Zoom town

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Downtown Aspen, Colorado, an example of a "Zoom town" which has seen a high number of remote workers move there to take advantage of outdoor activities such as skiing. Downtown of Aspen, Colorado.jpg
Downtown Aspen, Colorado, an example of a "Zoom town" which has seen a high number of remote workers move there to take advantage of outdoor activities such as skiing.

A Zoom town is a community that experiences a significant population increase as remote work becomes more popular, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. [1] The shift is expected to have significant economic implications. [2] [3] The name is a play on "boomtown" and the name of the web conferencing tool Zoom. [4] [5]

Contents

Definition

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the phenomenon of a significant migration to previous “getaway communities” and small towns near attractions such as ski resorts in conjunction with the increase in popularity of remote work. [6] In March of 2020, the pandemic forced many workers to transfer to remote work, and a September Gallup poll showed that nearly 60% of workers remained working remotely full or part time, and two-thirds of employees wanted to stay that way, giving them more flexibility in where to live. [6] [7] Before the pandemic, only 10% or less of workers in the United States worked remotely full-time. [2] People working remotely found they could attain some "normalcy" by hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, and other outdoor activities while cities were locked down, and they did not need to commute to work. [8] [9] A November study by the Pew Research center found that as a result of the pandemic, around 5% of Americans had moved in the prior several months to the study. [2]

The name "Zoom towns" is reminiscent of past "boomtowns", communities which underwent sudden and rapid population growth with the discovery of resources like oil. [6] [10] It is also a reference to the web conferencing tool Zoom. [4] [5]

Impact

A man and woman talk over Zoom. Don Young on Zoom calls - 6.23.22.jpg
A man and woman talk over Zoom.

In the United States, locations such as The Hamptons, New York; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Aspen, Colorado; Bethel, Maine; and Truckee, California — which are usually considered vacation destinations — have been seeing large spikes in people moving there. Truckee for instance saw a 23% increase. [1] [11] On the other hand, cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, have seen rent levels plunge. [12] This has put strain on the towns seeing booms which are not used to handling the number in people, in some cases leading to problems such as a lack of affordable housing, availability of public transit, congestion, and income inequality; which have been traditionally thought of as larger city problems. [6]

In the United States, many small western mountain towns have seen significant in-migration from very wealthy migrants, leading some observers to call the wealthy zoom towns a "Billionaire Wilderness," taken from the name of a book by Yale University sociologist Justin Farrell. [13] Although the trend was already taking place, the rapid migration to the communities expedited the problem and has led to calls to carefully manage the situation to avoid the places being "loved to death". [10] Many of the areas have tight housing regulations which prevent construction booms, but which drive prices for houses already built even higher, such as the Hamptons, which has seen a rise in housing prices of up to 25%, and Truckee, which is up 50%. [12] Not all areas experiencing booms see it as a problem however, and some have even launched initiatives specifically designed to appeal to remote workers. [2] It is expected that remote workers will bring significant tax revenue and will want to give back to their new communities. [5] West Virginia has offered $12,000 to people who move to the state and work remotely. [14]

According to the Canadian magazine Maclean's , population related statistical data in Canada "shows that from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020, Toronto and Montreal posted record population losses, while Halifax grew the second-fastest of any major urban area, and Moncton also grew faster than average. Housing prices have soared as people across Canada buy property in the Maritimes sight unseen through virtual tours, with Fredericton’s U-Haul dealer struggling to keep up with all the people renting moving trucks in Ontario and Quebec and trying to drop them off at its lot." [15]

In Europe, some countries such as Italy, Romania, Poland, Latvia, and Bulgaria, which had experienced "brain-drain" in preceding years, found young professionals return home as they began working remotely; a trend which was further encouraged by some governments in the form of tax breaks for returning citizens. [16] Other places have set up working visa programs specifically for remote workers, such as Anguilla, Barbados, Georgia, Estonia, and Croatia. [17] Following the same trend, Italy began paying people to move to its more remote villages in order to revitalize them. [18] One study early in the pandemic of 30 countries around the world showed that countries in the so-called "developed world" had the easiest shift to working remotely, with Luxembourg coming in at the top, while Nigeria was at the bottom. [19]

Richard Florida and Adam Ozimek wrote in an article in The Wall Street Journal that the shift is expected to have significant economic implications. [2] Before the pandemic, very few companies allowed their employees to do work entirely remotely, and many had a negative perception of remote work, but the pandemic changed that. [5] The "work-from-home experiment" was considered a "a resounding – and somewhat unexpected – success" by management experts, [4] and working remotely is expected to remain a significant part of the American workforce, and no longer be seen as a workplace "perk" for a handful of employees in a few more modern companies. [20] Companies that have already announced that remote work will become permanent within their corporation include Twitter, Siemens, Shopify, Facebook, and State Bank of India, and 74% of venture capitalists and venture-backed entrepreneurs expect their companies to remain remote for the majority of employees, if not all of them. [4] Other possible effects of people moving to smaller towns include changes in transportation habits, as people drive cars less and feel it less of a necessity to own them, they may opt for ridesharing options if available, and may even increase the demand for self-driving cars. [5]

