TOP Remote Work News From the Leading Media

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  1. The Best City To Live In If You Work Remotely

Making a move to work from home isn’t always easy. Though you may have family circumstances to consider and if there’s a space for you to use as an office, the city you live in also matters, as some areas offer more opportunities and may even make it more financially possible. A recent survey found that some cities do it better than others. You may want to move to one of these areas if you’re serious about skipping the commute for good.

Austin, Texas

In a survey from SmartAsset, a fintech company, researchers analyzed the best cities to work from home and ranked Austin, Texas, top of that list. As reported by CNBC, Austin has plenty to offer to those who wish to skip the drive. According to their research, SmartAsset shared that 38.8% of residents work from their homes rather than at a job site. The city also has many coffee shops from which people could work, making up 1% of all establishments.

Scottsdale, Arizona

The second city on the list of top places to work from home is Scottsdale, Arizona, as noted by the SmartAsset report. The city has a low-income tax rate of just 22.9% for those earning $75,000 per year and median housing costs of about $1,623. The survey found that 34.9% of residents here don’t leave their houses to work each day, up from 24.2% just five years ago.

Pittsburgh, PA

The city in the SmartAsset survey with the most affordable median housing costs at just $985 ranks No. 3 on the list of the best places to work from home. Here, the income taxes are slightly higher at 24.37% for those earning $75,000 per year. About 30.3% of residents now manage to stay home for their jobs, up from 25.5% five years ago. 

Chandler, Arizona

The SmartAsset survey ranked Chandler, Arizona, No. 4 on its remote work cities. Here, the median housing costs are around $1,573 per month, and the income tax rate is 22.9%, one of the lowest in the ranking. That’s why as many as 29.1% of residents are now staying home to earn their paycheck, up from 23.3% five years ago. The city is noted for its high quality of life, including fantastic shopping and dining, golf courses, and ample parks. With a bit more money in your pocket from not having to pay high gas prices, it could be worth a move to Chandler. 

Durham, North Carolina

For those who want to live about two hours from the ocean, consider Durham, North Carolina, the fifth city on the list. Durham has a cost of living that’s just 1% higher than the national average, with low utility costs and moderate food prices, according to PayScale. It also reports the average cost of gas was $4.06 per gallon in December of 2022. Working from home is sure to cut out some of that budget.

Source: House Digest


2. Should You Work 2 Remote Jobs at Once?

About 79% of remote or hybrid employees are working two jobs at once, according to recent findings from a Resume Builder survey of 1,250 full-time remote workers in the U.S.

Heather Weine Brochin, partner and chair of the employment and labor group at Day Pitney LLP, says that the law does not prevent employees from holding more than one job.

In fact, she notes that some state laws prohibit employers from interfering with employees who want to hold a different job outside of their ordinary employment hours through “moonlighting.”

“From a legal perspective, holding two positions remotely (at the same time) is duplicitous behavior that could be challenged if the positions overlap and employer intellectual property or confidential information is being misused between and among positions,” she says.

While it may be legal to work two full-time remote jobs simultaneously, it may not be ethical in certain circumstances.

“In my opinion, the behavior is unethical as it involves stealing time from an employer – meaning if a person is paid for 40 hours of work but is not actually devoting those 40 hours to exclusively one employer’s work, the person is getting paid for time not worked,” says Brochin.

You may feel that both of your remote jobs are safe, since it isn’t illegal to hold two remote jobs at once. However, that doesn’t mean that your choice to work for two employers remotely won’t result in being fired from one or both positions.

“Employers absolutely can terminate at-will employees for any reason, so long as not prohibited by statute,” Brochin says. “Dishonesty is certainly a legitimate reason for terminating an employee.”

According to Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at Jackson Hewitt, the IRS doesn’t care how many jobs you have or how you earn your income – what matters is that it’s reported accurately.

“There aren’t ‘special tax rules’ for taxpayers who hold multiple jobs at the same time,” Steber stated, explaining that if you work for two different employers, you’ll receive two W-2s. “Both should be reported on a tax return as standard W-2s,” Steber says. “All wage jobs from employers get added up and included on line 1A of the 1040.”

