History has shown that large social disruptions such as economic downturns – recessions or depressions – or international health crises, such as the COVID pandemic, can have both short-term and long-term effects. In some cases, the unforeseen consequences can fundamentally change the social fabric. This seems to be the case with the employees who are now working from home and plan to continue to do so, long after the pandemic is just a bad memory.
Many media reports have noted that, in early 2020, “only 10 percent or less of the U.S. labor force worked remotely full-time. Within a month, according to a Gallup survey, around half of American workers were at home, at work. Today, most of them still are. And, while forecasts from employers and employees may differ slightly, there is compelling data that as much as a quarter of the 160-million-strong U.S. labor force is expected to stay fully remote in the long term, and many more are likely to work remotely a significant part of the time.”
The question many knowledge workers, sales and marketing professionals, technology specialists, and a wide swath of other white-collar, upper-income employees have asked is this. “If my job allows me to live and work anywhere, would I rather live in a tiny apartment, send my kids to subpar schools and pay dearly for this “privilege” in San Francisco, Boston, or another large city, or would I rather live in a community that has a superior quality of life and lower cost of living?”
Millions of families whose employers encourage them to work from home are voting with their feet. This has led to a dramatic migration to suburban communities, less-cramped metro areas, and smaller towns. It has been dubbed “the rise of the Zoom towns,” and master-planned communities such as MorningStar, located just north of one of the fastest-growing technology meccas – Austin – and just around the corner from the charming city of Georgetown, is at the top of wish-list for many former urban dwellers.
Searching for a Work/Life Balance
According to a recent feature article in the Wall Street Journal, “Smaller metro areas such as Miami, Austin, Charlotte, Nashville, and Denver enjoy a price advantage over more expensive cities like New York and San Francisco, and they are using it to attract newly mobile professionals. Smaller cities like Gilbert, Arizona., Boulder, Colorado., Bentonville, Arkansas., and Tulsa, Oklahoma have joined the competition as well, some of them launching initiatives specifically designed to appeal to remote workers. And more rural communities including Bozeman, Mont., Jackson Hole, Wyoming., Truckee, California., and New York’s Hudson Valley are becoming the nation’s new “Zoom towns,” seeing their fortunes rise from the influx of new residents whose work relies on such digital tools.”
With its great schools, lush landscape, designed in harmony with the legendary Texas Hill Country, resort-like amenities, and Austin just a short, light-rail trip away, many MorningStar residents are overjoyed to be working from home, while having a better quality of life. Plus, the companies for whom they work are seeing a productivity surge. The Journal article notes, “remote workers are often more efficient than their in-office counterparts. They don’t waste hours on mind-numbing commutes, and they aren’t distracted by unnecessary meetings and water-cooler chit-chat. The productivity boost to the U.S. economy from remote work could be as high as 2.5 percent.”.
Freedom and Flexibility
For those workers who enjoy the benefit of working from home and living in a warm, inviting place, master-planned communities such as MorningStar offer two things that every family longs for – freedom and flexibility. Zoom towns are the new normal, and there’s no better place to enjoy this than working and livin’ easy.
Come see why this community is so hot. Click here to come to visit or (what the heck), set up a Zoom call!