Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Spotify, Shopify and an array of other leading companies announced that their employees may work from home forever—or at least for the foreseeable future.
It became clear to both workers and management that the widespread availability and ease of use of technologies to collaborate and stay in constant contact, such as Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts and other services, enabled people to smoothly adapt to the new work-from-home setup.
Employees appreciated the chance to avoid long commutes, look after their homebound children (as schools closed) and enjoy a better work and life balance. Executives quickly recognized the potential for enormous cost savings, as expensive long-term leases for office space may no longer be required. There’s also the added benefit that as fewer people commute to work, our environment will improve with the lessened car and bus emissions.
The start of this new revolution in working kicked off when Jack Dorsey, the dual CEO of both Twitter and Square, informed his employees at both companies that they can continue working from home “forever.” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, followed with his own announcement that his employees may also work from home too. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company will reimburse employees $1,000 for equipment and office furniture used when they’re working at home. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s a sign of the change coming.
The growing work-from-home movement could be an amazing game changer for people. The traditional standard way of looking for a job is that a person would primarily seek out opportunities that are nearby and afford a reasonable commute. This arrangement benefits people who live in or close to major urban cities, such as New York or San Francisco. If you live in an exurb or rural community, you’re at a big competitive disadvantage—even if your skills are better than the folks in big cities.
As more companies roll out remote work-from-home options, the entire playing field changes. It won’t matter where a person resides any longer. With all of the current technology—and it’s reasonable to presume that enhanced services will be created to make it even easier—what difference would it make if the employee lives in Texas, Florida or Ohio? Technology is a great equalizer. Now, the person who is an amazing software engineer living in South Dakota may avail herself to a job with headquarters in Chicago or Philadelphia.
You will no longer have to be held prisoner to working at companies within a reasonable commuting distance. Starting today, you should apply to jobs that you desire anywhere in the United States. There’s no reason to only submit résumés to local companies any longer. Hiring managers will be interested in finding the best talent. It won’t matter to them where you live.
When you see an appropriate job listing, no matter where the company is located, send your résumé. You may want to include a cover letter clarifying that you’re looking to work remotely, as we’re in the early stages of this potential revolution. The number of companies you can now apply to has grown exponentially. If you live in a small town or city with few companies that fit your background, your whole career trajectory has changed. You’re now free to seek out jobs everywhere.
Be prepared, as there may be challenges. There will be enhanced competition as other people follow this strategy and also apply to jobs everywhere within the U.S. Also, corporate management is usually slow to adapt to new changes. They get set in their ways. Although they know intellectually that bringing back employees to a safe environment won’t be easy and will be fraught with challenges, they’ll still revert to pre-Covid-19 ways of thinking. They’ll want people in the office, as they will be nervous to make changes to what they feel are tried-and-true methods of office work. They’ll probably say to prospective candidates that they’d like to interview local candidates first.
Don’t presume that you’ll be paid the same amount of money that a person earns in a high-cost city when you live in a lower-cost place. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned his employees that if they move out of San Francisco, they must tell their boss where they’re going and their compensation will be adjusted.
These things shouldn’t discourage you, as it’s a natural response to change. As time goes on, they’ll become more comfortable with the remote-work arrangement. It’s also in their best interests. For example, if you live in Nebraska, the company could offer you a lesser salary than to a person residing in New York City. It may not be fair, especially if you both have the same skills, ability and experience, but that’s how things work. You may be okay with less pay than your New York counterpart, as they’re paying $3,000 for a small, cramped studio apartment, taxed heavily on their pay and weighed down with a high cost of living—whereas in Nebraska, you have considerably less expenses.
You’ll be free to move if you’d like. Some people feel stuck in one place due to their job and remain unhappy. Now’s your chance to relocate to the place you’d really love to live in. It’s likely that people may move to lower-cost places or move to interesting locations.
People who have gone through the Covid-19 pandemic, seen massive job losses and were forced to endure paying for expensive housing and subjected to riots and looting in big cities, might look forward to a change of scenery and leave the large cities. Many people may choose to work comfortably at home near the beach, ski resorts or in a lovely, picturesque, small town that’s considerably cheaper than a cramped and claustrophobic Manhattan apartment.