We asked: Has lockdown affected your dreams of Highland Life?

As we slip closer towards the one year working from home milestone we asked a few questions on our Instagram stories to see if we could understand how people are feeling about working from home and the opportunities that it could bring. The results were interesting and encouraging for us who would love to welcome and offer support to those of you interested in relocating to the North Highlands of Scotland!

Firstly we asked ‘If Work from Home was to remain, would you be happy?’ 88% of you said yes, you would be happy and 12% said no. Where would you sit on this one? This is one of the more tricky questions to answer with a straight Yes or No because from a personal point of view, I’ve enjoyed it and have worked very comfortably. My internet connection has held up well and my equipment is all working grand but do I miss Friday morning ‘Shall we get some cakes today?’ office chit chat, yes I do!  

Being thrust into work from home in a rural area was probably quite a challenging thought for many. In addition to the usual fears of concentration or motivation difficulties we all probably whispered ‘I hope my broadband is up to this’ as we plugged everything in and switched on all those months ago in March 2020. I can’t speak for all of the North Highlands of course, I am one wee person but I’m thrilled to say I’ve had very little connectivity disruption! There was an incident last Summer when the broadband cable got cut by someone mowing their lawn but that could happen any time, right?! Cables back underground where they should be and we go again!

The home office set up!

Next up we asked ‘If Work from Home meant you could move to another area, would you be interested?’ and 83% of you said yes, you would be interested! 17% said no, they’re happy where they are. We noticed however that at least one of those ‘no’ responses was from someone who already lives in the North Highlands so we’re quite pleased about that! As I mentioned earlier, I do miss the office environment, the popping to another office to ask a quick question and the social aspect of sharing a Friday cake run (yes, I’ve mentioned it again, I really miss the cake runs) but if I really wanted to move away, a whole dream life mapped out in my mind and all of sudden my manager said I could work remotely? I would be thrilled! If I just described you, please get in touch! We can offer independent advice on which town or village you might be best suited to depending on your interests and requirements. We can put you in touch with local estate agents and let you know about schools and social activities in the area too, all you need to do is ask!  

We asked ‘has lockdown made you dream of making a change?’ In an attempt to understand if people felt restless. Nothing like a national lockdown to make you realise just how much you either love, or would love to change your surroundings. 71% or people said yes, lockdown has made you dream of a change where as 29% are quite happy where they are. Again, we were pleased to see that some of those who said they were perfectly happy where they are, were people who already reside and work in the north highlands. We’re not saying it’s perfect here, but we’ll welcome you with open arms if you fancy giving it a go.

Last but by no means least and probably the biggest question I asked in terms of our relocation project, ‘has lockdown put you off relocating to the Highlands?’ I wanted to know if the pandemic had made people reconsider leaving where they currently call home, change can be great but it can also be intimidating and when stress levels are high across the country, the idea of moving house and or job could very easily be put on the back burner. Interestingly, 100% of the responses said no! Yey for the North Highlands! We’re pleased to see that those were already considering a move, have not been deterred by the events of the last year and that’s very exciting for us.

There is no right or wrong way to live our lives, all we can do is follow our instincts, passions and dreams and hope for the best. Please take these questions and my personal situation with a pinch of salt, I understand that although I’m working from home comfortably there are many who are struggling and many who are juggling working from home with home schooling and general family life. The biggest distraction to my day is the dogs going bananas because the postie has pulled into the drive.  I am very, very lucky. It’s important to remember that we’re simply surviving at the moment  and when we get back to living, our aim is to support anyone interested in doing so here in the North Highlands of Scotland. If you’re a business owner and the idea of a relocation sounds good, check out our sister site, Invest Caithness and get in touch, we can help with that too!