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The future of remote work


Economist Adam Ozimek from Upwork joins Matt to discuss the future of remote work, post-pandemic. They discuss the implications for migration, local governance, and the elusive concept of work/life balance.


"Economist Report: Future Workforce" by Adam Ozimek (Dec. 2020)


Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior), Chief Economist, Upwork


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com


Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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a leading authority, I would say on remote work, which is integral to up works business model and I think, like a lot of people, are thinking about Burma work now, because the pandemic thing you met the future, but parliament's great about Adams. Research on this is that is actually something you ve been thinking about since before the pandemic, which I think provides a better tenet insights into their so Adam welcome things for have been glad to be here, so something that I think is is it saying that that a lot of people sort of get wrong about this is not understanding like what Baseline was for remote work and what the trends were before covered kind of and I remember I learned from you- I was actually surprise- like fewer people work from a late than I had realized.
So you don't because it helps you understand like how big is a change. This is so. What do we know if you, if you flashed back to January two thousand and twenty like what was going on with remote? So it's a surprisingly tough thing to get a girl measure on, because you're depends exactly what you're asking, if you Ask someone working from home that's a different thing from working remotely because homes, Only one of the places you can work remotely, but what It's working from home! Nice is it's pretty like clear when it means Then, once you get more accurate and start talking about working remotely then you open the door to all sorts of things like well. Is that remote, like Emma I'm salesman on the road like that remote? I'm, like the telephone line. Repairman Moat that wrote to have an office there's no offers. I go to or like more like those are easy Rio, Gable that shouldn't counties remote bite,
something that sort of more metals like I'm a graphic designer. I have my own private office down town, where I see clients they come to my office, and maybe I have like to employees. But, like you, that's like really close for from the press, active like your relationship with most of the businesses that you workforce is effectively remote, so that the best way do a sort of ranges. I think, and the way Think of it is pre covered. We probably had between five to ten percent being fully remote. In that do you wanna get towards ten percent you're gonna start you're, gonna start to be including people who were like. Is that remote did that really count as remote and it's sort of like gets into the grey area? So that's sort of what I think the baseline. If you look at work from home is probably more like three three and a half per cent and the bill I says to an eight percent
but their measure is only for wage and salary workers from the american time Use survey, and so that doesn't include self employed people that doesn't include freelancer stuff, like that. So it's probably more like three. Three and a half percent strictly work from home five to ten percent. If you get into a wider definitions of remote and then probably like another ten percent on top of that, maybe even fifteen who are remote sometimes but promote, sometimes is even greater right did even like fuzzy because like if you come home from work and do some work at home. If you asked that person do they do work from home, they might say yes, but they might just be injuring emails on the phone, so the baseline is really tough to measure. But I think about is five. Ten- maybe that's that's it important point might because we we had this kind of revolution a while ago, where it became totally normal that if you have a kind of white collar work with a computer job that ITALY sucks summed aims
you'll be doing work at your house like nobody. Nobody would have found that shocking. If it was, I gather that kid goes to bed. I do some work right, like that's, that's very nice more, whereas if you had like, I don't know like giant typewriters that had me lugged back and forth, like you, you might not actually sort so to do that rights. Are you have a trend that is evolving alongside a different dimensions in different ways, but to have an economic impact ride like that doesn't count rightly give were if we're interested in in like big picture economic changes, the issue isn't like. Can you sometimes ghetto work task done from your house? It's like. Are you commuting on a daily basis? Does your employer need to provisionally with office space right? It's a changing. The way we work.
