An article published by Stanford University reported that as of the end of Q2 2020, 42% of Americans were working from home. Although COVID significantly shifted the landscape in terms of the remote workforce, there was a previous growing movement driven by a combination of technological advances and a demand for greater work-life balance rearranging the traditional model of working in an office. Furthermore, with community workspaces, the ease of creating a virtual business, and 43% of Americans reporting having at least one side hustle, it was inevitable that we would have reached almost 50% of the workforce making home their primary office eventually. COVID simply accelerated the trend. The question is – will the work from home trend continue in 2021?
With the global landscape shifting to less need of certain types of work being required in-person, it is predicted that this trend toward working from home will continue. One only needs to look at the reported benefits of working from home to understand why there is an increased demand from employees toward more remote work and desire for people to start businesses that allow them to stay at home.
In almost twenty years of coaching, mentoring, and speaking on work from home productivity, the most frequent reported benefits are the following:
Top Reported Work From Home Benefits
- Time flexibility.
- Decreased childcare cost.
- No commute.
- Better relationships with family.
- Increased happiness.
- Improved productivity.
- More time to focus on health.
Work From Home Statistics
- 80% of employees want to work from home. (Global Workplace Analytics)
- 85% of US companies are ‘hybrid allowing’ meaning that they allow some form of work-from-home. (Owl Labs)
- The median earnings for a person who works from home were $42,442 in 2018, far above the median earnings for all workers which were closer to $38,184. (CNBC)
- 82% of telecommuters report less stress and 70% report increased productivity. (PGi)
- 80% of telecommuters report increased morale.(PGi)
As both demand and opportunity to work from home arise, the question is will the trend continue? The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ A combination of factors including reluctance to be in highly populated spaces, new routines that have emerged from remote workers, housing data illustrating people’s exodus from cities such as Manhattan to the suburbs, growing concerns for the environmental impact of automobiles, and corporate cost cutting savings from not requiring office space are just a handful of the numerous reasons why this trend will continue.
The five key work from home trends to watch in 2021 are:
More Companies Will Keep Their Employees at Home
Social media giant, Facebook, recently extended its allowance of employees to work from home until July 2021. As companies look at their bottom lines, operational efficiencies, and overall employee sentiment, if working from home increases profits and productivity, it will be here to stay for certain segments of the workforce.
People Will Continue to Renovate Their Homes For Remote Work
Shares of home renovation titans, Home Depot and Lowes, soared in Q2 of 2020. As one Phoenix, Arizona Home Depot employee put it, ‘I have been working here for over ten years. I have never seen a summer so busy. I guess that people are just tired of staring at their walls. They want new paint, new floors, and just to spruce things up.’
Living and working in one place definitely emphasizes the chipped paint, old carpet, and all of the projects left undone and ignored if one has been out of the house for fifty hours per week or more.
The other aspect of this trend is less travel. People who do not feel comfortable travelling will be more compelled to spend money on home improvements as they embrace the ‘staycation.’
People Will Continue to Save More Money Working From Home
The economic impact of not commuting is $758 million/day alone in the United States. Whether it is commuting, buying lunch at work, going for happy hour after work, or purchasing new work clothes, people just aren’t doing any of these things as much. In 2021, people will continue to save more money working from home. Whether they translate that into increased savings, retirement investment, or paying down debt remains to be seen however for the newly work from home indoctrinated, they will have more cash in their pocket.
People Will Continue to Invest in Technology
At the end of summer 2020, shares of technology companies that benefited those working from home including Apple, Microsoft, and Zoom, soared toward record highs. People were upgrading their technology and forced to use virtual meeting platforms. In 2021, this trend will continue though it might not be as robust as it was in 2020. People do not need a new laptop every single year and the surge in purchasing might be reduced to a less rigorous flow however it will still continue upward.
The Number of People With Side Hustles Will Increase
Approximately 30% of people with a side hustle were using the extra income to pay for everyday expenses . according to a survey by Bankrate. Whether it is selling items on Ebay, doing part-time consulting, monetizing a YouTube channel, or any of the myriad of choices out there to generate extra revenue, it has never been easier to start a side hustle. Furthermore, people have embraced the notion of multiple streams of income with media influencers like Dave Ramsey who espouses having a side hustle to pay down debt, and long term financial guru, Robert Kiosaki teaching the power of residual income for years.