The future of work is... remote work
4 min read

The future of work is... remote work

Today I'll tell you about this epiphany I had this week: I realise that there are things that used to be common a few decades ago, but now they are just red flags, such as companies defining themselves as a family.


I'm Sergio Pereira, and this is the Remote Work newsletter 

Last week, I shared some tips to earn a US-level salary, even if many companies try to lowball employees overseas. It's all about finding the right channel and making your location irrelevant for your future employer

Today I'll tell you about this epiphany I had this week: I realise that there are things that used to be common a few decades ago, but now they are just red flags:

• Companies defining themselves as a family

• Companies telling people to live near the office

• Companies planning social activities for employees

This tweet went extremely viral this week, and the comments/quotes are really telling of a big change in people's expectations of their employer:

In my parents' generation it was normal for a person to:

• Work for the same company for long decades

• Meet spouse and friends at work

• Have most social activities as part of the company

• (I even went to a kindergarten inside the factory where my parents worked)

It seems like the recent waves of layoffs across tech produced a deep impact in people's expectations. Not just in those directly affected by layoffs, but way beyond that. In fact, most of those who weren't affected are now constantly on guard, and reading the signs to plan for a possible layoff at their employer.

I looks like the absolute trust that employees once had in their employers has eroded. It certainly has eroded completely for many, at least in the tech industry.

It's now common for people to prefer jobs that:

• Allow them free time with their kids/family

• Pay on time and as per the contract

• Haven't done layoffs recently

• Don't bring these social expectations of happy hour drinks, corporate events and "we are a family" kind of vibe

In my view, these changed expectations from employees are setting the foundation for the future of work we'll see unfolding in the coming years/decades:

1/ Remote work

People are putting their own time, and the time with their kids and family above anything, as long as salary allows them to pay the bills and save some.

We see people leaving companies that issue return-to-office mandates, even if they'll earn much less in their new employer. A clear trade off where a higher living standard is prioritized over a higher salary.

We also see people starting their own companies, so that they can live and work on their own terms. That being either travel the world as a digital nomad, or simply spend more time with their kids.

The percentage of people who'll prefer anything that's remote over a traditional career in the office will certainly continue growing.


2/ More transactional work relationships

Employees don't value those company events and social events as much as in the past. In fact that high level of involvement has created a sense of betrayal with recent layoffs. With people realising that working extra hours is not always valued properly, and missing kids' birthday to meet that project deadline kinds of effort neither.

Companies will adapt to this, and probably even use these expectations to cut some of the budget they'd otherwise invest in such activities.

This is creating more transactional work relationships, where people are hired because they have the skills to do the jobs, and the whole relationship is kept at that professional level. What matters is that the job gets done, and salary gets paid.

This would probably feel underwhelming in my parents' generation. But it feels just fine for many people nowadays (not all, for sure). By reducing the emotional involvement, both parties reduce the damage in case of future layoffs or other types of downsizes.


3/ Portfolio careers and part-time work

Transactional workflows are easier to manage and deliver, as they create less dependencies along the way. This allows companies to hire people in far-away timezones, as well as hire people on part time capacity. I wrote at length about Fractional careers here.

Employees are longing for flexibility, and nowadays many are longing for redundancy as well. "What if my employer lets me go?" is a recurring thought in many people's heads, given so much buzz about layoffs recently. Can't blame them.

This will lead to many people have their own side project on top of their full time job. Or freelancing on the side. Or freelancing and running their own business. Or just freelancing. Or whatever conjunction of the above.

More and more people are having a career that's not simply 1 full time job for which they give it their all. They are diversifying and building their own portfolio. For many it's about stacking income sources. For others it's beyond money, it's above all a way to diversify their emotional load away from their main source of income.

As with most things in life. There's no right or wrong. There are more possibilities than ever before, and each person is finding their own balance.

This week, at the Remote Jobs Braintrust, I shared my journey writing online for the past 2 years, which actually led me to gain great career opportunities and to diversify my income. Join and watch the recording, if your interested.

We also hosted a fireside chat with Martynas Aliukevičius who's just landed a remote job with a US company and shared all the job search tips he learned along the way.

For most people, like Martynas, having a full time remote job that pays above their local market wages is an ideal combo. It allows a stable income with a high level of flexibility. For all those I'm building the, which is (finally) about to launch. More on that next week.


Thanks for reading this newsletter until the end. You can read all past editions here. Make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues so they can read it too.

If you're interested in sponsoring this newsletter, send me an email or DM.

See you next Friday,

Sergio Pereira, 
Startup CTO & Remote Work Lover

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