A Shift To Work-From-Home May Impact The Way Cities Attract Top Talent

CHARLOTTE, NC -There has been a major shift in the way people work. Business leaders say work-from-home may become a new standard and cities, like Charlotte, may need to rethink how top talent is attracted.

“It was a very big draw to be able to work remotely,” said Neal Slimick.

Slimick lives in Charlotte, but began working for Boston based Aquent as the COVID pandemic began. He does internal communications and production for the marketing and design staffing company mostly from his computer.

“The team that I work with is based out of San Diego,” said Slimick.

He says the freedom of being able to work from home has afforded him more flexibility, time with his wife and four children, and ability to choose where thy live despite his career.

“We absolutely love it. There is a lot of opportunity in the Charlotte area and would never think about moving back up North,” said Slimick.

Slimick’s reality is one of many people in the Charlotte region and beyond are realizing.

“What you’ve seen is almost like a generation worth of change compressed into seven months. It’s really been phenomenal,” said John Chuang, the CEO of Aquent.

He says employers are allowing for more work-from-home options.

“You can get opportunities now anywhere. If you live in a rural area, you’re not restricted to just the opportunities in that town or in that county,” said Chuang.

He says the way a city, like Charlotte, will increase economic vitality will change. Cities once offering huge tax breaks and incentives to lure the likes of Lending Tree, Centene, and Honeywell, which plan large campuses and new buildings; may put more resources in amenities and quality of life improvements that people seeking high paying jobs prefer.

“In today’s world, you do not need to attract the company to get the high paying jobs in your area. All you have to do is attract the people. And I think that is a profound difference,” said Chuang.