How remote work will impact Nashville following COVID-19

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The pandemic is causing permanence.

More and more employers are telling employees to work from home, for good. The pace of vaccine distribution picks up and a sense of normalcy is sneaking back in. With it, some believe we may soon be approaching a day when working in an office is safe again.

“I do medical bioscience contracting, so I was always in an office, never really traveled, then they told us go home, we’re working home forever,” said Clark Thompson, who works medical sales by day, and in merchandise by night.

He co-owns The Seven Six Apparel. He says remote work has gone well for medical sales, but not so much for the merchandise side.

Davide DeMango agrees. Remote work has been tough on his sports entertainment marketing company ConnectiveWave.

“I’ve built my company on interacting with people in person,” said DeMango, “People think it’s easier working remotely, when I think it’s even harder working remotely with all the distractions.”

Good or bad, new data suggests many who worked in offices prior to the pandemic are likely to continue working remotely even after COVID-19 is controlled.

Apartment List’s latest data estimates that 1 in 3 American jobs could be performed remotely long-term, with potentially drastic implications for migration patterns and housing markets going forward.

“Since jobs are not the only factor that root people in place, we frame this important issue in terms of a new demographic—the “untethered class,” composed of workers who are employed in remote-friendly occupations, but also are not tied down by homeownership or family obligations,” Apartment List writes.

If the untethered class decides that they are sick of high housing costs in their cities, they could choose to move to more affordable cities like Nashville.

“I’d say 90 percent of my clients that are re-locating to Nashville from out of state are working remotely,” said Robert Drimmer, Real Estate Broker at Compass Real Estate, Drimmer Group. “You’re not forced to live in these large metro cities, you can move to cities where your cost of living is a fraction of what you’re used to.”

Drimmer says on average he sells around 150 homes in the Nashville metro per year, with 40-50 percent of those clients coming from out of town, mainly the west and northeast coasts.

“Businesses are realizing they can work remotely, they can cut costs, cut office space and if they’re able to do it I think they’re going to do it.”

New data from Apartment List says they probably aren’t going to stop either.

  • 30.1% of jobs in the Nashville metro are remote-friendly, ranking #49 among the 100 largest metros in the country.
  • Remote-friendly workers in Nashville have a median income of $56,000, compared to $36,000 for the metro’s non-remote-friendly workforce.
  • 5.2% of Nashville’s workforce is fully “untethered,” ranking #44. Untethered workers in Nashville have a median income of $48,000.
  • The “untethered class” in Nashville has a median age of 31, compared to 42 for the area’s overall workforce. 69.0% of local untethered workers were born out-of-state, compared to the overall average of 55.1%.

News 2 is reporting on Nashville’s historic growth and the growing pains that come with it. Click here for more Nashville 2021 reports.

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