It has an economic impact, but it's not a total disruption like it's not a revolution in the way we work the way that in a working from home working remotely now postcode seemed like it will be. An end to the trend was prick of right. Yeah. The best trend data we have is from the ACS where they ask what your primary work location is, and that was from home as one of the options and so from the ACS and the decennial census. Before that, you can see a pretty steady trend from nineteen eighty straight up through two thousand and nineteen of increasing, as is the american community survey for listeners at home, who are not census kind of nerds, so. This was a thing right so like before covered, you would say: ok, like computers are getting better barbarians getting, ass. Their people use different chat, apps like it. Just like the information technology keeps improving, so we have a kind of slow
Oh, steady increase in the amount of people working from home or being sort of all remote, and that's that the kind of background and then how does the like? How does a pandemic Change that, like how I've been? Obviously we know like a lot of people are sent home from the office but like how do you think about that is impacting trend? So I think we can take the change that happen and sort of bucket them into concepts? The first most obvious one is learning by doing and but we ve seen is down. People are therefore there were more work works better than they thought, and so there are sorted this pessimism about it. So we did a survey in April the that asked this question very special quickly of a thousand hiring manager's how's. My we're going is better better allied, better, worse lot worse and the vast majority like nine out of ten. It was doing better than that
thought so, for whatever reason, there is just this pessimism about how well it was going to work and people meaning that it works, but I thought so. I think the problem, there also has to do with some sort of an ex inefficiency, driven by variation comfort with remote work by age, and this goes back to some of the work I did in the past on age and productivity, and I think that the old workers block technological change at the farm level because they didn't want to learn new things because they ve got lower amount of time in their careers to sort of recoup the investment losses just sort of thing that happens in the world or managers do not like for my work as much I've. I showed this in some data before covered younger people like remote work, both as
younger business owners like remote work. More younger managers like remote work, more and younger workers like them at work more so you have this sort of like a dude by us, and the people who tend to be in charge tend to not like it as much so you get a little bit of personal preference, There were joined me. This is like classic, like Grandpa, doesn't know how to program the vcr wouldn't when we were kids right, but it comes into the workplace swayed. So higher status people in the workplace are usually older, and you know older people are less interested in like new stuff had so we can slow kind of adaptation. And then I also think we'd like the actual age of the business,
has to be a factor to rather give people in general? I don't like to change things if there's no particularly compelling reason to, whereas if you start something new, you might think it's a. U have to decide whether and how is gonna work, which is different from like we were just kind of stick with the but the default. How how much better is? Is it sort of going than people thought it would so there's couple ways
get that prick overview of a few experimental studies on remote work, and you know these are really rigorously done and near. Basically, people were offered. You know randomized access to other work from home and also work from anywhere. You have one study from unequal, many team, CO, authors using the car sector, workers and travel agency, and then you have they use patent trademark office. Us also offer a work from anywhere option. You sort of randomized too, to their patent officer patent examiners. In both cases, we find your productivity goes up in that's really sort of credibly identified. You would say
you really believe that happened. You also have em Harrington, whose incomes at Harvard has a really nice paper that she was starting. A remote work experiment with it a large national retailer, further customer customer service reps before and then cook covered sort of like affected. The study in a nice brain was when she also found productivity so, basically anywhere that had been done. Like a studied rigorously. Productivity goes up, obviously, two or three times a pre covert studies. You also have a lot of sort of neurons in the occupations and has been tried on. She have to worry about external, Did he by way of hiring managers we found early on it was? He was thirty, two percent to twenty percent or thirty three to twenty two? Was the ratio of higher productivity, verses, lower productivity and that that might sound like a welcome that kind like narrow? It's like, I was like a ten percent increase in productivity than if it goes up
the three percent good down for twenty two percent. But the important thing to realise is that these short term effects are a when companies were thrown into the water fee. First interment work. This is like early on the independent, and even then, even when they were just learning how to work more thought. Productivity went up unless the other thing is, you have selection effects over. That are going to make sure that, like firms who need managers were like this, the stinks are productivity went down, this doesn't work for us, there are gonna, do it right and so on that twenty two percent who went down they're gonna go way there can go back to the way they used to work and then you'll be left with the thirty two percent who went up. So that's like a pre, significant potential effect on productivity in the aggregate better. I think we made sure that when we start talking postcards right, because I find that a lot of discussion of round this topic as like a future thing,
it's like excessively polarize striped, where somebody will say like what I dont like working remotely red or like at my company, this hasn't well, and we have a lot of people in America and a lot of different companies and the point of of that low base line is that you know if forty percent of office work went remote, there would be a huge increase and totally compatible with, like some companies, think it or like some people down enjoy it. I must realise I've been I've, been thinking about this, and I M really said journalists who we control the media, have an unusual war relationship to this, because the normal paradigm in in journalism for a long time, is that you work where the subjects of your stories are.
Right- and some of the work has always been from up like it's totally normal. Like a newspaper, has a bureau on a different continent rain and the point is that what they have to be in the London Bureau because they're covering the United Kingdom and that's just not that's not what the what the issue is in a sort of typical kind of work: environment, trade It is a little bit of an end, as you say, it's a different industries, different companies by kind of very, but that there is a large number that are seeing a big advantage here. You think, there's Thursday, there is sort of like being affected by people. People views on this earth
too much by their own personal views at how remote work work for them in their occupations in their companies, ensure you good. You know you could say the same of me as someone who is a remote worker in a remote workin company. He was remote workin before remote work here and really likes it by a you know. I am focused pretty pre steadily on the data and not my own personal experiences here, but I think the other thing that colored perceptions of this sort of extroverts forces, introvert and sort of projection, and an assumption that, because you prefer the current balance of the way work goes than them must be off the more versus, like, I think, introvert who have spent you know decades working in an office, there was not the right fit for them. They just sort of had to accept that. Just because this is not my preferred.
