Over the past year I’ve spoken with many people who are taking advantage of remote work. They’ve left their home cities and are working from new locations for extended periods of time. Just this week, I spoke with a founder who’s working from New Mexico for the next few months. A few months ago, I spoke with a founder camped out in Mexico City.
Where people work from has begun to shift. Major metropolitan areas will continue to attract skilled workers, but I think we’ll start to see a rise in such workers moving to second-tier cities. If companies continue offering remote work as an option, employees will be untethered from offices in major metros and able to live in places more aligned with their personal priorities. Instead of seeing family for holidays, you can see them every weekend. Instead of visiting the lake during the summer, you can live on the lake year-round. Housing costs have increased rapidly and will likely continue to increase. If you can live someplace with a lower cost of living and earn the same or close to the same salary as you would in a major metro, that can materially improve your quality of life by relieving financial pressure.
We’re probably at the beginning of a major workforce shift. How we work and where we work have changed, and that will have ripple effects. Second-tier cities are in position to benefit tremendously from these changes. I’m excited to watch this play out and hope it has a positive and lasting impact on these communities.