What if all information companies and information jobs were given permission to work remotely? Several companies have already announced that their workers can work from home permanently. Each of these workers has to decide, “where do I want to live?” For the majority of my life, I had to commute to work; which meant that I needed to live within a few dozen miles of my office. Now, I could live in the boonies in Canada and still be ready for work at 9am PST.
Look at that listing. 1.2 million for SIX HOUSES and 182 ACRES OF LAND! Look at the houses. They are gorgeous!
If you are in introvert like me, then you will likely want to live in the suburbs or even in the sticks. You will want a small community that knows each other well, but not too many people. If you are an extrovert, you might delight in a tightly packed city with lots of interactions. If everyone could just decide where they wanted to live, I imagine that different types of people will gravitate to different areas. Will that change the political map?
This might be the beginning of a great exodus of the cities purely based on housing costs. It’s extremely expensive to live in urban centers. Moving to the suburbs will reduce cost of living dramatically. At that point natural environment becomes a major selling point. Does the area have nice hiking, skiing, etc or is it boring. I don’t imagine a ton of people moving into rural Kansas. Having been through the area, I can tell you that it is flat, very flat. A friend worked in the Bay Area and moved to Portland and worked remotely. She lives in a huge house with horses now!
Most of Canada and a good portion of Central and South America are in the right time zones for American work hours. I’ve known people to move to Costa Rica and still work in the US. I’ve used contractors in Chile and Peru who worked on Eastern or Atlantic time. There is alot of choice out there. Different companies work different hours and some are world wide. How we have meetings is already complicated. Imagine if we were even more dispersed.
Climate Change Migration
If we don’t fix out climate problems, we will have several major cities underwater within 30 years. This only adds to the pressure to move inland and abandon the coasts. The key question will be “How good in the internet access?” One thing I hope the government does is upgrade our energy grid and internet infrastructure. This change is going to put alot of pressure on all of our wires.
Non Information Workers
Many people will need to follow the crowd. Teachers, Fireman, Medical Workers, Food Workers, etc, will all spread out and follow where the people go. Manufacturers will need to be near the plant, but now plants can be further from urban centers as well. How will their lives change?
Of course, none of this is absolutely going to happen. I just like to think of the world in different ways. How could it be better? How can we avoid screw ups? What do the winds of time have in store for us?
I don’t know the answers, but I like to think about the possibilities.