The depopulation of rural areas is a real problem. The UN estimates that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. In Spain, the World Bank estimates that this percentage is already 80% today. This means that only 20% of the country’s population lives on 90% of the territory.
However, the pandemic has partly upset these forecasts. Many companies have opted for telecommuting. According to a Randstad study, twice as many people telework today in Spain than in 2019.
“Faced with this unexpected situation, many workers took advantage and moved to rural environments like those of emptied Spain, tired of the big cities, both due to the stress caused by their frantic pace and due to the high price of housing. Obviously, but it must be remembered that without electricity, teleworking from anywhere in Spain would not be possible, ”says the Forum for Electrification.
That the coronavirus pandemic has increased the interest of Spaniards in housing located in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants is corroborated by a study published by the real estate portal idealista. As of November 2020, 14.8% of all home searches made on this portal were in these locations. In June, in the process of de-escalating, that percentage stood at 13.2%. The difference is even larger compared to data for January 2020, when cities concentrated 10.1% of searches. And is the price of housing in small municipalities 52% lower than the national average.
“The availability of electricity in any rural setting allows us to improve our quality of life, access technology and be connected to work. Therefore, increased electrification can help solve the problem of empty Spain, because we are talking about an activity that has a presence throughout the territory, thanks to network infrastructures that reach all the cities of Spain ”, underlines the Forum for electrification.
Currently, 99.8% of the population has access to 4G, according to data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation published in the report Broadband coverage in Spain in 2019. Meanwhile, 88% have optical fiber . The latter system reaches 71% in rural areas.
Thus, the trend towards teleworking will continue in the coming months. And, according to the latest trend analysis by Alares and Fundacin Alares, today 80% of managers allow their staff to change residence. “Living in the city where the company is located has already taken a back seat. We have the necessary infrastructure to telework wherever we want, ”adds the Forum for Electrification.
In this context, a new scenario opens up: that of digital nomads, who have become both tourists and workers. One in two people plan to travel and telecommute during the months of July and August and 54% consider that after a year, telecommuting still has more advantages than working in person, according to the same study.
“Working people are asking for plans to balance telework and personal life. For this, it is necessary to allow economic and social devices which make it possible to offer a viable life project, which allows the development of personal, family or professional projects, with greater satisfaction of These economic and social schemes must turn to the The future, and the future lies in electrification with clean electricity, which must be competitive, without excess taxation and comparable to any other energy product.For this reason, Spain has emptied itself only it has aspects to gain through electrification, ”concludes the Forum for Electrification.