Remote working seems to be here to stay. The combination of increased productivity thanks to less time commuting, and the possibility of a better work life balance as well as the realisation that most workers will work just as hard at home as they will under the beady eye of an office manager means that more and more people are taking the chance to work away from the office.
Many multinational companies are on board with the concept, with names such as BP, Google and Unilever announcing policies that support hybrid or full remote working. A recent article in the Financial Times details the pull of the mountains, particularly for those who have been unable to ski for almost 18 months, and despite the challenges of logistics, particularly for those subject to new changes following the UK decision to leave the EU, the benefits of remote working have an irresistible pull.
How is remote working changing the ski property market?
When we start thinking about what remote workers are looking for, good broadband is kind of a given ( 71 % of respondents to Knight Frank’s Global Buyer Survey said it was an important factor in selecting a home) but there are other factors at play too.
Where for many people a great ski property is one that’s close to the lifts and in the centre of the action, those looking for a base to act as a workspace as well as a mountain home are opting for properties that allow them to integrate into their new communities, to create a genuine second - or primary- home. Larger properties are becoming popular, and harder to come by.
Which towns are most popular for remote working?
The top towns for remote workers to make their home are the ones with a sound permanent population. Places like Chamonix (pop.10,000) have superb infrastructure, with a full range of essential services as well as exceptional cultural activities and access to some of the best skiing in the world.
Family focus is important too, and places like Megeve - one of the second most popular spots for remote working,according to this years KF report, is proud of it’s family spirit and offers a host of ways to make every member of the family feel at home, including summer language camps alongside exhilarating activities. Switzerland also has several spots with high appeal to digital nomads - places like Gstaad, with it’s discrete glamour and timeless beauty, or Villars-sur-Ollon, brimming with traditional charm, are perfect locations for people seeking long term mountain living. There are, of course, restrictions around visas but even 90 days with the alps as your base is a tonic to the grey skies and streets of many large cities.
Practicalities of remote working
There are other factors to consider, especially if you’re looking to move to a ski resort with your family. You’ll need to assess the option for continuity of education, how easy it will be to build a social scene as well as the nuts and bolts of getting around - especially if your company is one that supports remote working on the proviso that you can reach the office with 24 hours notice. Residency permits and visas are more complex for those moving from the UK and rules will vary from country to country. Nonetheless, once the hoops have been jumped and the regulations have been negotiated, the reality of living and working in a mountain town is a panacea for the rigours and ravels of modern life.
What type of ski properties are available for remote workers?
It’ll be no surprise to discover that properties with capacity for a dedicated office space are a key factor. This doesn’t mean that people are solely seeking large family style chalets though. Couples or those going it alone will relish somewhere like this two bedroom apartment in Courchevel, with views to die for, plenty of space and all the resort benefits close at hand. If you need something with a bit more wriggle room, maybe as a family home then this beautiful four bedroom chalet in Villars is ideal - it’s in a quiet situation, south facing and close to local amenities.
You may be considering combining remote work with running a rental property, perhaps as a transition venture, or a joint project with a partner. Choosing something like this superb ski property in Megeve, complete with guest chalet, means you have the option of creating a rental business, with enough space to continue your regular work - ideal for those seeking to make the move to the mountains more permanent.
Don’t miss your dream ski property
Demand for a home that ticks all the remote working boxes is high and properties are moving fast - one of the best ways to stay on top of what’s happening in the alps and beyond is to join our property alert service. We’re a ski property portal, so we’ve access to thousands of properties and our targeted search system means you can find exactly what you’re looking for with ease.