Heartland Intelligence Free Edition: The Future of Work (Issue 2020.5F)
Welcome back to the Heartland Intelligence free edition, your monthly research bulletin on the American heartland.
The premium edition will be released for subscribers in a few days and will include information on the opportunity for Heartland cities from troubles on the coasts, plus the usual roundup. If you are not already a premium subscriber, please sign up so that you don’t miss anything.
The latest pieces by or featuring me:
City Journal: The Lifeblood of America (on small business recovery)
GoLocalProv video segment on the coronavirus impacts.
Indy Forward: Coronavirus and the Future of Remote Work
One thing that seems likely to come out of this is a greater share of work being done remotely such as via work from home. This will increase the importance of place to attracting business. The metro areas with the highest percentages of people working from home prior to the coronavirus were mostly either existing talent magnets or resort/retirement communities. The highest work from home share in the country, for example, is in Boulder. This suggests people today are already using remote work as a vehicle for living in their community of choice, not just moving to where the jobs are.
If more work becomes capable of being performed remotely, this will increase the importance of place as a driver of economic development. Cities will not be able to rely as much on the power of the job as a draw when the job can be done remotely from a worker’s preferred city to live.
A study from Stanford finding that working from in a Chinese call center environment improved productivity and raised job satisfaction (via Marginal Revolution)
Nationwide Insurance is planning to close non-core offices and move workers permanently to remote (Business First of Columbus).
Darrell West of Brookings argues that more remote work means flatter organizations and fewer jobs.
The Economist 1843: The Death of the Office
Medium: The Office Is Dead
The Atlantic: Work From Home Is Here to Stay
NYT: Is the Coronavirus Shaping the Future of How We Work? (focus on California)