A working like that doesn't mean that it's not optimal and now it's sort of in some situations. I think it's switched and you'll you'll people are sort of extroverts at a company where remote work will work and they just don't like it, but they can't swear to process that the difference between I don't like it in this isn't going to work for the
overall, but this is where I also think there is. One question is like: what does it mean for a workplace arrangement to work? Well, right, you don't be so people people get jobs, they do jobs for money, but they also care about the sort of quality of their experience and their life right, and I think it's typical right, if you like, really enjoy like biasing around with your co workers over lunch and you're, doing that in the workplace and with people who you know because you worked together, you will probably come up with some reason by. That's super duper important to work, and it even might it like. You might be right, but your perception that it's important are useful is
in a surly accurate? You know this is a long time in sort of blue collar occupations right. This is kind of like forest measurement of what people actually doing, and it's not necessarily the same as like what they happen to like want to do. I found you know long pre covered when I went into a remote working situation that I was way faster at just like getting. My work done precisely because I didn't like it so like I would just be like. I would just do my working and go do something else hours before it. My previous company, I actually got really like my co workers like I would stay on the job for super long hours. Cuz like we were having fun and I think politics is really interesting and I like them a lot.
Some of those people are still my best friends today but like that was only do with work than moving. I shifted to this grim job where I did not like the commute, but also my manager didn't make me come into the office like. I can just get things done way fast. I think of probably another part of it to the sort of how this discussion gets coloured, by whose talking about in the media, is that, like many people are all you, don't they share interests in there in the office like having fun together in turn, is my perception anyway, like it's a dream, and there, like you, know that their jobs, it's like interactive knowledge work. Indeed, like all some more passions and interests and genome probably are way more interested in the same topic with each other. It like as Hobbes like that, you don't you go ended like journalism or particular kind of media. Unless you
So I really like what you're doing is like a hobby, and so you share that with people join you in your work and so it's hard to imagine that I've had people. When I went I've set on like Twitter, like with remote work, you can spend more time with your friends and people like what. If all my friends are at my office and like a you, gotta know that that's not normal eclipsed, that's not the way. It is for most people an end like if you work for a paper company, you ve Prob, We need. I like all tied together by this love of paper, and I was going to say that I think media people should think more about Dunder Mechlin right and how its portrayed there that, like they don't necessarily have a lot in common. They don't necessarily have a shared passion for the paper industry. They just happen to live in Scranton as others how to get Jobs- and I don't know, there's only so many employers in Scranton, so they're working at Dunder Mifflin but like if they could work remotely. They could live in Scranton and like a book for all kinds of companies,
yeah it's, the more of the world is like that, then, is like people who, like had a passion for sports journalism in wound up in a business full of a bunch of other sports journalists, No, I mean exactly. I think I think that's really important outlets, let's break here, and then I want to talk about some of that. That consequences. Support for this episode comes from visa. Helping you rethink how you drink Cuba, is a web based program that works by helping you notice the negative thought patterns you might experience in your relationship to alcohol, and then it gives you the tool. You need to break those patterns rooted in weight of behavioral therapy for veto, is designed to help you prepare for the future by arming you, with techniques, to help you drink class, it's totally private one percent web based. So you can act. They're from anywhere. You can.
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you'll be based action, we can make change. We are nothing if not in this together. What's next is up to all of us. Learn how you can be a part of what is possible at mercy core dot, Org, that's, our see Y see, p s dot org. So if we should accept the view you have, this will be at least a somewhat sticky transition with with more remote work happening. Next year, the year after in an upward into the future. But what are the consequences of that separate from sort of how it impacts individual people's lifestyles? I? But what does it mean for the big picture? You? I think that the when the big implications is about places in health gonna affect places and I think them it's gonna affect migration patterns and where people decide to live in a sort of this Well, if you do a quick
summary of the last thirty years, the economic geography? It's been dead. You high skilled work, high skilled jobs, productivity, Growth and innovation have been clustered in a handful of places. As the term, I know you think a lot about marriage is the term superstar cities right and so there's been that happen and we talk a lot about that. But what's happening in the rest of the country, is you have demographic decline because population falling prime working population falling even further? still more widespread, and you have sort of skill buys migration trends where the people with the most abilities with the most skills high human capital. They tend to leave these other places and go to these superstar cities, because that's what is agglomeration commies, that's where they get to earn the most for their pay, and I think This has negative repercussions on the places it that those people leave. They have fallen tax bases, therefore, ability to pay for governments.
