Nationwide is a Fortune 100 company that provides a wide range of insurance and financial services in the United States.
The nearly 100-year-old company’s pitchman is Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. And you’ve likely heard its famous jingle, “Nationwide is on your side.”
Like many companies across the country, Nationwide closed its offices during the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. It ordered 98% of its 28,000 employees to work from home.
What initially seemed like a temporary solution has turned more permanent. CEO Kirt Walker says the company plans to close 17 offices across the country and reduce its real estate needs by about 1.1 million square feet. It will keep its four main campuses open.
Before the pandemic, Walker said about 15% of his employees worked virtually. The company now plans for half of them to eventually do so permanently.
Here’s what Walker told The Wall Street Journal:
We looked at major occurrences in the U.S.: the Great Depression, recessions, world wars, and what we found is that Americans reacted in two different ways. First, they were forced to try new things and in many ways. Those new things became habits. Two, people became more value-conscious.
Nationwide isn’t the only company moving the bulk of its personnel to remote work. Others are following suit…
Google extended its work-from-home policy to June 2021. Mastercard said employees can continue to work remotely until they are comfortable returning.
Square, Twitter, and Zillow offered employees the option to work from home indefinitely. And dozens of other large companies have jumped on the remote-work bandwagon.
According to consulting firm PwC’s COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey, 54% of companies plan to make a remote work option permanent.
And on the other side, employees aren’t exactly eager to go back to the office.
In fact, a recent FlexJobs survey found 27% of workers say that the ability to work from home is so important that they’d take a 10–20% pay cut to work remotely. And 81% say they’d be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options.
Here’s why I’m writing to you about this today…
Longtime readers know Daily editor Teeka Tiwari has found some of the best moneymaking ideas for his readers, such as blockchain technology and fintech. The crisis has given these technologies a shot of adrenaline.
Remote work technology will do the same. It has been turbocharged amidst the pandemic. And even as vaccines bring things back to normal, it will be a “new normal” for much of the American workforce.
Today, I’ll detail the underpinnings of the work-from-home movement. And I’ll provide a pick that will continue to benefit from this shift in 2021 and beyond…
The Work-From-Home Economy
It’s been almost a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. And it’s still the biggest news story in the world.
It’s changed the course of life for countless millions… destroyed thousands of businesses, and altered the very definition of normal human interaction.
And while this crisis was sudden and unexpected, its effects on nearly every aspect of life promise to be long-lasting.
But it’s not all bad news… This shake-up has also presented unique opportunities for those who are perceptive, flexible, and ready to act.
Nowadays, many job functions no longer require daily presence in a specific location. And employers have realized the potential cost-efficiencies associated with remote work.
Employers can save on costs like rent and utilities. And employees can also save on costs like transportation and eating out. It’s a win-win scenario.
Remote work is built on four key technology pillars:
Cloud technologies: Data needs to be instantly accessible, securely stored, and shared remotely.
Cybersecurity: Remote work spaces need protection against the increased likelihood of cyberthreats like hacking and identify fraud.
Online project and document management: Applications and tools that enable online collaboration across individuals and teams are necessary.
Remote communications: The need for videoconferencing, instant messaging, and email applications increases so coworkers can connect virtually.
These pillars power the ability to work from home efficiently and effectively.
And that means the work-from-home economy will benefit as more and more companies and employees continue to adapt to the new normal.
An Easy Way to Play the Remote-Work Trend
Now, we understand the natural tendency for most investors in a crisis is to hunker down… Especially when faced with the brutal realities of death and unemployment as a result of COVID-19.
But as adept investors, we can’t close ourselves off to the world.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to say this now, we believe that years from now you’ll look back at this moment as one of the single best times to be an investor.
The shift to remote work is a rare opportunity. And there’s a good chance you won’t see investment opportunities like this one ever again.
If you want to add some exposure to the remote-work trend, consider a small allocation to the Direxion Work From Home ETF (WFH).
This new ETF, which launched in June 2020, is off to a hot start. It gained 36.1% through just six months in 2020. And it has already accumulated over $150 million in assets. WFH holds 40 stocks, including names like Slack, Twilio, and RingCentral.
As I’ve shown you, the work-from-home trend has legs into 2021. And WFH is a simple, diversified way to play this trend.
Analyst, Palm Beach Daily
P.S. As I mentioned, these pillar technologies will ensure the ongoing efficiency of the remote workspace… But companies like Slack and RingCentral won’t be the only beneficiaries of this new normal.
Daily editor Teeka Tiwari believes another technology could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of all… and we’re already seeing its impact as the price of bitcoin explodes higher.
To learn more about what Teeka calls the “No. 1 Investment of the Decade,” check out his presentation right here.