Source: US News

3. Disabled people have been demanding remote work for decades. Here’s what happened when the pandemic made it possible

A new study by the Economic Innovation Group think tank has found that the employment rate for people with disabilities did not simply reach the pre-pandemic level by mid-2022, but rose far past it to the highest rate in over a decade. Remote work, combined with a tight labor market, explains this high rate, according to the analysis.

In a recent study, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the number of disabled individuals in the U.S. grew by 1.7 million. That growth stemmed mainly from long COVID conditions such as fatigue and brain fog, meaning difficulties with concentration or memory, with 1.3 million people reporting an increase in brain fog since mid-2020.

Many had to drop out of the labor force due to the intensity of their long COVID. Yet about 900,000 newly disabled people have been able to continue working. Without remote work, they might not have.

In fact, the author of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York study notes that long COVID can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disability Act, depending on the specifics of the condition. That means the law can require private employers with fifteen or more staff, as well as government agencies, to make reasonable accommodations for those with long COVID. The author notes that “telework and flexible scheduling are two accommodations that can be particularly beneficial for workers dealing with fatigue and brain fog.”

Source: Fortune

4. 5 employment trends that will shape the workplace in 2023

As a new year begins, a potentially looming recession adds another element of uncertainty that must be accounted for in the workplace sector. It is vital to look ahead to what shifts can be expected in order to provide workers the opportunity to prepare for these changes.

With this in mind, here are the five trends that we expect to gain prominence into the New Year.

Upskilling and developing soft skills will take centerstage

Organizations today have picked up on employee’s desire for continuous learning, and so we will see unique learning and development programs set in place as they create an environment where upskilling is encouraged and also allow companies to reap the rewards of developing highly skilled teams.

Offering the opportunity to job seekers and employees to develop or learn new skills is a solution for employers hoping to remain competitive in the market and increase the efficiency of their current team.

Hybrid work environments will continue to be favored

Flexibility within the workplace has never been as valued as it is right now. Most employees do not want to feel tethered to their desks for eight hours per day after experiencing the openness of remote work. Lessened commutes and the ability to shift working time to non-traditional work hours allowed employees to improve their work/life balance.

Many teams have chosen a hybrid approach. In the year ahead, we will continue to see hybrid work environments being adopted by organizations, allowing employees to have the freedom and independence of remote work that they enjoy while also providing teams with the opportunity for in-person facetime and collaboration in the office. Non-flexible work environments can be a dealbreaker for workers, so workplaces will continue to take employees’ wants into consideration through hybrid work models.

Benefits will play a larger role in recruitment strategies

With the continued talent crunch in the labor market, many organizations will turn to implementing more comprehensive and attractive benefit packages to attract and retain top talent. Non-traditional benefits such as access to fertility treatments, financial wellness programs, and pet insurance won’t be uncommon benefits in the year ahead. In fact, they are already highly sought after by Americans.

Moreover, as an increasing number of states move in the direction of pay transparency, jobseekers will also turn to benefits as a negotiation tactic. Increased vacation days, parental leave, and 401(k) matching are a few of the many avenues job seekers will leverage to increase the value of compensation packages.

Pay transparency will continue to gain momentum

There are also benefits to engaging in salary transparency efforts for employers, including increasing the quality of applications. When job seekers are able to ensure both the qualifications and compensation of a role fit what they are looking for, the best workers will self-sort accordingly. Providing a good-faith salary range—not too wide of a range—can also act as a powerful brand statement and build positive sentiment among applicants.

Economic uncertainty will create the need for a renewed focus on mental health

The pandemic produced many important conversations surrounding mental health and wellness inside and outside of the workplace. As a result, many organizations now provide employees with wellness perks such as meditation software, summer fridays to destress, or access to psychological services. Although we have moved past the pandemic, now is not the time to move backward on the tremendous progress made that allowed employees to be open about their mental health struggles.

Times of economic uncertainty bring about a whole new set of fears that have the power to negatively affect mental health. The onus is on employers to recognize these potential barriers and provide employees with ongoing access to resources that can improve their mental wellbeing, and in turn work performance.

Source: Fast Company

5. Office owners already reeling from remote work now face recession risk in 2023

Owners of office buildings stumbled through 2022, when their holdings underperformed most every other type of commercial real estate. Things look poised to get worse in 2023.

