Adopt remote work, or perish: like it or not, the future of work is remote. Companies will go remote for the following reasons:
- 80x or more increase in the talent pool
- Massive cost savings for companies
- Significant benefits for employees
- The necessity of innovation in a competitive market
The biggest benefit of remote work is the increased talent pool. For instance: by becoming fully remote, a company in SF could expand its candidate pool from 7M people (Bay Area) to 579M (N. America, an 82x increase), or even 1.35B (all English-speaking people globally, a 192x increase). Additionally, the caliber of rural talent continues to improve thanks to the democratization of information online, making the remote talent pool not just bigger, but increasingly better too.
For companies, remote work also cuts costs substantially. A recent study estimates that going fully remote could save SF-area tech companies around $22k per employee per year, conservatively. With the median salary for an SF tech worker at $165k, this could mean substantial savings. Also, this doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing move. Look at Playrix’s approach: they’ll start a satellite office in any city with five or more people who want an office. I hear they’re doing pretty well 🙂
Employees also stand to benefit greatly from remote work. In addition to saving an estimated $2k-$7k per year, remote workers can move to areas with lower costs of living: consider the average price of a home in SF at $1.4M, compared with $790k in Denver, $575k in Austin, or $539k in Portland. Plus, studies show that people who work remotely enjoy a better quality of life. They also receive another huge non-monetary perk: no more commuting, which could save the equivalent of 22 workdays per year (not to mention the massive positive environmental impact). How much time, energy, and money could you save by eliminating your commute?
Remote work comes with challenges, of course, but I believe these can be solved with a few key strategies, which I’ve discussed on several podcasts. Humans do not like change, and will resist it even if it’s in their best interests. Nevertheless, this change is one to embrace, not just because the pros substantially outweigh the cons, but also because more and more companies are going remote. So if you decide to resist this change, know that you will eventually compete against companies whose talent is better and cheaper than yours. And since talent is the most important component to many companies, good luck.