London is one of the most famous cities in the world with an estimated 18.82 million tourists this year. Foot traffic, sadly, is not free. It is 10% more expensive to live in London than it is New York. In the age of the internet putting us all together in the palm of our hand or at your desk or in both of your hands with the large tablets, is there any need any more to be in a hub? Why be at the base of the communication, when your message can get there instantly from thousands of miles away?
With the higher wage necessary to live and commute around London, comes higher overheads for employers. Here are a list of some of the benefits we at Wolfestone have as a company outside of London:
More than likely, depending on where you are outside of London, you can offer your staff, customers or clients parking. It isn’t definite, usually being able to provide for one instead of all, but it is a much more affordable option once you leave the capital. In the city centre of London, you are looking for an average of £15 for only two hours – that is without calculating congestion charge fees.
Without these fees, you make yourself more accessible to everyone. You can now hire the best staff who may be unavailable to you due to London’s commuting costs (both time and money) interfering with their selection of the job.
2. Property Prices
For all the tourism and sightseeing that London offers, there comes soaring rent inflation that is starting to spiral into the unmanageable with an average rent of £1500pcm – household, not commercial rent in London.
Property prices are continually on the rise, which is great if you own property in London. The drawback is if you are renting a space for your company, it can add up. There is a London commercial rent calculator to help you understand the annual costs expected of renting a property for your business.
Compare that with other cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff and Swansea and you see how the prices plummet – Swansea costs £1063 per square metre, the fifth cheapest in the entire UK. You are looking at serious savings for your business by simply avoiding the hub.
3. Skilled Workers
London would have the best-of-the-best, the cream-of-the-crop, the crème-de-la-crème… right? It does not seem the case now.
Despite pushes from the government to increase employability in the city, business leaders claim that graduates ‘too often lack basic literacy and numeracy skills’ to be worth hiring. With the cost of moving to London on the forefront of everyone’s mind, graduates are hesitating to move when the prices seem unmanageable.
Which is the reason why the national minimum wage of over 21s is £6.50 yet, in London, the minimum wage is expected to be £9.15. That’s £3.15 more, a 48.46% increase that indicates the expenses necessary to survive in the capital.
Universities outside London offer high-skilled graduates that are struggling to find the career they would like in an area outside of London, but struggle to move in due to financial restriction. It’s a catch-22 situation, but if you work in an area that is more affordable, graduates who do have the necessary skills can afford to move to you or already nearby.
The population concentration of London is staggering. London’s income subsidises the rest of the UK due to its dominance. The money draws away interest from the rest of the United Kingdom.
By being a company in another part of the UK, you open yourself up developing a new hubs to spread the wealth.
London has a lot of beauty. The city skyline is getting more decorative and impressive with every year. There are loads of great things to look at, but the pollution can make it difficult to appreciate.
The chronic pollution causes damage to health, there is no disputing that, and has skyscrapers rise up, the air struggles to circulate as well as it did. Unless you’re above it or situated next to some sort of opening, you are bound to realise and feel the impact of the pollution.
Also, the tap water from London is not the best tasting, whereas the water in Wales tastes wonderful on the most part.
In a perhaps facetious manner, what need is there to be in a city? Technology means that everyone is contactable all the time. Instant video conferencing, webinars, emails, VPNs to share drives, cloud-based data systems and so much more. You can work from anywhere!
Technology is helping businesses globalise without the expenses that usually accompanied. To move into an international market required establishing local offices whereas now you only need to translate and localise your website. The world is in the palm of your hand.
In a world that is becoming increasingly connected, a world of information is in your hand. In fact, so is the entire world with instant face-to-face connection on the same device. Business is changing and evolving. To globalise your business now is not the mammoth task it used to be, it can be as simple as offering shipping on your website.
Export is still a tricky trade with plenty to learn, of course, transcreating, translating and localising your business to the marketplace is a challenge in itself, but the costs are now significantly lower. You can reach a global audience with a dedicated content marketing strategy.
Therefore, with all this at your hands, doesn’t that make London – or any city hub – slightly redundant?
P.S. Outside of these professional benefits of moving away, here are 21 personal problems of living in London.
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