Changing World: Work From Anywhere

December 13, 2020

I’m sure most, if not all, of us were sent packing home to work earlier this year. As a business owner I was concerned that productivity might suffer with the change to remote work. Additional noise and less professional space were not reassuring. The ability to sustain, or even increase, productivity with remote work was a positive surprise for me. Not only was time saved on commute, but also meetings could be booked back-to-back virtually with no time lost moving between buildings. It was not unusual to talk with a CEO in Europe , hang up and call a CEO in California for a video meeting right away. Not all businesses can move their operations to remote setting but a large portion can. Many had similar positive experiences and their attitudes appear to have permanently changed (see figure)

Sources: Gartner

There are several benefits for businesses to enable its employees to work from anywhere:

  • Higher Resilience: in case of unforeseen circumstances (blackout, pandemic, blizzard, …) the business can continue operations
  • Higher Employee satisfaction: flexible logistics boost employees morale and satisfaction, improving job retention
  • Upgrade talent pool: untethered from the catchment areas of their physical offices, companies can tap into a deeper pool of talent
  • Lower real estate costs: office space needed is reduced when employees work, at least partially, outside of the office.

The dramatic change in attitudes towards remote work will have large implications in several industries. It will open up several investment opportunities. Cloud business tools will benefit from increased demand. Cybersecurity will be critical to defend the integrity of operations. Edge computing tools and network enablers will be needed to reduce latency and improve broadband access in more remote locations. Flexible real estate offers, both in length of lease and space leased will see increased demand while large multiyear commercial leases will experience reduced demand and rent pressure. Online collaboration software and tools will see increased demand. We are following all of these trends closely and are acting when the prices do not reflect even conservative scenarios of work from anywhere.

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