Examples of Zoom towns and regions

See also

Related Research Articles

Remote work Work arrangement

Remote work, also called telecommuting, distance working, telework, teleworking, working from home (WFH), mobile work, remote job, work from anywhere (WFA), and flexible workplace, is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute to a central place of work, such as an office building, warehouse, or store.

Key worker

A key worker, critical worker or essential worker is a public-sector or private-sector employee who is considered to provide an essential service. The term has been used in the United Kingdom in the context of workers who may find it difficult to buy property in the area where they work. The term was also used by the UK government during announcements regarding school shutdowns invoked in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to indicate parents whose occupations entitled them to continue sending their children to schools which were otherwise shut down by government policy, as well as teachers and LSAs at those schools.

Boomtown Community with sudden economic & population growth

A boomtown is a community that undergoes sudden and rapid population and economic growth, or that is started from scratch. The growth is normally attributed to the nearby discovery of a precious resource such as gold, silver, or oil, although the term can also be applied to communities growing very rapidly for different reasons, such as a proximity to a major metropolitan area, huge construction project, or attractive climate.

Boomtown (festival) Immersive music festival near Winchester, England

Boomtown is a British music festival held annually near Winchester, Hampshire on the Matterley Estate in South Downs National Park. It was first held in 2009 and has been held in its current site since 2011. Its diverse line-up of bands, DJs and speakers perform on many different stages each a part of a district with its own individual theming. Each yearly event is known as a Chapter and expands on the storyline from the previous year, told through the sets, live actors and many forms of alternate reality games. The festival site is split into several districts, and the narrative is reflected in the design of the districts, streets and venues, which are populated by hundreds of actors to play the role of inhabitants.

The Canadian property bubble refers to a significant rise in Canadian real estate prices from 2002 to present which some observers have called a real estate bubble. From 2003 to 2018, Canada saw an increase in home and property prices of up to 337% in some cities. By 2018, home-owning costs were above 1990 levels when Canada saw its last housing bubble burst. Bloomberg Economics ranks Canada as the second largest housing bubble across the OECD in 2019 and 2021.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education Impact of COVID-19 on education

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of schools, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, universities and colleges.

Zoom (software) Videoconferencing software

Zoom Meetings is a proprietary video teleconferencing software program developed by Zoom Video Communications. The free plan allows up to 100 concurrent participants, with a 40-minute time restriction. Users have the option to upgrade by subscribing to a paid plan. The highest plan supports up to 1,000 concurrent participants for meetings lasting up to 30 hours.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social media Aspect of viral outbreak

During a time of social distance and limited contact with others, social media became an important place to interact. Social media platforms are meant to connect people and helped the world remain connected, largely increasing usage during the pandemic. Since many people are asked to remain home, they have turned to social media to maintain their relationships and to access entertainment to pass the time.

Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic Psychological aspect of viral outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of people around the world. The pandemic has caused anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in different population groups, including healthcare workers, patients and quarantined individuals, similar to earlier respiratory viral epidemics such as the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak, outbreaks of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and influenza pandemics. The Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee of the United Nations recommends that mental health support during an emergency should be driven by the core principles to "do no harm, promote human rights and equality, use participatory approaches, build on existing resources and capacities, adopt multi-layered interventions and work with integrated support systems." The COVID-19 pandemic also has an effect on social connectedness between people, trust in institutions and in other people, has caused changes in work and income, and is imposing a substantial burden of anxiety and worry on the population.

Zoombombing Unwanted intrusion into video conference calls

Zoombombing or Zoom raiding refers to the unwanted, disruptive intrusion, generally by Internet trolls, into a video-conference call. In a typical Zoombombing incident, a teleconferencing session is hijacked by the insertion of material that is lewd, obscene, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic, or antisemitic in nature, typically resulting in the shutdown of the session. The term is especially associated with and is derived from the name of the Zoom videoconferencing software program, but it has also been used to refer to the phenomenon on other video conferencing platforms. The term became popularized in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to stay at home, and videoconferencing came to be used on a large scale by businesses, schools, and social groups.