They also are losing their most entrepreneurial people, the most innovative people, and so I see this is something that can help sort of lean against that trend. It that's the first section, changing nothing's, going to reverse that by any means. But like it's then, going in the other direction that lets workers gain access to do. Agglomeration economy, jobs without actually leaving the place where the right and without actually moving to those cities- and I think you don't you, make it- concrete right. I mean I remember talking to the Chancellor of University of Wisconsin Madison. Can as you know when she was saying that this is sort of the train rabies, virtual constitutes a good school. Smart kids go there. It's it's well regarded that get good degree as they have The skills to get good jobs
there are some good jobs available in Madison, but not now that many issues like not that big of a city is actually pretty affluent city but like unless you happen to want to work for was constant state government or this one technology company. That's there Europe does not that much going on. Milwaukee has been in this cycle of decline now for decades, and so people go to Chicago or they go. You know far far away to the coasts and it's like it's a shame. More people from Wisconsin who go to college and get good skills would probably live in Wisconsin if there were other people with good jobs in Wisconsin. But you get just kind of locked in to these cycles of decline that are really challenging to break, whereas not moving is like really easy for everybody right, even if, like Wisconsin still cold
but whatever else but like if you're already there and you can get work from the house that you already live in and keep hanging out with the friends as you already have. A debts is naturally an appeal, option to people and it changes the whole sort of dynamic in a state like that. Yeah, and I think that's a really important aspect of to focus on, because everyone talking about were where's, everyone's gonna go when they leave San Francisco New York City. New talk about this that the out migration and in and there is in people struggling to believe that any one's going to Wisconsin like you're, not gonna, be Brooklyn girl with content. But, like I you need to think about in the long run a lot of what the way population distribution shaped by out migration from these places. It's lot more plausible that someone's never going to leave. Miss Wisconsin for Brooklyn then go back, and I do think that we're going to see people go back to, but it's the reduction of migration.
It is really important, and I mean we ve, seen in a sort of long term, actual decline, evasive misperception that people move more frequently than they used to when athletes to reverse right. There's been less inter regional migration but it's happened selectively rule by the sort of most skilled people write. It happens in the context of overall slowing. U S, population growth in overall, decreasing number of primates people, and so like it's much less problematic when you have high levels of out migration from Wisconsin when you have like underline population growth, so that, like at the end of the day, if your business owner You don't have to worry that you're gonna have twenty percent less customers a decade from now, because the population shrink.
Right and like there's all these negative effects of shrinking population growth and Lincoln had the underlying birth rate. Where immigration to keep it up, then you can handle out migration works. I do think that there is something you have. There is something special about zero here. There is something where shrinking It is really bad in a way that, like if you're population growth rate, your library is like two percent and like because of We're out migration. You go down to like one and a half percent. I think that's like not really a big problem for you, but if you're population growth rate is zero and you go to negative point five percent. I think that is a really big problem for you fleeing the context of aging yeah me, like, I think of you, wanted to try to formalised that right. It's like structures have a depreciation schedule, and if you have a problem,
if a growth rate economies we a little bit above zero too, like make it pay off to maintain like the existing capital stock you're in much better shape than get into this sort of collapse dynamic, but listen that's superstar cities, because people people like this one thing I think we should be aware of- is that when a I must say cities they mean what normal people car. I don't even know what they call it. I would like to see it's like cities and their suburbs right because, like most Americans live in the suburbs, like the vast majority of the people in Seattle, court unquote like live in the suburbs, and it seems to me that when I see the the at least population trends and rental price trends. What we've seen is a fall in rent in the central city.
He is, but not necessarily in the in the suburbs right so like in New York. Like greater New York, the real estate markets in the suburbs had been really ha which, to me at least looks like a pandemic? In fact, more than a remote work, like living in the city, sucks. If the restaurants or can be closed. I want a yard for my kids to play in which, like has always been most people live in the suburbs, but just kind of going up right, I mean words. What you're talking about would be actually unravelling the like commuting pattern that lead so many people to live in Northern Jersey. I think that there is not going to be any one effect then affects all sort of cities the scene at home. I think they did.
