When the World Hit: REMOTE

The new meaning of a remote lifestyle in 2020

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Banksy photo interprets what remote lifestyle means today.
What we all need to find in a remote lifestyle in 2020.

The new meaning of a remote lifestyle in 2020

By Asha Nanavati

January 2020 had such promise, the start of a new decade, economies were generally booming and Wall Street had never looked better. A remote lifestyle on January 1st of this year was synonymous with being free, on the road, exploring the world and living a global lifestyle. I should know being an American expat living in South Asia with the ability to travel maybe once or twice a year, living remotely and working online meant adventure, discovery and promise.

Inspirational Banksy photo taken at the Moco, Amsterdam.

Many generations including Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z have come to see the world as their playground where remote work signified freedom and opportunity. According to one of the larger remote recruiting websites, Flexjobs, in a report they did jointly with the Global Workplace Analytics,  they found that remote workers have increased 159% from 2005 to 2017 with a 44% increase from 2012-2017 alone. Less job stress, more flexibility, and the sheer ability to work remotely were all attributed to making a remote global lifestyle not only desirable but a more productive option. I can definitely testify to this statistic as an American expat living in South Asia. I do remote work with clients around the world which has enabled me to give back my time to an educational non-profit in South India, something that would not have been easily possible in the early 2000’s.

Here’s the thing, work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning when there is a life and death aspect to it. If you had asked me on January 1st, if I could imagine that UC Berkeley, UCLA , Stanford University, and my Alma mater Syracuse University all would turn to online instruction, I would have told you we were dreaming of the next sci-fi movie by Terrence Malick. Frankly the list mentioned in a CNN article dated March 12th, was staggering, as was the fact that entire companies are going dark around the world – at least from their home offices. According to a CNBC post on March 11th, Twitter and Google US offices are requiring their employees to work remotely from home as a moral responsibility to curtail the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic with even Amazon asking for remote arrangements from their CA, NY, and Washington State offices that are in some of the most badly hit states.

Another inspirational photo of Banksy taken in Amsterdam Moco Museum

Remote, overnight, has become the state of being around the word but it has also changed our perception of home sweet home. The stark and thought provoking images of graffiti artist, Banksy, that I photographed last year when I visited the Moco Museum in Amsterdam, take on a new meaning to life. Remote now means survival, life and possibility to millions around the world.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...


    The 2020s are the Remote Work Decade

    by Chris Herd

    100 Predictions About the Future of Work and Living

    by Chris Herd

    Did Coronavirus Kill the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?

    by Carley Rojas Avila

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.