Strikes during the COVID-19 pandemic Industrial action relating to the emergency

Strikes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic due to many factors including: hazard pay or low pay, unsafe working conditions, inability to pay rent. These strikes are separate from the various protests that occurred over responses to the pandemic.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic for hospitals

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted hospitals around the world. Many hospitals have scaled back or postponed non-emergency care. This has medical consequences for the people served by the hospitals, and it has financial consequences for the hospitals. Health and social systems across the globe are struggling to cope. The situation is especially challenging in humanitarian, fragile and low-income country contexts, where health and social systems are already weak. Health facilities in many places are closing or limiting services. Services to provide sexual and reproductive health care risk being sidelined, which will lead to higher maternal mortality and morbidity. The pandemic also resulted in the imposition of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in places such as California and New York for all public workers, including hospital staff.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on television in the United States Impact of coronavirus on television in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the television industry in March 2020, particularly in the United States, mirroring its impacts across all arts sectors.

Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic Economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching economic consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself and efforts to quarantine it. As the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread around the globe, concerns have shifted from supply-side manufacturing issues to decreased business in the services sector. The pandemic caused the 2nd largest global recession in history, with more than a third of the global population at the time being placed on lockdown.

COVID-19 pandemic in the San Francisco Bay Area Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in the San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area, which includes the major cities of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, was an early center of the COVID-19 pandemic in California. The first case of COVID-19 in the area was confirmed in Santa Clara County on January 31, 2020. A Santa Clara County resident was the earliest known death caused by COVID-19 in the United States, on February 6, suggesting that community spread of COVID-19 had been occurring long before any actual documented case. This article covers the 13 members of ABAHO, which includes the nine-county Bay Area plus the counties of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz.

Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States Overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. economy

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been largely disruptive, adversely affecting travel, financial markets, employment, shipping, and other industries.

COVID-19 pandemic in popular culture References to the COVID-19 pandemic in popular culture

References to the COVID-19 pandemic in popular culture began while the pandemic was still underway. Despite the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it brought people together through modes of entertainment that facilitated the growth and development of pop culture.

Zoom fatigue is tiredness, worry or burnout associated with the overuse of virtual platforms of communication, particularly videoconferencing. The name derives from the cloud based videoconferencing and online chat software Zoom, even if it used to refer to non-Zoom video conferencing platforms.

The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit, is the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs, from spring 2021 to the present, primarily in the United States. The resignations have been characterized as in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American government refusing to provide necessary worker protection, and wage stagnation despite rising costs of living. Some economists described the Great Resignation as a general strike while discussing Striketober, a strike wave in October 2021.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a large portion of the workforce was unable to attend the physical workplace to attend their job.

References

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Florida, Richard; Ozimek, Adam (5 March 2021). "How Remote Work Is Reshaping America's Urban Geography". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  3. Hyken, Shep (28 February 2021). "The Impact Of The Remote Workforce". Forbes. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Hopkins, Michael S. (11 March 2021). "Remote work is here to stay – and it's changing our lives". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Eliot, Lance (12 March 2021). "Self-Driving Cars To Be Especially Welcomed In "Zoom Towns"". Forbes. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Smith, Lilly (17 October 2020). "'Zoom towns' are exploding in the West". Fast Company. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  7. Brenan, Megan (13 October 2020). "COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Update". Gallup. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  8. Editorial (2 April 2021). "Mountain towns may have a bumpy ride to the new normal". Idaho Mountain Express. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  9. Bieber, Ryan (20 January 2021). "Zoom Town: Could Ithaca become the place remote workers abandon cities for?". Ithaca Times. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  10. 1 2 Potter, Lisa (14 October 2020). "The rise of 'Zoom Towns' in the rural west". University of Utah. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  11. 1 2 3 Banse, Tom (27 January 2021). "Explosion Of 'Zoom Towns' In Pacific Northwest Cause Home Prices To Skyrocket". WBUR. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  12. 1 2 Greiff, James; Sen, Conor (5 August 2020). "Booming 'Zoom Towns' Should Ease City Housing Costs". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  13. Farrell, Justin (2 March 2021). Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-wealthy and the Remaking of the American West. Princeton University Press. ISBN   9780691217123.
  14. Sozzi, Brian (12 April 2021). "West Virginia will now give you $12,000 to move to its state and work remotely". Yahoo. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  15. 1 2 "Best communities in Canada: Why Atlantic Canada comes out on top". 8 April 2021.
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  18. 1 2 3 Bloom, Laura Begley. "These Beautiful Villages In Italy Will Pay You $33,000 To Move There". Forbes. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
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  20. Guimapang, Katherine (25 March 2021). "Remote Work and 'Zoom towns' Aren't Just Changing Our Offices, They're Changing the Future of Employment Opportunities". Archinect. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Zoom Towns Are Boomtowns: The Top 15
  22. Patrick Sisson. Remote Workers Spur an Affordable Housing Crunch in Montana. Bloomberg. February 11, 2021
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