The simplest thing that's gonna happen is them- is the places that are expensive due to agglomeration both decline in population and maybe the population will rebound and they'll just end up being entirely a price decline. Because, like up and down the elastic housing supply curve, like basically build New, didn't build new things in the first place, a whole lot of new people lives, hair, mostly prices just went up in some. Mostly prices will just go down outside of that prediction, which I think is pretty as pretty clear implications for New York City San Francisco, Seattle I think that there is a lot of uncertainty in different ways and go one one place I'd like to think about, and not just because it's in my back yard, but because I think it is illustrative, is Philadelphia so you can think of all the different mechanisms by which filled off your both loses and gains here. Philadelphia could potentially gain a lot because you,
people used to live in filling and take Amtrak to New York City. That was their commute. It's kind of bed commute like it's. It's a long train right, especially when you take the time to to to them asian, and then you get rid of your going. I think you're, probably talking like two hours of some like that like gets a bag commute, but some people did it and that becomes a lot easier when you're talking about a couple times a month rights, think Philadelphia could benefit from people leaving New York in D C and going for the lower cost living in Philadelphia. The instil having urban amenities on You know, there's an Amtrack line into Philadelphia from all these lower cost places in Pennsylvania, and I think you can see a lot of people who decide you know I can get into my fellow the office job at law firm. You know once a week. Then I can live out, and you know in Lancaster, where I am and like now that that our fifteen we have committed in the field of fear, is a lot easier. So, like there's a lot
of uncertainty when it comes to like second class cities and their suburbs and in where exactly who's, gonna benefit and who's gonna lose? I think the clearest protection, though, is like it who are really expensive right now in your expensive because of access to lamentation like this is going to cost you, and I think that that apply. The sum city centres, and also some suburbs too, like like, if you are like a relatively monopolized suburb in terms of access to your city, you might lose out, because in the long run now there are each city effectively has more suburbs gives you can go from further, actually now to our communities is less of a deal so near issue at that our community into the city. You benefit because well now people are going to be more willing to live here because, like that, our commute into the city. Since big of a deal, but now also you have to compete with places that are two hours away. What you think about, like a city like New York City,
big geographic area right, an interesting. You know. I remember am years ago box, Vocs media had a sort of them, what you would call it was like a summit in Philadelphia, costed people were mostly basin either New York or D C. So Philadelphia was a convenient place too to meet up, I mean I remember saying to the ceo like like: why don't we know? What are we just have the office here and you know if people need to go to Washington to report, but it's like you can't get there from them, alpha. You wanna, do it every day and he was again. I make sense. You know, then. Obviously you didn't do it, but part of that is that, like boxes are very remote friendly company prepare endemic with lots of people who live nowhere near the office. That's, I've got one of the reasons that the kind of some it happened at all right, which I think
it's gonna, be a sort of potentially interesting secondary effects bright, which is that if you don't have an office for everybody's gathered, all the time you might want to like do special. Thanks guys he could double the ways you could say like what we don't really need to do this conference in person. We can. We can do this stuff online, as we will be doing but you also might say that like well, since we don't normally I'll get together like once a year, we should right and to be that sort of similar to the Philadelphia question where, like it seems like will be a change, but it's kind of her to know what it would be in the aggregate, yeah yeah. It's like the business structure. Would business trips go up or down from his right leg? Overall, it's kind of hard kind of hard to say ends
same thing to healthy body, will they benefit while they lose from this? But I do think that the most confident predictions are you know if you can find places where they ve got agglomeration, built in to the housing price premium. Well, that's a place. It's gonna get hit. That's it's like sort of them more confident thing, and I also think if you see places where you have a low cost, the living, alongside good, Kennedys, that's another kind of place. It's gonna win, but outside of those sort of big picture predictions outside outside of like the superstar cities, is harder to predict exactly what will happen, but I think than enough things have changed in terms of what matters and how people are gonna side than it is pretty clear, to be big changes, how can we tell read like I have my sort of like biases, and in my head that, like the price Seattle is like just.
