Remote Work’s Success in New Orleans Highlights Potential for Digital Swing

2020 was the testing bed for widespread remote work in many cities, and New Orleans was no different. Formerly confined to niche opportunities, and even in some cases derided as inefficient, the success of this new style of business quickly became undeniable. Going forward into the next decade, New Orleans has an established pattern of increasing remote work to follow. Though this could reshape the greater way we do business and have significant dividends for personal health, it should be noted that such digitalization did not occur in a vacuum.

Acceptance of Remote Work

In many ways, the increase in the acceptance of remote work was an inevitable side effect of our more technologically inclined society. Remote work on a large scale has only become possible through digital means, so a slow general shift towards this idea was always going to occur. This idea has been held for some time, with remote work growing by 159% over the last 12 years, according to a survey from Global Workplace Analytics. The same survey notes 91% growth over the last ten years, and 44% over the last five.

Showing steady growth, the take-off of remote work opportunities in 2020 took what was already a developing idea and moved it into a new tier of popularity. This was the finding of FlexJobs, as their report on remote work participants in late 2020 showed overwhelming support of the newer work style. According to their data, 65% of respondents who tried remote work would prefer moving to full-time implementation if possible, with an additional 32% supporting a hybrid physical-remote environment.

It’s not just the employees who prefer distance work either, with businesses and employers also seeing benefits through its proper application. In the same FlexJobs survey, most productivity was seen to either not change or grow, and similar advantages were seen to employee mental health. In a PwC survey, 78% of CEOs agreed that remote work collaboration was a worthwhile path forward, seemingly cementing this avenue long-term.

All of these advantages would apply to businesses and individuals in New Orleans, but they don’t stop there. We all know that traffic and roads in our city can be lacking at times, put diplomatically, and increased remote work could take some of the pressure off both. With the additional benefit of lower pollution, distance work is essentially a win on all fronts.

Leveraging a Greater Movement

Taking a look at the larger context of digital industrialization, the slow pace of our move into the digital workplace is curious. Many other industries have made similar moves with enormous success, which would suggest that this is a path that should have been more properly explored years ago.

Entertainment is one such illustration of this, where opportunities formerly limited to physical locations were phased out years ago. Video rental stores are a common example, long since having gone the way of the dodo. Supplanted by more convenient online delivery services, newer methods took over as soon as they became technically viable.

A comparable road path was taken by video gaming stores, though to a lesser degree. Acting as what used to be the only reliable way for players to get a hold of new games, these stores have been significantly downsized in favor of new digital storefronts. Services like Steam and the PlayStation Online store are practically de facto today, with Sony, in particular, leaning so hard into digital sales that one of the PS5 systems doesn’t even offer a physical disk drive.

Less dramatically destructive on the old industry, though still transformative, has been the advent and popularization of online casino games. Here, live casino like Genesis and Luck Land combine a wider selection of games than practically any physical casino with far greater convenience through digital access. With the addition of bonuses like free spins and deposit matches, these don’t replace older avenues, but they’ve still become an immense force worth billions annually.

Exactly what proportion of New Orleans businesses will go through with a move towards remote work remains to be seen. While the promise of these developments is immense, it also requires significant restructuring and investment to make them viable. The hope is that, through the experiences of 2020, the groundwork would already have been laid. As we saw in other avenues like entertainment, the potential is there and undeniable, it’s just a matter of following through. Such a development could be an interesting one, with implications ranging from businesses to individual health, and even as far as real estate. At the very least, it could save New Orleanians gas and cut down rush-hour traffic.

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