cannot be overstated. As the folly of Brexit is revealed in the death of a million cuts, Brits are looking to get out. However, there is a problem, they often can't because they are now third country citizens wanting to come into the EU. Job opportunities are scarce for monolingual people and companies have to prove that a third country national can do any job to a better standard than somebody from the EU27.
Nevertheless, Brits still want to get out and for many of them the Golden Visa option is the one they are looking towards. Others are happy to spend their alloted six months in the Schengen area and spend the rest of their time travelling around the World outside of the Schengen area or basing themselves in two areas so they are not forced out. It requires a bit of organisation but just under six months in Spain and just under six months elsewhere in the world with a couple of visits to Britain in the middle just to eat up time and maybe visit family is a possibility many are exploring.
And The Rest
There are so many other countries discovering what Valencia and Spain can offer them and we expect that flow to grow in the next few years, wars and conflicts permitting, especially when the Spanish Digital Nomad visa is approved and in place this summer. However, we need to look at why the homeworking revolution benefits Valencia as the title suggests.
Homeworking From Valencia
Firstly, the Internet in Valencia is fast and it's fast wherever you are. This is a major consideration of most people working from home. For those Zoom meetings, uploads of data and streaming of services a fast internet connection is essential. Not only in the city though. Outside, almost all villages and towns now have cable services and these services are extended to the estates and urbanizations outside those towns too.
This Internet speed means that people buying here to work from home have been looking for places with extra rooms to use as offices. In the city those looking for two bedrooms previously are trading up to larger apartments and in some cases they are buying places with large terraces and placing wooden offices outside to have a separation from work even if it's only a few metres. Apartments with large terraces are becoming ever more popular and scarce as a result and modern wooden buildings (Or as they used to be known, sheds) are getting more and more difficult to find.
Co-Working in Valencia
There has also been a rise in coworking spaces in Valencia. In every neighbourhood, in every town and even in some of the smaller villages you can now find coworking spaces if you have not got the space at home in order to work. Obviously Covid slowed down this movement but as things are starting to open up, the move towards co-working is increasing at pace and of course those co-working spaces are allowing collaborations and shared projects.
Time Out From Work
Once you finish work Valencia is popular for so many reasons, we have written about a small matter of 112 of them here. Whether you are into water sports, cycling or going to the gym, whether you just want to chill out at a beach bar, whether you want to get yourself out for cocktails, beers or tapas then Valencia has it all and when you add in the excellent climate and the friendly nature of the people living here then you have a heady cocktail for living your life. In fact it's difficult not to find something that suits you to spend your time when you are not working and you are also tempted to reduce the amount of time you are working because there are so many options of things you might want to do.
Apart from clients from other parts of Europe and the World we have clients who have come from other parts of Spain and there are many reasons for this. We have clients who have moved down from Madrid because it's less than a two hour journey to the capital on the fast trains that link Valencia to the capital regularly every day and property prices are roughly half of what they are in Madrid. So people working from home are able to easily get to Madrid if required but a lot of the time they aren't required to be there.
Equally, Valencia airport has flights to many parts of Europe although not as many as Barcelona and Madrid. However when you consider it doesn't take long to either of the two larger cities and there are also plenty of connections from nearby Alicante, then Valencia is very well communicated.
On top of this you have to use the roads that connect Valencia to Madrid and the rest of Spain and Europe to appreciate them. They are excellent and never overcrowded, except maybe on the 1st of August but that's another story when the holidays start.
Childcare provision is great and there are nurseries for smaller children from a young age that are extremely affordable and provide a caring and nurturing background for your child. Equally there is a more than decent selection of international schools for older children if you want them to follow the educational route they were already on before coming to live in Valencia. Take a look at our article about international schools in Valencia here.
For people looking to work from home this is an extremely important aspect because homeschooling is not allowed in Spain currently, although some people do it. When childcare is quality and affordable then the opportunities for young families to work from home or make use of a local co-working space become ever so much more realistic.
If you live in or around Valencia you get to appreciate that you are in one of the most beautiful landscapes available, orange trees, palm trees, beautiful beaches and coves and lovely mountain ranges allowing you to go trekking, cycling and more, or even just to kick back and relax.
It's always fun to live in the city but it's also fun to get out and make discoveries and the best thing is that most of these places are undiscovered by the vast majority of people, it feels as if you are discovering places for the first time. You aren't but it feels that way. ·Even after a quarter of a century here I am still discovering places for the first time and there are so many more to visit in the future. Valencia is quite large, Spain is huge and Europe is on our doorstep.
All in all Valencia is one of the best positioned places to benefit from the homeworking and remote working revolution and more and more people are beginning to discover the obvious attractions to be found here. As usual the only question that needs asking is when are you coming to join us? It's worth it.
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Then maybe click on some of the images in order to see our previous posts below or any of the podcast episodes for specific questions about Valencia Property.