As the dust settles on the globe’s Covid-19 shake-up, home and work life are looking decidedly different. Families are realising that with physical attendance at the office no longer a necessity, the world is bright with new possibilities.
“Covid-19 has taught us that many jobs can be done remotely,” says Lou Vogt of Luxury Coastal Escapes. “Business meetings can be done via Skype and kids can be schooled from home. Because of this, we are seeing a rising demand for a full service assistance package for families looking to relocate to the coast from Gauteng, where one or both breadwinners are able to work online.”
Vogt, who cut her teeth as a relocation agent moving high level corporate families into London from all over the world, is now offering a similar service in SA in the wake of Covid-19.
“The traditional holiday market is being replaced,” she says. “Families are looking for a new adventure that takes them away from home for a few weeks or even months, while continuing to work. Whether the idea is to move closer to family or friends, live out a previously shelved dream, or simply reside in a region that is seen as safest for now, we are seeing families make that exciting move.”
But committing to a new lifestyle is as challenging as it is exciting, especially when children are factored in. Counselling psychologist Claire Moore suggests an added process of discovery before setting off.
“A nomadic lifestyle may suit some children but not others. If you are considering travelling for extended periods it’s essential to consider the personalities and needs of each individual child,” she says.
Moore identifies various personality types specifically, detailing the contrasting ways each would experience a mobile life.
“Some children prefer routine and consistency and others novelty and adventure,” she says. “A child who needs stability and thrives on a daily schedule is not likely to adapt well to a nomadic lifestyle, whereas a child who enjoys change and novelty will be more likely to thrive.”
“In the same way, extroverted and introverted children will differ,” she continues. “A child who needs many friends and gains energy from the presence of others will struggle to be away from their social group, whereas an introverted child will be comfortable spending more time on their own. It’s important to plan and adapt to the individual needs of all family members.”
As families adjust to new norms around social distancing and the ever-present need to keep the curve flattened, safe travel has become even more important. While inter-provincial flight is once again possible, the motor car has risen as an important tool in taking to a new life adventure.
“Motorcars offer a lot to the modern family, especially in the face of changing lifestyles,” says Charmagne Mavudzi, Volvo’s new Head of Customer Experience. “Today’s family vehicle not only provides transport, but also the ability to manage crowds and public spaces. A vehicle suitable for the whole family brings safety, security, and even connectivity from which to work while moving.”
The SUV is the cornerstone of the emerging nomadic family, with a model like Volvo’s XC90 providing precisely what a family on the move needs. Modern hybrid engines are cost effective and reliable by providing both petrol and electric power, and roomy interiors with shifting seats allow families to create a little personal space.
“With family requirements having changed so dramatically, it’s a given that motor cars will change too,” says Mavudzi. “We’re seeing one interesting question driving this new outlook. Why work at home, when you can work anywhere?”