Will Remote Work Lead to Vast Migration in the United States?
Whether we want to admit it or not, times are changing. The United States is going through a definite transformation on many levels. Political, economic, sociological, and cultural. These changes are in no small part due to COVID-19, and all its effects on the general economy and business practices. And one of the more notable changes is that more and more people are working remotely. So, will remote work lead to vast migration in the US, or will things go back to standard work practices once we have COVID-19 under control? Well, let’s find out.
The impact of COVID-19 on general job practices
To understand why remote work is changing the US, we first need to explore how COVID-19 has impacted it. After all, it is no coincidence that there is an astounding spike in the number of remote workers ever since COVID-19 forced us into lockdown. So, is remote work a temporary struggle that people wish to get out of as soon as possible? Or did COVID-19 open our eyes to new job opportunities?
The benefits of working from home
First and foremost, there is hardly a remote worker that won’t emphasize the benefits of working from home. To begin with, you don’t have to struggle with daily traffic. Next, you can wear pretty much whatever you want. Also, there is no need to socialize with coworkers that you don’t like. You have more freedom to organize your time. Finally, you can enjoy home-meals instead of eating fast food or at-work cafeteria.
Are there downsides to remote work? Sure. But, the benefits outweigh them so much that people wonder, “Why haven’t we done this sooner?”. Well, one of the reasons for this is that employers were worried about productivity. And this is precisely what they had to overcome during the COVID-19 pandemic. They had to learn how to manage their staff remotely, ensuring that everyone is doing their job.
Improved monitoring software
Another surprising spike came in the form of monitoring software. Once employers figured out that they need to have most, if not their entire workforce at home, they concluded that having monitoring software was a must. Apart from constant monitoring, you have daily reports, weekly meetings, and improved communication systems to ensure that workers are doing what they are supposed to when they are supposed to. Add to that increased data security and improved worker motivation and, hey presto. Remote work becomes not only functional but quite effective. So much so that most companies either saw no change or an increase in work performance. So, does this mean that remote work will lead to vast migration?
Reasons why remote work might lead to vast migration
As of now, the answer is definitely leaning towards yes. This, of course, depends on what you mean by “vast.” But, if 14 million US are vast enough for you, then yes. Whether this is a permanent migration or whether people will migrate back after coronavirus blows over is hard to tell. But, if we have to give an answer, we would put our money or permanent change. Here is why.
The coming of 5G
One of the main limitations of permanent remote work was that the internet was not good enough. Sure, you can have a stable connection if you live in a big city. But, the smaller towns in the US have been notorious for having slow, unstable internet. Well, if 5G delivers what they promise, we should experience faster, more stable internet, even in smaller cities. Mobile devices should have constant coverage, which will make reaching remote workers that much easier. On the other hand, remote workers won’t have to worry about installing expensive internet packages to have a stable connection, as it will be quite widespread.
Increase in freelance work
Of course, not all jobs can be done remotely. Some simply require you to be there in person to get anything done. But, over the past couple of years, there has been a definite increase in online freelance work. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal all provide a safe and easy way for freelancers to find a job. So, not only are people getting better at working from home, but companies are finding more and more ways to find workers. This increase in freelance work gives both companies and workers the freedom to choose and learn like they never did before.
Where do people migrate to?
Until recently, the main migration for people was from smaller cities to larger ones to find better-paid jobs. Now, we should see people going back to their hometowns. After all, why pay high rent and utility bills when you can go back home and easily save hundreds of dollars monthly. This train of thought lead many Americans to head back home and enjoy a quieter lifestyle. As it turns out, remote work is also excellent for people that want to practice farming on the side or live in secluded areas, as they don’t have to worry about finding work in the local area.
In our view, the fact that remote work leads to vast migration is a good thing. Remote work gives people the freedom to live where they want to live. And as far as we are concerned, the more freedom people have, the better. Mind you, we wouldn’t be surprised if remote work changes in the upcoming years, as the whole concept of if being this massive is quite new. But, we are hopeful that those changes will be for the better.
Anthony Clark has worked as a business manager and consultant for over 15 years. After moving back to his home town, his primary focus has been on writing helpful articles about moving for websites like highqualitymovingcompany.com and raising his daughters.