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Remote Work’s Impact on Smaller Cities

Remote Work May Be Here to Stay

Companies across the globe had to adapt to remote work environments during the pandemic. More than a year and a half later, a number of technology companies including Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), and Salesforce (CRM) are embracing this new way of working for the long run. Remote work has a number of advantages for companies, like being able to hire individuals located across the country instead of one geographic area.

Many remote workers in smaller cities are earning high salaries at jobs which used to be based in large cities, resulting in local firms increasing wages in order to remain competitive. Some companies in smaller hubs are hoping this trend will be short-lived, but others believe remote work is here to stay and they are adapting accordingly.

Remote Work Allows Companies to Attract a More Diverse Talent Pool

Even prior to the pandemic, technology companies were embracing remote work. The pandemic significantly accelerated this trend. Employees grew accustomed to working remotely and many companies saw that productivity didn’t take a significant hit.

At Twitter, employee requests to work remotely in the same place or in a new city were nine times higher in 2021 than in 2019. In the past 12 months, roughly 10% of the social media company’s San Francisco workers have relocated. Even before the pandemic, Twitter wanted to decentralize its workforce. Since 2018 the company has been incorporating more remote work into its model in order to attract a more diverse pool of talent.

Mini Offices a Growing Trend

Tech companies are also beginning to use smaller offices and co-working spaces located across the country. Slack (WORK) began a six-month test in April, giving its full-time staff WeWork memberships. Meanwhile, Dropbox (DBX) intends to open mini offices in a variety of cities during the next 18 months. The idea is to create several mini hubs to retain talent no matter where employees want to live. Of Dropbox’s new hires this year, about 60% come from outside of its major hubs in San Francisco, New York, and Seattle.

It is becoming clear that remote work will continue in some capacity in the future. It will be interesting to see how this continues to impact real estate markets, work culture, and more.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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