Agglomeration, whereas in New York, it's in part agglomeration and in part, like people, enjoy New York I guess my casual evidence, for that would be that, like internet, not billionaires like sometimes keep apartments in New York like movie stars, sometimes live in New York, even though its not where their industry is, whereas, like I've, never heard of any body getting a piano terror in Seattle, no like no hate, but it's just like it's like really rainy there, because the sunshine and like people, people go there because their working for Amazon is like LOS Angeles right like there's the beach like they have really good weather like there's a lot going for it separate from the sort of
industry and is, is there? Is there like a way we can? We can tell where the agglomeration is one way to do. This is the sort of try your damned to measure the humanities rain and then why do some regression analysis and figure out how much can be explained by the amenities, sorted whatever's love, Well, what you gotta be another sort of indicator is commuting patterns so, like a summons willing to come, you an hour and a half to get to a labour market through not doing that for the amenities. So, like the longer people are commuting, the wider the commuter shut, the bigger the difference between the daytime working population and, like the night time population. Those role pretty good indicators of agglomeration. That makes sense. Okay, let's take a break, and then let's talk about some policies, if you're a gig worker or self employed, there's some good news-
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and I mean I remember we had coffee on the shown, we're talking bout unemployment, insurance and how it is minister in this very sort of state centric way that is not going to work well, if people are just sort of moving around more or have more tenuous geographical relations to their employers? I live in DC. Obviously the federal government is a huge employer here and in just like a super direct sense. Make psycho policy choice about whether federal plays can do their work remotely or not, but most places are not like that, and policy impact can be more into racked by like what. What is it, we would need to do to sort of facilitate flexibility in a useful way. Well, start would be the sort of things you do just facilitate states the migration to begin. With
Those who have been cod is exactly right about to restate ministered unemployment systems. I mean, like modestly, libertarian guys I respect federalism, and you know I respect the idea. The You learn about what works from like letting states experiment with things, but the state you ice, just absolutely be cloud itself in this pandemic. Anything it's time to pull the plug on their interested analyze. The whole thing just what a mess, what an absolute mass your states inability to get stuff to workers fast enough. There are sort of you know the state you I systems were. It turns out the using like, in a fifty year old Son for languages to administer it, so they can't be flexible in change. How'd. You know you. I replacement rates like it just crazy, it's just awful so
why would start start by federalizing Ui? But that's that's more important is a bigger picture thing than likely to be a big impact on remote, but haven't got that off my chest. It's really a hard question and people would come to me with this before the pandemic. So I would have people who want to talk about remote work with people who will work it. You know there. They work for colleges in like a sort of low cost of living, but like struggling place that have a early college or like local government people know what can we do with? How do we? What do we do to get remote workers here and in the very direct approach, was pioneered by Tulsa Oklahoma, where they paid all ten thousand dollars to move. Their happened out also worked out really well for them if they ve got a lot of people to come to torso through this programme, but these were to have a first mover advantage in that, like if you're the first place to offer. Ten thousand bucks maybe the second and maybe the third term workers it kind of works- is like a bird
ending thing, and you know now tell sounds like this home of remote work and like it was smart for them. Definitely but like if you're, the one hundredth metro. I dont think that tender and boxes really good idea. And I really think it's a good like scalable solution and so like the really honestly aren't that that many policy lovers we can push here. Any broadband is an obvious one right, but broadband is like a thing that everyone says like even booking pandemic. It's like what do we do for rural places, where we do broadband and so like I would love to seize that be taken more seriously. That's an important factor, I think like if you kind of the play its friendly to entrepreneurial ism in general. That's important because, like remote workers are gonna, be Also I love them will be entrepreneurs as well like freelancers, before the pandemic, we're about as remote as normal people are now
so like it was very, very remote way of working, and so like that's how do you appeal to entrepreneurs? How do you like, like not have like Onuris like business registration, business, taxation, licensing, sort of things like that's an important thing to consider and then, like it's sort of cases, back to just like basic, holding of life stuff, like just don't be a bad government in don't like, spend all your money trying to Loreen like these massive companies and stuff. There is not an easy programme of work platform right like there's not like this is the switch to the new this books Just wait till I get people in showing some ways. I feel like that's the real promise here right. I mean it sounds, it sounds dumb, but it's that, like the best way
to take advantage of the possibility of more people working remotely, is to provide good public services for your tax dollar, or else not collect the taxes. If you don't have anything for to spend the money on pretty while the novel idea rightly so it's like a bummer because it's like not a really interesting, take like don't waste, money and dumb stuff- or you know like make the roads nice or you know. If you pay people to build a park, have the part be good or in a location people. Go to, but for our society right. I should think this has been a huge problem that we ve had a lot of agglomeration,
a handful of big natural areas, which consequently has let them get away with like very low quality governance, and then other places have not actually been able to capitalize on high quality governance. Rightly it hasn't mattered. If the City Council in Bangalore Main, does a good job, really you know, I mean it's better to do a good job than a bad job. I guess, but like Bangalore was Bangalore, they had no real power to check in that trying to get some deal where you get some company to come to town might have been the best available and then other places could just you know blow my on whatever, and it didn't matter, because people are gonna, keep coming to the Bay area for work
and you know- is totally irrelevant whether whether they were well governed or not, and we could potentially get too like a much better place. If everyone has to do a good job guy. I think I think that's the only true it's like not as exciting for policy people to talk about, but I think it is true and you know if local government peoples they govern people if they need a shiny thing like that saying the really you into like advertise like make it broadband, you know make it that this is a great place. Broadband in an ear. You talk about parks like put broadband in the parks, but broadband libraries, make it so people can remote work all over the place. In that there's lots of nice places the workin. That's, I think about as much as you
do beyond their. I think that there is a lot of local institution building and I'm not sure how the government you know best plays a role in that, but I think that link making sure that there's co workings basis right and like. I know that the governments to do anything about that, but like if you're doing something that makes it hard for co working spaces to arise and certainly stop doing that and just like making sure there's lots in most places the work from ends. You know how do remote workers work together and how, today, what did they need in terms of new services? And I think that this becomes especially true in you're talking about sort of remote entrepreneurs, because young Roma entrepreneurs sore need more services. They need more help. They need more information, how to do it right there.
