I spoke to 1,700+ people about remote work in 2020

A few predictions of what will happen in 2021

[ a thread ] 💻🏠🌍
🎟 Remote competition: @FrancisSuarez is the first person to wield the power of Twitter to attract remote talent

Almost every region that has something which would attract people to move there will do the same thing

Incentives for remote talent to move will grow quickly
⏰ Async-first: People now see offices are instantaneous gratification adult kids clubs where sync work makes it impossible to get stuff done

Tools that enable async work are the most important thing globally remote teams need. A lot of startups will try to tackle this
🏢 HQ Slashed: Companies of every size cut their commercial office space by 50-70%

People will work remotely 2-4 days a week, and come into the office 1-2 days a week

Companies will provide a great setup at home for their workers
🤕 Injury explosion: Companies that don't provide the right tools & equipment begin to get Sued for Millions of Dollars

This rapidly becomes a key point of differentiation between companies they use to attract & retain talent
❤️ Local community: Things like @GrowRemoteIrl indicate a future for local communities where remote workers become active in the areas they settle

Towns & regions that have been crushed by the rise of the commute to the office will remerge
✈️ Remote onsites: 60%+ of companies I spoke to are thinking about how to better use time together physically

They will begin flying teams into remote locations for weeks at a time to maintain culture

Several will build flagship locations internationally for this purpose
💃 Personal choice: The smartest people I know personally are all planning to work remotely this decade

The most exciting companies I know personally all plan to hire remotely this decade

~90% of the workforces we've spoken to never want to be in an office again full-time
📈 Remote burnout: The productivity inside the companies we've spoken to has gone through the roof

Their biggest concern is that workers burnout because they are working too hard. Most are looking for ways to combat this

This will be a massive problem in 2021
🌐 Universal problems: Doesn't matter the size of the organization, every company is dealing with the same thing

We spoke to early-stage companies, publicly listed tech companies, through to legacy incumbents with hundreds of thousands of employees

All will be more remote
🌉 City unbundling: The exodus of SV will be a trend that is replicated in other metropolitan cities

People see they don't need the high cost of living – leaving them with no/low disposable income – and the relatively low quality of life living there gives you
👩‍⚖️ Political reinvention: Regions not serving their people will face a reckoning they never expected

Covid has shone a light on dysfunctional government like almost nothing before it

Remote work now gives individuals the opportunity to vote with their feet and leave
👷‍♂️ Vertical platforms: Horizontal platforms dominated pandemic induced remote WFH. The problem is many are not optimized to be remote work tools

Expect more vertically focussed challengers to platforms like Zoom & Slack that focussed on very specific vertical funtions
✍ Written culture: Documentation is the superpower of great remote teams. The most successful team members remotely will be great writers

Companies are searching for ways to do this more effectively. Tools that enable others to write better will explode
🧘‍♂️Personal care: A lack of commute gives workers 25 extra days a year to do what they love

Workers will exploit the freedom they have to organize things more freely in their day

Expect a renaissance of health and wellbeing and the emergence of hobbies & local communities
🚀 Output over time: The measure of performance in the office is how much time you spend sat in your seat

2021 will see the rapid adoption of PM tools most tech companies have been using for a decade across legacy industries
💰 Private Equity: The hottest trend of the next decade will be purchasing office-first companies and making them remote

Real-estate savings at scale will be eye-watering. Productivity gains will be even more important

Next @Bridgewater & @Blackrock comes from here
🛑Meeting Death: Wasting 2 hours traveling to a meeting will end. The benefits of in-person are eroded by the benefits of not traveling

Conferences and quarterly networking events will become more important for cultivating in-person relationships
👨‍🔬 Bad Tech: Remote grew so popular so quickly that it will attract people who have no interest in it other than greed — like blockchain/crypto in 2017

Their lack of understanding of remote work will lead to them replicating the bad parts of office working remotely
🚘 1 Car Households: The rise of remote will have tremendous indirect benefits towards slashing pollution

Families will benefit from only needing one car slashing cost of living, potentially cutting commuting a lot
🎳 Internal community: Team cohesion and company culture isn't impossible remotely – but it's very different

In the same way companies are finally realizing the power of community externally – internal community may become even more important to a companies success
Interested in why these companies are talking to us?

You can follow @chris_herd.
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