2022 has been another defining year for the world of remote work, but what has happened exactly? Which key trends, legislature and events have hinted at what we can expect in 2023 and beyond? We’ve put together a round-up of this year’s most important remote work news.
Digital Nomad Visas
A growing number of countries are jumping on the digital nomad visa bandwagon. Destination: anywhere but the office.
With over 25 countries now specifically targeting digital nomads with special visas, it’s apparent that the remote working wave is here. People can work from anywhere, so why stay at home when you could be in Spain or Indonesia?
Even Dubai is now offering a one-year residency permit to remote workers to strengthen their strategic foothold in the West. It means you’ll be able to live in Dubai like a local, while working for a foreign employer.
Bali, the backpacker island of Indonesia, is offering its own digital nomad visa soon as well – and this one is tax-free for five years! As if the idea of living in a jungle paradise where you can swim, surf, and climb volcanoes on your days off wasn’t already enticing enough, you can now do so without legally paying any tax. The Indonesian government knows that digital nomads contribute a lot to the economy, so they welcome as many as possible.
With more and more countries set to give out digital nomad visas, it seems this way of working remotely is likely to become more common in the future. Most digital nomad visas require the applicant to have a certain minimum income (usually around $3,000 per month) which is a bit steep for the average Joe. This also discriminates against countries where average salaries are lower, so let’s hope the requirement becomes more lenient in time.
Airline Industries are Booming
Despite the chaotic times of the last few years, particularly in the travel industry, this new world of remote and hybrid work has allowed some airlines to see an increase in demand.
The average American remote worker is thought to be saving anywhere between $2,000 and $7,000 per year on transport costs by not having to commute. And despite working from the office being allowed again, the Global Workplace Analytics found that the amount of people working remotely has risen in 2022 from 42% to 49%!
The airline industry has been so affected by the remote work boom that they’ve even started to implement remote roles themselves! There are several top tier airlines that you can now work for remotely, from roles such as customer service agents to marketing specialists. Who needs to be in an office anymore? The last few years have proved that remote work is just as effective.
Remote Workers Reclaimed 60 Million Hours of Commuting Time
With so many people suddenly working from home, it’s freed up a total of over 60 million hours from daily American commutes. And that newfound time has gone towards their wellbeing, a study finds.
Over 15% of workers are still fully remote, while a further 30% have hybrid schedules, coming into the office for a few days here and there. People have started working a little earlier, when they would have ordinarily been commuting, and finishing earlier than normal too. It also found that people are working less hours in total than before!
With yoga equipment sales exploding by over 154% during the pandemic, it’s not hard to see that many people benefited personally from this time by focusing on health and wellbeing. With the bonus of having extra hours in the day, new habits were able to positively impact a lot of remote workers.
Remote Work: A Legal Right?
Over in the Netherlands, they’re taking things to a whole new level. They’re pushing for a law that makes remote work a legal right. That means if you want to work from home, and it’s not essential for you to be present in-person (like surgeons or pilots), then that is your decision and your decision only.
It sounds like it might be vaarwel to the office for good.
Staff in Ireland Set to Get Paid if Refused Remote Work
Due to new legislation in Ireland, if employers unfairly reject requests to work from home, then employees are legally entitled to a payout. They can be compensated for up to four weeks’ pay if their personal situations aren’t given appropriate consideration when asking to work remotely.
What would’ve been considered shocking just a few years ago is now becoming an emerging trend: people are fighting for their right to work from home – and they’re winning…
New Jobs on the Horizon
Remote work isn’t just liberating people and giving them back their commute times and money, it’s also creating new roles in and of itself. Anyone fancy being a chief remote officer?
The Australian company, Atlassian, created a new executive role in March 2022 to formulate its long-term remote work plan. The company chose to appoint someone whose entire role is dedicated to solving the future problems of remote work so that they could tackle it pro-actively rather than passively.
If you’re looking to get into remote work, it seems as though there will be more opportunities than ever moving forward…
More Demand for Houses
Remote work has set the U.S housing market on fire. Now more people can work from the privacy of their own home, it’s time to wave goodbye to the small but central apartments, and say hello to the suburbs. According to EIG (Economic Innovation Group), house prices have risen over 20% in the last year alone.
In their white paper, they analyze a variety of possible scenarios regarding the future of remote work, concluding that while rent has gone up in the short-term, it may drop to lower than pre-pandemic levels in the long-term as people seek to buy instead. As for houses, remote work has been definitively linked with the location demand for houses. In simple terms, people don’t want to live in city centers if they can work from home.
Elon Musk is Under Fire
The controversy king Mr Musk is facing a class action lawsuit because he changed Twitter’s remote work policy after the previous CEO promised remote work would remain company policy for at least one year.
Elon doesn’t take too kindly to remote work. He prefers his workers sleep in the office – if at all – and work 80 hour weeks.
When he first took the reins of Twitter, he let over half of the staff go and sent the rest back to the office. But one employee believes it’s a step too far. In fact, he believes it to be discrimination.
We’ll see what comes of the lawsuit later, but Elon Musk can’t stay out of remote work news this year…
Elon Musk is Under More Fire
After telling his new employees over at Twitter that they can come back to the office or forget their jobs, Musk has been forced to adjust his stance. A few too many of his office opted for the 3-month severance pay rather than return to the office for strenuous work hours.
Adjusting his “hardcore” approach, Musk suggested that all he meant was that managers would have to have monthly in-person meetings with the employees, but that most of the work can still be done remotely.
Check out Mr Musk’s advice on how to have an effective meeting here.