A person who just works for companies a full time plea. How do you mean? I mean? What's what's a remote entrepreneur in that sense, so remote entrepreneur would be someone who, like this a graphic designer or a programmer, and they work freelance end like, for example, just to throw a random on up worked outcome. So like those those people, the you have to learn how to be a freelancer. You have to learn how to find clients, you have to learn how to use platforms and there's a lot of people unity out there. You know we see a growing interesting in hiring people this way too, and also working this way. So I think that local institutions colleges colleges in focusing on like in entrepreneur- ship in a remark on Japan or shifted the ability to go remote helps in entrepreneurial sense, not just like. If you want to be a soul proprietor like now its lot easier, because people are used to hiring people
mostly both directly and as independent professionals. It also is lobbies Did you start up now in these places, because, like you, no longer going to be sort of like you do, if you want to start tech company used to have to click okay? Well, I guess I have to go to San Francisco because that's where the tech company workers are, but if you live in Dayton and you want to start a tech company now like you, can hire a workforce remotely, you can sort of scale remotely, and I think that the way that your remote working impacts on entrepreneurship, both at the independent professional level end at the spa. Level is something that they need to know a lot more discussion. So I get one question that raises for me where this is always this kind of lingering question and economics which is like like: why are there big companies at all right instead of people just sort of a dragon with each other and was a one reason, is that if people need an office to work in
it's like it's obviously better right to have a sort of centralized provision of the office and the office space said somebody who's in charge of that and and all those kinds of things versus, is it. It's always been the case that freelancers do more remote stuff, but so, if everything is more remote that seems to imply will maybe there should be more freelancer sway. Worrying that that work should take. Place in much smaller units and do you think? That's that's what we're going to see you. I do we're gonna see some other, and you know I know that probably some little self serving bite to sort of defending his good Jimmy Saucer wants to defend my depend. And credibility on this. You know I was at Newport before the pandemic started and I did. Not say that there was going to be more freelancers overtime. I said their online freelancing platforms are going to have a greater share of the freelancer market, but
did not see any overall trend in two percent of the workforce whose freelancing over time. So this is not something. I've been just sort of saint since I've been here, but I do think remote works and I mean you can see it on our platform. Do that and, like you know, if you look it over, are no public financial statements. What we talked about growth like you, can see it there. It is pretty incredible: like we are hearing. You don't just eat the data, but I talk to people in our sales team and go out and talk to large enterprises who are like you know, big customers for us, and we have like thirty percent of the fortune, five hundred or something like that and like they go out, and they talk to these people in the figure out like what parts of what you do and you're come. Make sense to make you do freelance and in what they're finding is like that remote work used to be this huge bar that people have to get over their head to start freelancing. They, like you, know they like the idea of what we do, but they say I am.
Or promote weed. I had do that, and so now that everyone does work remote like that bar is no longer there. So you see a lot more comfort with sort of remote, independent professionals, and I do think that what use things we have waited. I mean I was metaphors, are sort of telling right, and so the question would always be like well, shall we contract this out as we do it in house
right and in houses very little in additional office environment right and one of the advantages to doing something in house is that they are right there in your office and if your whole body paradigm is working with people face to face its very challenging to say no, I'm gonna switch gear is now right, and this becomes somebody we're working with remotely. So that becomes a good, a good reason to sort of integrated verses. If you are gonna, be dealing with people on slack and zoom, are you not just on the phone one way or the other that no longer becomes a sort of rationale to have them inside the inside the firm right you can, and you could say well, it would be better right instead of having one graphic designer who does all our graphic design staff, we will contract with a half dozen different people for different kinds of things, because
it's all promote anyway. You and you know another advantage. There is, and if you're going remote from the office in the office, you have much more ability to sort alike, hands on manage and monitor and like during the year office is next to the guy's cubicle. You see whether he's working on the thing, so, I think that there is something to be said for when you go outside of the firm, your often paying for the product and not the labour, and if it's more, difficult to sort of monitor labour. When you remote, then I suggest that you might prefer to pay per product and in pay for them.
