All in a Day’s Work… From Home
Pretending to be productive at the office is becoming a thing of the past. Several companies have announced a permanent work from home (WFH) option for employees that will remain after the world returns from quarantine.
- Companies working from home permanently: Facebook, Twitter, Square, Shopify, Groupe PSA, Box etc.
- Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.
Over the past decade, more companies have gone digital-only as the cost of living in major metropolitan cities rises, and finding talent becomes more competitive. Spending $1,255 a month to work by the beaches of Bali sounds a lot more enticing than paying $3,411 for a single bedroom in San Francisco.
So what are the major advantages to employers? Higher employee flexibility, increased productivity, and the biggest tangible benefit, reduced costs. Labour costs can account for 70% or more of total business costs. Hiring remote workers can have several cost advantages for companies:
- lower salaries, relocation costs, office expenses, travel compensation, foreign exchange costs, and the list goes on and on…
Although the majority of these companies are technology-based, the trend is moving into traditional industries. Auto manufacturer, Groupe PSA will restructure its organization and allow up to 80,000 employees to work from home permanently. However, it is unlikely that we will see sectors such as banking and insurance working from home anytime soon where security and data breaches are a big concern.
Industries that are benefiting from a WFH trend:
- Cloud computing (SalesForce, MongoDB, Datadog)
- Digital workplace tools (Zoom, Slack, Box)
- Cybersecurity (Fortinet, CrowdStrike, Akamai)
- Digital entertainment (Netflix, Activision, Nintendo)
*listed companies are examples of companies in the industry and are not meant as a buy or sell recommendation
ETF creator, Direxion, is in the process to launch a “work from home” ETF that will invest in a combination of the sectors mentioned above. The launch date is expected to be in June or July with the ticker “WFH”.