Remote Work in 2019: What the Trends, Insights, and Predictions Say
What does the future hold for jobs in the virtual workplace? Get ready to see these remote work predictions everywhere in 2019.
How will remote work change in 2019?
Though it's been on the rise for quite some time, more companies will see the value in hiring part- and full-time virtual employees and working remotely will be the new "normal" for a growing majority.
Whether you're already a remote worker or still considering the switch, here's what you should expect 2019 to bring.
Remote Work Trends You'll See Everywhere in 2019
Keep these predictions for the future of remote work on your radar:
Increased Competition -- Especially Thanks to Gen Z
Since more people want to work remotely -- and those who do enjoy it so much they don't see themselves returning to the typical 9 to 5 office gig -- competition will be fierce.
And the bad news is Gen Z is going to make that competition even worse.
Experts predict Gen Z will take over 36% of the global workforce by 2020[*].
Gen Z, which includes those born between the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, grew up with the internet; they're digital natives comfortable using all the remote work tools and technology other generations may not feel so confident with.
Hot on the tails of successful Millennials in remote work, Gen Z not only expects to work more flexible hours outside the office, they're actively striving to disconnect from the daily grind and become digital nomads who travel the world.
What does this mean for you?
*Advanced, tech-savvy candidates will be preferred *over applicants who only know the basics. General tech skills and level-one digital literacy will not be enough to get your foot in the remote work door.
And this need for advanced digital skills applies to everyone -- from people in entry-level positions to those earning the big bucks.
*You'll need to differentiate yourself with a specialization *to stand out. Niche talents will always be in high demand.
So once you decipher what the keywords in that job posting really mean, you'll need to show hiring managers you have the expertise they're looking for.
Make a few specific tweaks to tailor your resume for a remote job and gain a leg up on your competition.
Companies will also start to lure in top candidates with the promise of a better work-life balance.
Companies Will Care More About their Employees' Work-Life Balance
Employees now consider a healthy work-life balance on par with career heavyweights like salary and job security[*].
So if you're currently spending more time at the office or commuting back and forth to work than with your friends and family, a remote job may be the right fit for you.
Companies will try to create formal corporate policies to discourage the "always on" mindset that comes from working untraditional hours remotely. They'll also try to set expectations for when employees need to take a break and disconnect.
While this may help employees establish a less stressful remote work life, companies will also start emphasizing the need for greater employee engagement.
Employee Engagement Will Be a Top Priority
Remote employees may start to feel isolated and lonely working solo, especially if a company's main team works together at one central HQ.
Since happy, engaged employees tend to be more productive and stick around longer, companies will pay more attention to fostering a sense of community with their remote team members.
You'll see this take off in the form of:
- Opportunities for micro-learning using company-sponsored self-paced classes and resources.
- Face-to-face company events like corporate retreats, quarterly meetings at headquarters, or weekly video check-ins.
- Clear paths to advancement and career mentoring programs.
Companies will begin helping remote employees feel more connected and supported, just as if they were in the office working alongside the rest of the pack.
But since virtual workers don't have to be in expensive mega-cities like New York or LA to land their dream job, you'll also see more people moving out of downtown metros and into neighboring small towns.
Small Towns and Rural Revitalization Efforts Will Explode
Small towns and rural areas often lose top talent to the big cities they neighbor. And as a result of fewer businesses and residents, and the up-and-down nature of the economy, many of these areas have become economically depressed.
But in 2019, more remote workers will champion the revitalization efforts of these towns and shift the demographics.
With a lower cost of living, and no need to worry about commuting, the dream of homeownership and small-town living will become a reality for many.
Residents will have incomes which don't depend on their local economy and will be able to pump much-needed money into these areas, many of which hold historic value, and turn them around.
To gain this business, certain states like Vermont are even considering programs to pay remote workers up to \$10,000 if they relocate there[*].
Moving out of the city with a remote job is a no-brainer for parents</span> looking to raise their kids in a quiet neighborhood.
But if you plan on working from home, expect to fortify your workspace in 2019.
The Home Office Gets a Security Upgrade
Being able to work from home is one of the most common reasons people start working remotely.
But as more employees ditch the corporate office, they also leave without the security of a robust IT department protecting the company data they have on their laptops and other devices.
Corporate cybersecurity attacks and data breaches will not only be more prevalent in 2019, they'll be even harder to detect and protect yourself from.
Companies will begin strengthening and enforcing the rules about where remote and in-house employees can access sensitive data. They may also implement strict requirements for your security to reduce their risks.
If you lack the technical resources to safeguard this data, you may want to ask an expert to beef up your IT protection ASAP.
Luckily, the remote work explosion has also spawned a few niche businesses like this to help you out.
More Businesses Will Cater to Remote Workers
The business of helping people live their best remote life has created opportunities for other smart entrepreneurs.
Don't be surprised if you see more:
- Coworking spaces and local coffee shops with free WiFi in your area
- Hostels and hotels designed for digital nomads (with coworking spaces and flexible stays)
- Remote work consultants to support businesses and employees making the virtual transition
- Online courses, certifications, and coaching to support remote employees
These businesses will make it easy for people to jump into remote work seamlessly without any experience.
And that will greatly benefit the new gang on the scene: the baby boomers.
Remote Work Becomes the New Retirement
Stats show many baby boomers don't have enough money saved for retirement[*]. And even if they did, more baby boomers are choosing to stay in the workforce as long as they can anyway.
The flip side is baby boomers are less interested in working 80+ hour weeks to advance their careers. They want to work part-time to keep themselves active and continue to grow their retirement savings.
Remote work offers the flexibility, part-time schedule, and high quality of life baby boomers are looking for without the downsides of going to the office, like wearing a suit or a stressful commute.
And since baby boomers are much more tech-literate than their parents, most already know the basics of using software, tablets, and social media[*]. They'll just need a few online courses to get to expert level.
With all their work experience, pairing up baby boomers with new-to-the-work world Gen Z may offer excellent mentorship and learning opportunities for both parties.
The Time to Go Remote Is Now
Hiring and retaining awesome remote workers will be the goal of most businesses in 2019.
If you want to transition to remote work, it's never been a better time to hit the ground running.
So visit We Work Remotely -- the best site for remote job postings -- as often as you can. With positions for engineers, designers, customer support, programmers, and more, 2019 is sure to be the year you find happiness outside the cubicle.
Need a primer on remote job hunting? Check out these posts next:
- Signs You're Ready to Work Remotely
- How to Find the Perfect Remote Job
- What You Need to Do Before Applying for Remote Work