Companies are cutting back on office space because they are in a “reduce expense mode,” said Ryan Masiello, VTS’s chief strategy officer and co-founder. “Everyone is starting to prepare for a pretty rough 2023.”

Total returns of shares in office real-estate investment trusts, including dividends, are down an average of 45% from February 2020, compared with about a 5% decline for the equity real-estate investment trust index, according to Dylan Burzinski, an analyst with real-estate analytics firm Green Street.

“Office is the worst performing [real-estate investment trust] sector since the pandemic started,” he said.

Since September, the average weekly return-to-office rate has plateaued just below 50% in the 10 major metro areas monitored by Kastle Systems. But in the first week of December, there was a 23.3% difference between the peak day of the week and the low day of the week, compared with a 9% difference in the last week of January.

Even in cities where politicians have urged workers to return to their office, some local officials may be bowing to the new reality of remote work habits. In New York, for instance, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in December that it would start reducing subway service on Mondays and Fridays, the two least popular days for heading to the office.

Job cuts have also started in the financial sector. Goldman Sachs is planning to lay off several thousand employees while Morgan Stanley is cutting about 2% of its global workforce.

“Any continued news related to layoffs or a recession will likely cause more headwinds for the office sector,” said Mr. Burzinski of Green Street.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

6. 10 In-Demand Jobs To Consider in 2023

31% of American employees say they are concerned about their workplace potentially planning budget cuts or layoffs, according to a Dec. 14 Workforce Confidence survey by LinkedIn, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

Yet, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% in November and has been in the 3.5% to 3.7% range since March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And for Americans 55 and older, the landscape is even more positive, as the rate is even lower, at 2.5%, AARP reported, which means employers are eager to hire, especially in certain positions.

AARP compiled a list of these roles, based on BLS data and projections for now through 2031, finding that there is “a range of professions suitable to different backgrounds and levels of experience.”

While medical professions show the most growth potential, other professions also look promising.

Here are some of these jobs, according to AARP’s findings:

1. Nurse Practitioner

2. Data Scientist

3. Information Security Analyst

4. Umpire, Referee or Other Sports Official

5. Web Developer

6. Choreographer or Dancer

7. Physician Assistant

8. Home Health Aide

9. Travel Agent

10. Animal Care Specialist

Source: Yahoo Finance

7. The rise of ‘Zoomtowns’ is going to make home prices and rents cheaper for everyone

Highly paid white-collar employees who exercised their newfound freedom and turned once cheap locales into expensive “Zoomtowns” make for vivid villains.

But a new analysis from the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan public-policy organization, argues that, eventually, the shift to working from home may turn into the antidote for the price spikes that we’ve seen. That’s because the places where remote workers are flocking — the Sun Belt region in the Southern US and suburban areas outside big coastal cities — are exactly the kinds of locations that are best-equipped to build cheap housing to absorb the flood of newly remote workers.

“People are able to consider affordability more, while putting less weight on, ‘I need to be near the office,'” Adam Ozimek, the chief economist at the Economic Innovation Group and one of the authors of the paper, told me.

The shift to remote work also hastened many people’s desire for more space. When your bedroom suddenly doubles as a home office, you realize how cramped your apartment is. Across the country, remote workers chose to part ways with roommates or seek out larger homes.

As things start to normalize, however, supply is on the rise. A first wave of new supply is coming in 2023, when apartment deliveries are projected to spike after two years of elevated construction levels. More than 917,000 units are under construction across the US, RealPage Market Analytics found. That’s the second-largest volume the nation has ever seen and will increase the nation’s apartment base by 4.9%.

Most experts say the coming increase in the number of homes, condos, and apartments available means better days are ahead for renters. “This spike in prices in the short term should be followed by moving toward a new equilibrium, which does mean a bit of a cooldown in housing costs,” Tucker told me. 

None of those positive effects will come to fruition if we don’t build more housing. But now developers are pulling back because of higher interest rates and recession fears. That could delay some of the affordability gains from pandemic-era migration. 

“We need to get through this high inflationary period that the Fed is trying to tamp down,” Ozimek said. “Then I think we’ll see more normalized conditions in the housing market and some sort of gradual adjustment of supply to demand.”

Source: Business Insider

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