COVID-19 has unlocked a huge debate about the nature of remote work—and whether companies need to maintain formal office space at all, even after the pandemic subsides. It’s also raised questions about whether the nation’s largest tech hubs, including New York City and San Francisco, will maintain their current density of technologists and tech companies, given the number of people deciding that “remote work” means moving to new states and cities.
According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, some of the nation’s most prominent tech hubs are doing the most hiring for remote technologists. In many ways, this makes total sense: Ten months into the pandemic, many companies maintain their headquarters in their original cities, even if all of their employees are “commuting” via Slack, Zoom, and Teams. Check out the full chart, which represents job posting data from the past 60 days:
New York City and San Francisco maintain their expected presences in the top five, joined by up-and-coming tech hubs Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta. In fact, every city on this list has attracted some buzz over its tech scene in recent years.
What does this mean? Although many technologists have moved from well-established tech hubs to cities and states with a lower cost of living, we probably won’t see deep disruption of the tech hubs until the companies themselves start moving to different cities. And in a limited way, we’ve seen some of that taking place; for example, Oracle deciding to uproot its longtime headquarters from Silicon Valley to Texas. This year alone, some 39 tech companies or venture-capital firms have decided to move to Austin, including Tesla’s planned “Giga Texas” manufacturing facility.
It may take quite some time, however, for any larger company migration from well-established tech hubs to smaller cities. In the meantime, it seems, the hiring of remote workers in some of the biggest tech hubs is proceeding at a healthy clip. The big question is whether some of those hiring companies will demand their new workers take a pay cut to reflect a lower cost of living in their current locations.
What kinds of skills do companies want their remote technologists to have? As with the previous times we’ve run this Burning Glass analysis, it’s clear that SQL, Java, and Python are tops among technical skills, while there’s also considerable demand for project management and software development. Here’s the complete chart:
As we move into this remote work future, it’s also extremely important for technologists everywhere to remain aware of burnout and take proactive steps to avoid it. By setting a clear schedule, communicating with your team, and getting plenty of sleep and exercise, you can ensure that you remain healthy and engaged… no matter how crazy things get.