The future of work: Remote work is rising in the U.S.

MacBook Pro, white ceramic mug and black smartphone on a table (©Unsplash / Andrew Neel)

MacBook Pro, white ceramic mug and black smartphone on a table (©Unsplash / Andrew Neel)

Remote work encompasses home-based working, hybrid remote and in-office work, flexible scheduling, 100 percent remote work, the digital nomad lifestyle, and everything in between. When we reported how CrewBloom wrote a remote job search guide in 2018, the remote work industry was expanding rapidly on a global scale.

Today, things have only gotten better for the remote workforce here in the U.S. In fact, experts estimate that 5.1 million people will make up the American remote workforce by 2022. Realizing the value of having better control over where, when, and how they work, more and more people are joining the global remote team, and some of America’s largest cities are transforming as a result.

One example is the Kansas City in Missouri. Travel + Leisure has hailed Kansas City as the best place for remote work in America, given its combination of high average Wi-Fi speeds, number of coffee shops per capita, reasonable cost of living, and the recent availability of coworking spaces. It is no wonder leading coworking space provider Industrious planted itself in the heart of Kansas City’s retail district, with its flexible offices setting shop the Country Club Plaza.

Apart from being a high-end shopping destination, the area is also where you can find the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and now, a flexible new workspace model, strategically placed alongside established commercial and cultural city institutions. This makes this space an ideal location for workers to meet fellow entrepreneurs and network.

What is happening in Kansas City could be a microcosm of what is to come for the remote work industry. As remote workers, digital nomads, flexible scheduling, and shared offices become the norm, more tech and collaboration driven opportunities are sure to arise.

Some of America’s largest corporations have already taken the cue. With its headquarters in Texas, computer manufacturing giant Dell is looking at having 50 percent of its entire workforce working remotely by the end of 2020. Another example is Amazon’s recent hiring of 3,000 remote customer service workers, placing it alongside companies like UnitedHealth Group and Salesforce in terms of remote-friendliness.

Remote working has certainly come a long way from its freelance trend grassroots. Global Workplace Analytics president Kate Lister said more and more jobs will be compatible with some form of remote working set up as knowledge-based work continue to be digitally streamlined through shared work software like Slack, Zoom, Google and Microsoft Office, among others, and around 70 percent of the American workforce will be working remotely at least five days per month by 2025.

“It became a strategic initiative rather than just a tactical one,” Lister explained on the present and future of remote working. “Home has become the place for concentration. Companies are completely transforming workplaces to be places of collaboration.”

Flexibility really is the heart and soul of the current growth of remote working. From the above-mentioned remote working software, to the coliving/coworking residential developments in certain parts of the world, remote working itself offers a flexible range of options for anyone who can open a laptop and connect to the Internet.

That is all you need to start working from the comfort of home or to start negotiating with supervisors that your current in-office schedule could be improved through flexible and remote scheduling. You could also dive right into the remote working culture by living in an innovative coliving residential building with its own dedicated coworking space. Whatever type of remote working set up you need to reach your full potential, remember that you are part of a still growing and constantly innovating new workforce, one that is poised to change the face of nearly every industry.

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