COVID-19 has transformed the world of work for good. Prior to the pandemic, millions of office workers across the world spent hours every day commuting to city centers just to go to work. They wasted not only their time, but also their own money to do this. They also sacrificed their mental and physical health by surviving on little sleep.
But the evolution of COVID-19 into a deadly global pandemic forced social distancing requirements and stay at home orders to be imposed, thereby forcing millions to work from home if possible.
And now, after two years of working remotely to stay safe, employees are choosing to continue to not just work from home, but also to work from anywhere.
If they no longer need to commute to the office every day, why do they need to live in huge megacities like London, San Francisco, New York in order to do their jobs effectively?
Instead they could live in Edinburgh, Bristol, San Diego, Kansas City or Cleveland – the UK and US cities identified as the best places to live and work by Icelandair – and have a better quality of life.
An “earthquake” in how we live
As a result, COVID-19 has had more than just an impact on how we work, but how we live.
Investor and entrepreneur Marc Andreessen has shared his views on the impact of remote work on society.
“It’s potentially one of those things that in a hundred years, people could look back and say, ‘That was a real turning point for how society developed.’”
Andreessen added that: “For thousands of years, if you were a sharp, ambitious young person — and this is true of the Medici, and it’s true with the Greeks — you had to go to the city to basically get opportunity”.
But, thanks to remote work, now people can access great jobs from anywhere, and “maybe that’s a fundamentally better way to live”.
“If in the post-COVID-19 world there’s basically this presumption that remote work is now viable, which is a new presumption — if this sticks, then it represents the first decoupling of economic opportunity from geographic locality in thousands of years. It’s potentially a civilization-level change.”
Are you ready to embrace this transformation of not just how we work, but also how we live? If not, it’s time to get onboard or risk missing out on top talent now and in the future.