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.

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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.