By Chuck Woodbury
Earlier this month, Rite Aid opened a new, modern 25,000-square-foot headquarters in Philadelphia. It’s a “collaboration center,” not a traditional office with cubicles and individual spaces. Instead, it’s a place for employees who work mostly from home to gather on occasion for person-to-person collaboration.
Meanwhile, Amazon has postponed its plan to construct six high-rise office buildings in Bellevue, Washington, and paused work on a 20-story tower in Nashville, Tennessee. A total of 30,000 planned jobs will not be shelved: Most employees will choose to work at home, not commute to an office. So, reasons Amazon, are the new facilities really necessary?
A friend of mine, an HR director for a health care company, told me recently that most job applicants she interviews these days wants to work remotely, not at an office. Here in Seattle, that avoids wasting an hour or two (or longer) a day stuck in traffic!
Some remote jobs require “checking in” on a regular basis, but others require no such thing. The employee can work from wherever they wish.
Where I’m going with this
When I say “work at home,” I could also say “work from a home that moves,” which would define an RV, right? Do this the next time you attend an RV show: Sit on the couch in a large motorhome or fifth wheel trailer and wait. Observe the couples who walk in. It will not be long before one person says, and enthusiastically: “I could live in this!”
RVs today can be THAT comfortable! High-end models can be as comfortable as a traditional home. But they have one thing a traditional home does not have: wheels! And in most cases, the RV is more affordable than buying or renting a sticks-and-bricks home or apartment. Why wouldn’t a person with a sense of wanderlust choose to live in one of these and combine business and travel? There is no question in my mind that there will be an explosion of such mobile workers in the years to come.
How many of us have already found ourselves camped next to such a person in an RV park? I’ve met many. On my last trip I recall a man who worked in tech support for his company. Another managed a customer service call center. Then there are workers whose jobs move from place to place—traveling nurses, pipeline and construction workers, wind machine technicians. And, of course, there are the self-employed who do their own thing, whatever and wherever that may be.
And now, the rub
I believe there are two broad types of RVs these days: campers and mobile homes. The first are generally inexpensive and made for outings, the second for living. Every year, manufacturers compete to top each other with new bells and whistles to their “luxury” models. The results are increasingly comfortable rolling homes that can be easily driven from place to place.
If you think RV parks are crowded today, just wait for the invasion of such mobile, remote workers who will occupy “campsites” that were once available to overnight and short-term guests. It’s only a matter of time before word gets out in a big way about this. Just watch.
Can enough new RV parks be built to keep up with this mobile army of workers? What do you think? Please leave a comment.
Photos courtesy of Mark and Julie Bennett of RVlove.com