The Jobs Going Offsite
Remote work is already going mainstream. 17% of workers do most or all of their jobs from home or from some nonwork location. 36% of the workforce does at least a little bit of telework. Knowledge-based jobs are especially suited to being performed off-site…programming, marketing, writing, business consulting, design, etc. Technology like instant messaging makes telecommuting easier than it used to be, giving more folks the option.
For employers, the trend can be an asset… more qualified workers to tap, less dependence on the local workforce to find the people they need. Offering remote work is also a nice perk that attracts more applicants without costing more. It can save on office space and overhead costs, too.
Benefits aside, employers have little choice. The job market is so tight. The unemployment rate is the lowest since 1969. For folks out of work less than six months, the rate is the lowest since the Korean War, a measure of how quickly people with useful skills are being snapped up. Employers who can’t or won’t hire remote workers will lose out to their rivals who can and do.
Still, there are pitfalls that come with a remote workforce. Folks who work from their homes need to be self-motivated so that they don’t get distracted. Even then, they can become isolated from the on-site workers, making it vital for both managers and the teleworkers themselves to stay in the loop. IT support can be a headache. People who work in the office can grow resentful of remote colleagues if they suspect that the latter aren’t pulling their weight. Keeping everyone on the same page is hard.
Remote work isn’t an issue just for employers. It affects real estate markets, as more people relocate while taking their jobs with them. One factor driving telework is the opportunity for employees in areas with high living costs or terrible commutes to move somewhere cheaper or nicer. Areas that are especially at risk of losing workers who aren’t physically tied to jobs include New York City, Washington, D.C. and California.
Telecommuting workers tend to gravitate to smaller cities and the suburbs, not rural areas. That might mean a city such as Boise, Idaho…cheaper than locales on the West Coast, but still offering plenty of amenities and services close to home.
Note that some states and cities are actively trying to attract teleworkers. Vermont, for instance, will pay out-of-staters who work remotely to move in. Tulsa Remote pays teleworkers to relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma. So does a similar program in northwest Alabama. Expect such offers to spread…educated, well-paid folks are assets to local economies.
Parker Associates and PTC Computer Solutions have worked on a plentitude of projects through the years where many benefited from our experience gained while working in 33 states and 17 foreign countries and for more than 500 developers and builders since 1982. Want to learn how we can assist your next development? Visit our website at http://www.parkerassociates.comand/or call David WB Parker at 904-607-8763.
J. Chris Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry as well as the lead associate on the new Barclay’s branch, Barclay’s Real Estate. Though based out of Jacksonville, Florida, Chris & David and the team at Parker Associates have worked in 17 Countries and 33 States through the years as well as 65 out of 67 counties in Florida. Chris can be reached at 904-607-8761 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.