U.S. professionals drawn to cities for career success now want out

Driven by a housing crunch and high cost of living, new poll shows 70 percent of knowledge workers would move from major cities if they could perform their jobs at the same level.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – April 30, 2019 - They were drawn to big cities by the bright lights and career prospects. Now, beset by a housing crunch and high cost of living, more than half of professionals living in U.S. cities are ready to leave. According to a new study commissioned by Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS), 70 percent of knowledge workers living in urban locales say they would move to outlying areas if they could perform their jobs at the same level. And as the battle for talent heats up around the globe, companies need to follow them and enable remote work.

“Traditional work models, where work is organized around a hub like a call center or office building, are fundamentally broken, creating a frustrating employee experience and exacerbating the war for talent,” said Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer, Citrix. “People today want to work where they want to work. And to attract them, companies need to rethink what the workplace means and create a more flexible way to work that enables them to get the right people in the right places to unlock innovation, engage customers and move their business forward.”

Conducted by OnePoll, the Citrix study sought to understand how location impacts job satisfaction and success and the role that flexible and remote work can play in enhancing both. Among the key findings:

The bright lights of big cities have dimmed

Of the 5,000 knowledge workers across the U.S. surveyed a majority see major cities as a key catalyst for their careers due to the large number of employers operating within them, the availability of more highly skilled job opportunities and higher salaries.

The benefits of city dwelling are diluted by the costs

But the price of these opportunities is becoming too high to pay. More than half of those polled (58 percent) cited the costs of city living as “crippling.” And as a result, they’re ready to move.

  • 70 percent of workers currently living in cities stated they would be very likely/fairly likely to consider relocating to suburban or rural areas if they knew their professional life wouldn’t suffer and they could still perform their role to the same level

The talent crunch is real

And it’s among the biggest pain points companies currently face. Of those who participated in the OnePoll survey, 31 percent indicated that sourcing talent for skilled positions is an issue in their organization and 18 percent suggested it’s likely to become one in the next five years. Many are taking steps to try to attract a broader range of talent including:

  • Increasing wages for skilled roles (36 percent)
  • Actively promoting diversity initiatives to encourage applications from a range of backgrounds (28 percent)
  • Investing in education and training programs, outside of city locations (20 percent)

To attract and retain talent, companies need to go where it lives

But the real ticket to finding and keeping people lies in enabling flexible and remote work.

  • 85 percent of respondents believe they could do their job just as effectively from anywhere
  • 62 percent of those not already working remotely believe that they could work away from the office at least one day per week

And they see a number of positives in doing so:

  • 69 percent say working remote would enable them to be more productive and focused
  • 83 percent think it would enable them to strike a healthier work-life balance
  • 77 percent indicated they could save money by reducing commuting costs

The future of work is happening today. But it needs to happen faster

Companies are beginning to embrace the notion that to get the people they want and need to make their business go, they’ll need to rethink the traditional workplace and employee experience. To this end:

  • 35 percent of respondents say they are introducing better flex/remote work policies, to widen the talent pool, and
  • 31 percent are searching for talent nationwide, including in rural areas

Old technology is stifling new ways of working

But to bridge the talent gap and drive competitive advantage, they need to pick up the pace. Only 33 percent of workers polled currently work remotely at least one day per. What’s holding them back?

  • Connectivity was cited as a key challenge by 58 percent of respondents who said the current quality of broadband negatively impacts their ability to reliably work from home

“Technology can be a great equalizer. Unfortunately, in many areas there remains a clear divide,” Minahan said. “It’s time for companies to reimagine the way work gets done and leverage tools that are readily available to them to create digital workspaces that give people the flexibility to work when, where and how they want and be their most productive. In doing so, they can not only narrow the technical divide, but create a world-class experience that enables their employees and business to thrive.”


Citrix commissioned a survey of 5,000 U.S. office workers that hold positions which could be carried out remotely. These are most likely to be knowledge workers who effectively think for a living. The research was conducted online by polling company OnePoll (www.onepoll.com) in March 2019.

About Citrix
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is powering a better way to work with unified workspace, networking, and analytics solutions that help organizations unlock innovation, engage customers, and boost productivity, without sacrificing security. With Citrix, users get a seamless work experience and IT has a unified platform to secure, manage, and monitor diverse technologies in complex cloud environments. Citrix solutions are in use by more than 400,000 organizations including 99 percent of the Fortune 100 and 98 percent of the Fortune 500.

For Citrix Investors:
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the impact of the global economy and uncertainty in the IT spending environment, revenue growth and recognition of revenue, products and services, their development and distribution, product demand and pipeline, economic and competitive factors, the Company's key strategic relationships, acquisition and related integration risks as well as other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Citrix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion and is subject to change without notice or consultation. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions or incorporated into any contract.

© 2019 Citrix Systems, Inc. Citrix, the Citrix logo, and other marks appearing herein are the property of Citrix Systems, Inc. and may be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

# # #

Media Contact:
Karen Master
+1 216-396-4683