Favourable verses and then likely I dont need to watch you. I dont, like I don't care when you're working on this website redesign or this algorithm more whenever located, it doesn't matter to me AEGIS, here's the date its due by and so like it sort of it lends itself to this this kind of work. I see why because you're saying normally, you pay an employee for their time and then you try to get them to do tasks during that time, but you pay a contractor for out like what went when I write a freelance article, I just I get a fee for the Arctic, They don't care how long I work on it verses when I'm working on staff, I'm just gonna, go around. You know I've been, I do what I do right in aid. They assess what it whatever the value. That is that's interesting. So do you think they'll did like doubts.
Is this overall like change for the better or is it going to be kind of like sad seeing cities unravel and people subject to? I don't know like like, like less connection with each other things like that, I mean so much like this pandemic experiences has obviously been stressful on a whole number of levels, but like? I personally, like I do just miss wasting time on faced of his interactions during the day. Like are we are we going to be happy about this? So I think that there's there's a couple of things that one is it like. You said you don't want to confuse the pandemic for remote work right and post pandemic. It's not going to be the case that you have to work at home. If you're, remote worker, you have control over you're socialization end
you want more socialization, you can get more socialization, you can go work at a coworking space or you can like create new arrangements, and I really think that, like going from like relatively few co, workers to like lots of remote workers is going to open up all sorts of for an kinds of remote working options so like, for example, you know I worked remote before the pandemic, but I was like my only friend that worked remote. No one else, no one, my social circle works rope now I have two friends to very close friends who were full time, workers and they're going to be postponed, hammock and very talked about like when the Pandemic Silverlake. We should do some co working days together and I've got this basement office and with with room for two, people so like I'm going to be socializing with my friends in my office and like that's not just socially
but like socializing with people you actually prefer to socialize was not like a random assortment of people. He'd been matched to because of your new organizational compatible skills like so. I think that there is a lot of potential for stuff like that, and you know it's also before the pandemic used to hear a lot of stuff about work, life balance for professionals being a problem right used to hear about like all their making making work their wives and like the rat spending time with their family enough and like Spain too much time the office, like that. It's been like entirely forgotten in everyone's, like, while you spend enough time with your pro workers. Isn't that, like this huge tragedy in, like maybe it's- much in the other direction for some people, but like. Let us not forget that we had this, this problem of excessive work and excessive, putting work at the centre of your life and like you'd, being home with your family, your kids, more often or with your friend
like we used to think that was probably a good thing. I wonder you I remember I was in college and I read one of the things fresher. Sinus was a study of a company that adopted like a more flexible work. Schedule, thing and everybody was like. Oh this is great and then, when they talk to them privately, they were saying that it was terrible and that by making it more flexible, all they had way more time for like family obligations, which meant that they now had no like time to themselves that they actually liked the sort of inefficiency of no. I can't go to that piano recital, but like nobody wanted to say that because it's like to submit Ized, you know so I mean it. You think we're we always have these kind of questions about what people say verses what day, but they actually do and I'll be interesting to see how it how it shakes outbreaks,
I you think your point is well taken that, like absent to pandemic, you don't need to literally work from your crappy set up living room home office. When I, when I was working remotely for a couple of years, I like had a regular, hang out spot and a regular cast of other, People who, like we were all buddies- and you know every we weren't obligated to show up to Moca HOT every day. But, like some subset of that, group of people would be there in any given day. And if you like, wanted to be around people, you new user, knew you had that had that option could be here. A boon for coffee shops, of comfortable chairs, yea, and it's like that's under your control- is your choice. It's not like. I was placed in the cubicle next to this person, and now I have to be there for the next decade and like you, you choose when
You want to socialize. If you want to send it right to you in a social life with and so will socialization during the workday go down, I think, probably, if you look at a nice new Bls study that looks at you, know, people who were remote workers before the pandemic and compares the them on their office days to their office days like former workers, and you they see fewer people have fewer interactions on the remote dates that short, but they spend more time with their families and they have lower commutes, and it's like, I feel like if you were to strip the pandemic contacts out of this, and also maybe, if you would just presented this- is like a hypothetical in twenty nineteen, and it s like this can be better, is at better for people like everyone, be like that's great work, life balance bending a time with your families, but it's like now. We have it, and now all of a sudden, like the pessimism, take engine, his like roared up, and it's like well
people need to spend more time with their coworkers? That's really important. It's like where were you you know twelve months ago Pessimism is, is the fuel of media engagement, reasons that I dont totally understand, but it is clear in the data we always gotta. Look I'm a bad sign the things, but thank you so much Adam. I worry for the podcasting industry that we need our commutes to keep people consume. Damn, but you know, weeds ratings have held up well. So thanks to everybody out there for listening things, Adam for joining the show of things is always towards sponsors to economic as producer and which will be back
Transcript generated on 2021-05-13.