Trends #0043 — Remote Work

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🔍 Problem

Jobs are geographically concentrated but talent is distributed.

💡 Solution

Find the best talent despite distance.

Remote work unbundles where you work from where you live.

🏁 Players

Remote Companies

Tools

Places (With Relocation Incentive Programs)

🔮 Predictions

  • More cities, states and countries will compete for remote workers. Location-independence lowers switching costs.
  • The cost of living in remote, but desirable, places will increase. Lake Tahoe doesn’t need an Amazon HQ to attract location-independent workers.
  • Wages will normalize. “Market rate” will become a global concept. Good news for Bogotá and Manilla. Not so much for San Francisco and New York City.

☁️ Opportunities

  • Use paid job tests to hire. Sift through large candidate pools based on merit. And lower your risk of making mistakes. Basecamp uses take-home tests.
  • Build a micro-monopoly to escape wage normalization. There’s no “market rate” in a category of one.
  • Build proof of work to break through noise. Portfolios attract opportunities and remove doubt about your skills.

🔑 Key Lessons

  • Your job and location are being unbundled. You can optimize for each decision separately.
  • Talent once followed jobs. Now jobs follow talent. Location-independent workers chose where to live. Location-dependent workers follow.
  • One player can force the hand of others. Robinhood pushed brokerage firms towards zero fee trades. Competition will wipe out location-adjusted wages.
  • Lower switching costs shifts power from principals to participants. This applies to municipalities and marketplaces.

😠 Haters

“My ideal employee may be local.”
It’s possible. Of the 10,000 cities in the world. It’s unlikely.

All jobs won’t be remote.”
Some will remain location-dependent.

“What about information security?”
This is a constant. Not a variable. Location-dependent workers access their work email from cell phones.

“People don’t work hard when they are not in the office.”
Learn to measure productivity without policing.

“Wages will normalize? What about culture and communication?”
This provides some defensibility. But culture and communication are also normalizing.

“Remote work harms mental and physical health.”
Companies have a vested interest in combatting this. Employees are responsible for their mental and physical health. Some activities (running clubs, jiu-jitsu) improve both.

Training and mentoring is difficult in remote environments.”
Remote work isn’t all roses. There’s room for improvement.

“It’s hard to ‘turn off’ when working from home.”
Remote work does not mean working from home. Separate your spaces.

“You said: ‘…location-independent workers chose where to live. Location-dependent workers follow.’ This sounds classist.”
Look at incentives and what’s likely to happen. How you feel is a separate matter.

🔗 Links

  1. Why Everyone Loves Remote Work • Data reveals that most of us prefer remote work.
  2. Remote Work Market Map • A comprehensive map and database of over 200+ companies building remote tools.
  3. Cities Offer Cash As They Compete for New Residents Amid Remote Work Boom • Cities are competing for tax revenue.

Thanks to IIya Sterin, Tyler King (Less Annoying CRM), Logan Johnson, Jason Staats (Realize), Andrew Swiler (Sponsor Fund), Jeremy Abraham (Spiffy), Mark Bowley (Tiny Design Lessons), Sam Julien, Emmett Armstrong (OnRamp), Sarah Marion (Commit), Andrew Medal, Irma Mesa (Cafecito), Matt Redler (Panther), Sibi Murugesan (Earnest Capital), Vartika Manasvi (Stackraft), Hiten Shah (FYI), Michael Houck (Launch House), Tim Salau (Guide) and PavelChernyakov (Fathom Fuel). We had a great time jamming on this report.

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What you’ll get:

  • 21 Remote Companies (250% More)
  • 33 Remote Tools (450% More)
  • 32 Relocation Incentive Programs (540% More)
  • 10 Predictions (233% More)
  • 8 Opportunities (166% More)
  • 9 Key Lessons (125% More)
  • 10 Links (233% More)

With Trends Pro you’ll learn:

  • (📈 Pro) Which skill becomes essential in remote work? 
  • (📈 Pro) Which traditionally location-dependent jobs are going remote? 
  • (📈 Pro) How to create serendipity
  • (📈 Pro) What’s the future of “tier 1” cities? 
  • (📈 Pro) How will communities reorganize?
  • (📈 Pro) How to collaborate across time zones? 
  • (📈 Pro) What’s happening to location-adjusted wages?
  • and a lot more…