You may be surprised to be reading about the downside of remote work from PaidLetter.Com a company that teaches individuals how to create a remote lifestyle.
But more about that in a second.
First, let’s cover some of the downsides of remote work as it is shaping up.
According to Myvisajobs.com, America’s tech giants are among the companies relying most heavily on foreign talent. IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, Intel, and Facebook all filed 1,500+ Labor Condition Applications for H-1B visas in the fiscal year 2019, putting them among the top H-1B visa sponsors.
About 71 percent of tech employees in the Valley are foreign-born, compared to around 50 percent in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward region, according to a new report based on 2016 census data. One report states that close to 53% of the Silicon Valley tech workers were imported from out of the country.
If workers can maintain productivity from afar, businesses can spend less on office space. That’s precisely what many companies intend to do. A good 68% of large-company CEOs say they now plan to downsize their office space, according to a survey by KPMG. And that’s not just in response to the pandemic.
What does this mean?
1) Hiring Strategy Changes – Since technology and other companies, are downsizing office space they can expand their work pool by using remote workers. This allows them to hire the smartest candidates. (Currently without paying employee FICA). Unfortunately, this may mean that these high-income jobs will go to remote workers outside of the United States. The other advantage is that they will be able to acquire these remote workers for a fraction of the cost of in-house employees.
2) Office Space Available – When you drive around the business corridor of your city more “For Lease” signs are popping up. As more companies switch to the remote worker model these offices will remain vacant. Some have predicted that this will have dire consequences for cities because these corporations were paying a large percentage of income taxes. When these physical jobs vanish and work dries up cities will decline. We are witnessing a mass exodus from cities like San Francisco and New York due to the pandemic.
3) Education System – Some believe that the western post-secondary
education system will collapse. The cost of getting a degree from high-end universities is under scrutiny. And when the high-income white-collar jobs are being exported to remote workers overseas tough questions about college expenses are being asked.
4) Labor Unions Decline – Unionizing physical workers in a brick and mortar construct worked for decades. But as work goes remote and these buildings are disappearing the need for such labor unions is lessened.
5) The AI Impact – Have you tried to contact customer service at your bank, or other large corporation, during the pandemic? Then you have already experienced the impact of labor shortages. You are forced to interact with voicemail and wait even longer to speak to a human. As I write these words the technology is being installed across the country to have AI (Artificial Intelligence) replace even more of these workers. The telecommunication services industry, which includes fixed-network services and mobile and wireless services, is a trillion-dollar market projected to grow in the next few years. Many of these jobs will go to AI.
6) The Poor and Disenfranchised – The brunt of these changes will trickle down and negatively impact the poor. According to the Brookings Institute:
“The probability for those on temporary layoff was roughly 65 percent. In addition, those who are out of the labor force are less likely to become employed again than those who are permanently unemployed—just 9 percent for all of those who were out of the labor force in June. Thus, the shift from temporary layoff to a greater share of people whose previous jobs are permanently lost suggests that the labor market will take longer to heal, all else equal.”
The report goes on to say:
“With the labor market already showing significant signs of more structural damage, the federal government should be taking action to prevent further deterioration. Additional aid to households and state and local governments would boost demand and create new jobs.”
Smart Remote Work
Yes, the outlook looks bleak. Computers are great at repetitive tasks. Humans, on the other hand, really shine when it comes to creative thinking. The inner workings of the brain are extremely complex in ways that machines just can’t replicate.
Any jobs that involve creativity or creative problem-solving — musicians, artists, writers, marketers, inventors — will not be replaced by artificial intelligence.
But the good news is that that the endeavors that combine creativity with sales are less likely to be easily outsourced. They are certainly harder to be replaced with AI.
AI isn’t capable of developing complex strategies or thinking critically through complicated scenarios. There is a certain element of human intuition that’s critical for chief executives and other business leader positions.
When you control the context of the work that is being done you are safeguarded from the impending challenges with remote work.
By that, of course, I mean:
- You control the platform.
- You serve a specific audience.
- You control the paywall.