Real Homes Reports: popular live-in jobs point to Brits' desire for solitude

Our very own survey results show that many of us would like to try out unusual live-in jobs, but running a B&B and farming are no longer popular

exterior of brick country farmhouse
(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Remember when anyone and everyone who ever got restless about their life thought of running a B&B or taking up farming? A recent Real Homes survey of 909 people points to an interesting shift in the nation's perceptions of an ideal alternative lifestyle. 

Asked which live-in job they'd be most likely to consider, 31 per cent found living in a lighthouse or meteorological station appealing, despite the realities of the job involving long periods of solitude. A further 16 per cent would like to give house sitting or live-in pet sitting a go, most likely inspired by platforms such as Trusted House Sitters.  

Somewhat surprisingly, the more obvious options – living on a farm and running a B&B – no longer seem to hold much appeal, gaining only 7 per cent of votes each. These once-popular live-in occupations have no doubt lost their allure over time as the practical and financial hardships of these lifestyles have been extensively covered in the media. Farming in particular is a hard life – and a 24/7 job – which most of us are no longer prepared to do, although those who do fully commit to living on a farm report being very happy with their lifestyle choice. 

A tiny proportion – 3 per cent – of our respondents chose to give more idiosyncratic answers to the question of what live-in occupations they'd like to try out, with several willing to run a live-in bookshop, a few more dreaming of becoming writers, and one person wishing they could live on a space station. Vive la difference

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

In 2018 Anna moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space and joined as Staff Writer. She has a longterm interest in space-making and the evolution of interior style. She can also be found looking for the latest innovations in sustainable homewares or buying yet more bedding.