How working from home is changing the way we think about where we live

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Remote workers have a new found flexibility

Can you remember three months ago? In just 90 days, things have changed dramatically. Just 90 days. Yet, in that short amount of time, the way we think about where we live and how we live has completely changed.

In the latter part of those 90 days, I have heard from many people that the pandemic has forced their hand and has actually inspired investment in new technology or motivated a change in operations. These changes are adding up to huge impacts.

One of the big changes is the work-from-home policy. What started as a way to keep employees safe at home is now turning into the most popular work trend across the country, inspiring companies everywhere to step away from very large real estate construction projects and lease deals.

When office real estate is expensive and the country is facing an economic meltdown, and a work-from-home trend falls from the sky, it would be silly not to take it, right?

This Margins article reports that 40% of all venture capital funding in Silicon Valley actually goes to landlords instead of product development, and admits that even though it’s a big number, it is probably very conservative.

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Why people thrive in coworking spaces

 

Coworking started as a fringe trend that was expected to fade as fast as it emerged. Several years later, the popularity of coworking has continued to grow rapidly.

Currently, there are over 14,400 coworking spaces all over the world.

It is estimated that by 2022, coworking spaces will be the workplace of choice for about 5.1 million people.

The increasing popularity of coworking spaces has been fueled largely by the increasing number of freelancers and remote workers.

NOTE: Anyone interested in learning more about coworking or leased offices at the DaVinci Institute in Westminster, Colorado, go to Colony Workspace and request a tour.

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Up to half of developers work remotely; here’s who’s hiring them

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Forty-five percent of developers work remotely at least part of the time – why not? Glassdoor and Remotive have compiled lists of employers actively hiring remote IT workers.

One of the great things about technology work is that it doesn’t really matter where it’s performed. You’re on the network, with minimum latency, regardless if you’re down the hall or on another continent. For employees, working from home — or from a remote office — means greater flexibility and reduced stress from commutes. For employers — and this is extremely important in the IT field — it means being able to draw from a vast, global pool of talent, with no concerns about relocation. In addition, work could even be handed off from time zone to time zone for more rapid turnarounds.

It is estimated that there are between 18 to 21 million developers across the globe. Of this, only about one million — or five percent — are in the United States, so you can see how an employer in the US, or anywhere else for that matter, needs to spread its recruiting and staffing wings.

It’s in the best interest for tech-oriented employers, then, to be open to this global pool of talent. There are a number of companies leading the way, actively hiring globally distributed tech workforces. Glassdoor recently published a list of leading companies that encourage remote work, which includes some prominent tech companies, and Remotive has been compiling a comprehensive list of more than 2,500 companies of all sizes that hire remote IT workers.

Survey data from Stack Overflow, analyzed by Itoro Ikon, finds that out of almost 89,000 developers participating in its most recent survey, 45% work remotely at least part of the time, and 10% indicated they are full-time remote workers. A majority of remote workers, 58%, are regular full-time employees.

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The Office of the Future Is No Office at All

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Everyone works remotely at software-development company GitLab, even its CEO

As collaboration tools improve, letting distant teammates work together seamlessly, some are questioning whether an office is necessary.

GitLab Inc. is extreme, even for Silicon Valley: It has no headquarters and everyone works remotely, even the CEO.

The software-development startup, which has more than 600 employees in 54 countries, plans to raise its headcount to about 1,000 by year-end. Its far-flung workers rely on internal tools and cloud-based services to collaborate, communicate and contribute to projects.

The idea is to remain headquarters-free even after GitLab’s initial public offering, planned for late 2020, giving it flexibility to cut costs and hire people world-wide as opposed to relying on expensive talent hubs and office space, said Sid Sijbrandij, the company’s chief executive and co-founder.

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Remote workers are outperforming office workers—Here’s why

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Research shows that office workers cannot concentrate at their desks.

Have you seen any of these gimmicky office designs? Candy dispensers in conference rooms. Hammocks and indoor treehouses. Tech companies tend to be the worst offenders with the startup favorites: beer taps and table tennis.

Maybe there is fun for a moment when the candy bar drops — but does all that money spent on gimmicks deliver anything meaningful for the people who work there?

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Was the telecommuting craze a failed experiment?

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Remember the time Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting at Yahoo and started a media firestorm? Some thought she’d flipped her lid. Others said she’d made a grave mistake that would kill morale. Well, she hadn’t and it didn’t. That was one of the few things she did right in her ill-fated attempt to turn around the hapless internet portal.

While the former Googler didn’t intend to start a trend, she did. HP followed suit a few months later. Then came Best Buy, Bank of America, Aetna and others.

Last week, IBM gave thousands of virtual workers an ultimatum: either show up in the office, or go work somewhere else. Considering that Big Blue pioneered the “anytime, anywhere workforce” decades ago, that sort of closes the books on what has turned out to be yet another overhyped management fad.

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