The digital nomads, who are portraying themselves in the internet these days, are only the spearhead of the movement. Most of them are internet marketers, travel blogger, self-taught digital nomad trainers, WordPress experts or organizers of coworking retreats.
But this is only the beginning, they are only the first row of the protest march. The already raising big mass behind are the silent ones, who do full- or part-time telecommuting or are part of the worldwide freelancing force, which feeds big companies. See details in Diana Mulcahys book ‘The Gig Economy‘.
Why is remote work an incoming tsunami?
Latest since 2011 we all know the characteristics of a tsunami. Small waves out in the ocean are indicating the problem, but you cannot imagine the impact, they will have at the coast. Only next to the coastline, where the water is shallow, the waves will pile up and get their disastrous force.
The remote work movement is in the phase of the small waves out in the sea. The big wave will hit companies and workers in the near future. The obstacle with that is, that humans are not made for fast changes. Mankind is highly adaptable, but only over generations and not in just some years.
What makes it even more complicated, is the raising automation of jobs. What started in the manufacturing industry decades ago, will continue there and will spread farther into assistence, administrative and even academic jobs.
Reasons for the shift to remote work
- get happier employees and increase productivity
- get higher skilled employees, than the ones living nearby your offices or you can convince to move to your location
- save money for offices and wages, because your employeers don’t have the expensive metropolitan cost of living
- create a healthy work environment with less stress (at home or on the road)
- choose your employer worldwide for the best conditions, instead of comparing only the few in reach of your commuting
- save money while living in a rural area or abroad, compared to an expensive city
See the complete list here: The Ultimate List of Remote Work Pros and Cons
The overall reason for the remote work tsunami is the skill-shortage at the places of the companies and the technical opportunity to work from everywhere.
The reason for the overcrowded cities all over the world is the former necessity to gather people to work together in large buildings. That is obvious for manufacturing processes, where a decreasing number of people work and is not further true for all office jobs.
The economical advantage will be at the companies which adapt to this new work style quickly. The rural areas and small towns will thrive and the big cities will loose residents (although this is still unbelievable with their extraordinary housing prices today). The well educated techworkers from Asia, especially from India, and from Africa can participate quickly from the international business.
Old-style companies (‘what we are doing cannot be done remotely’) and the people who won’t or cannot adapt to the new work style will be on the downside. The last group is paired with the group of people who lost their job to automation and won’t or could not be trained into new professions.
How to prepare?
- implement a remote culture, switch the company language to English
- send the staff home for some single days
- adjust rules and agreements
- send them home more days or 100%
- employ new fully remote employees from anywhere
- read: how to shift your company to remote
- check or enhance your technical skills for providing your profession in the remote way
- arrage a home office
- participate in remote trails at your company
- ask your boss for some single days working from home
- move to a remote position or start your own business (the later was never as easy and cheap as today)
Prepare for the remote work wave and you will not be washed away, but on the winning side of the movement.
If you are employer or employee, facing the above and need some advice, just contact me.
What do you think? Is the shift not as dramatic as I suggest – or even worse? Let us know in the comment section below!