This Week in Remote Work – Jan. 22nd Edition

Welcome to the January 22nd edition of This Week in Remote Work. Let’s dive into the top five articles that caught our attention this week:

1) Six Tips For A Future-Proof Remote Work Strategy (Forbes)

One thing we talk a lot about here at Cameyo is the fact that while remote work won’t be permanent for everyone, hybrid work (in the office some days, home on other days) will indeed be the norm for most in the post-pandemic world. This great article from fellow Forbes Technology Council member Bill Stemper of Comcast does a good job of outlining 6 key things business leaders need to consider when preparing a remote-work strategy that can withstand the many twists and turns that will occur between now and an eventual shift to hybrid work. At the end of the day, it’s all about agility – so what can help enable that agility for your business?

And wouldn’t you know it – Bill’s first tip to a future-proof remote work strategy is:

1. Create a seamless work experience. A productive workspace will look different for every company and employee role, but easy virtual access to colleagues, tools and applications is essential. Reliable connectivity is a must, particularly when everyone in a household is competing for the bandwidth for remote work, schooling and entertainment — sometimes via dozens of devices at once. 

We couldn’t agree more, Bill. We dig into the importance of a seamless, secure, productive digital workspace experience – and why hybrid work will increase the demand for such – in this post

2) 2021 Technology Spending Intentions Survey (ESG Research)

This report from ESG Research would be inherently interesting even if we weren’t coming off of a bizarre 2020 and a massive shift to remote work, but since we are, the findings of this spending intentions survey are even more fascinating. One thing that stood out to us when it comes to remote work was:

85% of IT decision makers say that COVID-19 has caused their organization to accelerate the number of remaining on-premises applications and workloads that are cloud candidate.

Prior to the pandemic there was already a large push for organizations to move their applications to the cloud, but this survey clearly illustrates that the pandemic has pushed that trend way past the tipping point. And the reality of permanent remote and hybrid work models has made the shift to virtual application delivery a critical strategy in 2021 for a majority of organizations. 

Read more about the benefits of giving everyone secure anytime, anywhere  access to all of their business-critical apps in this post

3) Balancing Security and User Behavior in Remote Work (Security Boulevard

This article analyzes the 2021 Cloud Security Report from Wandera, and serves as a great reminder that the shift to remote work has only increased the need for vigilance when it comes to security. For example, the report found that 52% of organizations dealt with a malware incident in 2020, up from 37% in 2019. And compared to pre-pandemic times, connections to inappropriate content during “office” hours have increased 100%.

Especially as many people are choosing (or must) work from their own personal devices while working remote, the challenges of enabling secure access to all of the apps they need to stay productive – without putting your corporate network and data at risk – are many. We talk about some of those challenges in this post. And for a deeper dive of why zero-trust security needs to be baked into the core of your digital workspace, check this out.  

4) Why a Multicloud Strategy May Be Right for You in 2021 (eWeek)

Many of the tried and true arguments for a multicloud strategy are covered in this article, and eWeek specifically calls out “avoiding vendor lock in” as a key reason. So nothing particularly new on that front. But I found this statement and stat interesting:

The demand for cloud-based platforms and applications grew as a result. In fact, according to Synergy Research, the growth of the remote workforce contributed to the substantial increase of public cloud revenues, with companies investing nearly $1.5 billion in cloud services in Q3 2020 alone.

Definitely not surprising, but it will be very interesting to see how those numbers increase in 2021 – especially since most organizations are going to remain fully-remote until at least the Fall. 

5) Where Tech Workers Are Moving: New LinkedIn Data vs. the Narrative (Big Technology)

Alright, this one is more of a guilty pleasure. We’ve all read a ton of articles in the past months about how everyone is leaving the Bay Area for Austin, and leaving New York for Miami. And that’s certainly happening, don’t get me wrong. But in my conversations I definitely get the sense that more people from the Bay Area (where I’m located) are leaving for even more affordable areas than Austin, which has been on a solid growth trajectory (and getting pricier as a result) for the past several years. 

So my interest was immediately piqued when I saw this headline about what actual LinkedIn data about people’s change in location says about the veracity of that narrative.

The story crumbles when placed next to new LinkedIn data showing where tech workers are actually moving in 2020. The key beneficiaries of this year’s tech migration are less buzzy cities like Madison, Wisconsin; Richmond, Virginia; and Sacramento, California. These places don’t get much play in the news, but they’re attracting tech talent at significantly higher rates than they were last year. Austin, conversely, is gaining tech workers more slowly.

Sure, plenty of people are moving from San Francisco to Austin – but the rate of people making that move has actually slowed since the beginning of the pandemic, compared to the velocity before the pandemic. Put bluntly in the article:

Austin, for its part, is not experiencing a pandemic-induced tech worker surge. Last year, Austin was gaining 2.06 tech workers for every one that left; now it’s down to 1.84, a drop of 10.78%. Though Austin is still gaining tech workers this year, the notion that 2020 was a watershed year for tech workers moving there is a myth.

Not to pick on Austin at all – it’s a fantastic city. But when it comes to the “great migration” caused by remote work, it’s clear that people are flocking to even more affordable and less buzzy areas. Moving from SF to Austin, even before the pandemic, was already being seen as moving from one tech hub to another. Now that people don’t need to live near any of these so called “hubs”, people can truly move where they want to live – not somewhere they feel they need to live. 

We hope you all have a great weekend, and we look forward to seeing you back here next week!