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4 Trends Changing How We Live and Work

community trends

The way we live and work is quickly changing. Increasingly, creativity is required to compete. Learn to attract creativity to your business or community in today's article.

Four Trends Affecting Business and Community

There are four trends changing the future of our businesses and communities. Learn to harness these trends and be positioned for success in what has been called the “knowledge economy.”

1. People don’t move for jobs, jobs move for people.

A community with skilled citizens attracts businesses. Businesses that move for people are more likely to stay and invest in the community. After all, a vibrant community retains talent, so it is in the business’ interest to make the community great.  The future is grassroots development focused on people and entrepreneurs. Communities can attract people and jobs will follow. A business can attract creative employees and work and collaboration will follow.

2. Jobs increasingly require creativity.

Everything from manufacturing to finance now demands innovative ideas. Over 1/3rd of Americans are now a part of what Richard Florida calls the “creative class,” people engaged in creative problem solving from artists, to high-tech manufacturers to entrepreneurs. The percentage of the creative class is rising dramatically, up from 24% just 25 years ago (Florida, 45).

What’s more, many jobs are location independent, meaning they can be done from anywhere. This is a godsend for small businesses and rural communities. If your business cannot pay competitive wages with someone else in town, you can instead compete by attracting talent that can't move to where you are.

A great example is the company behind WordPress. They are 100% remote because they learned early on that they couldn't compete with Google and Facebook for talent. Instead, they attract equal or superior talent that doesn't want to live in Silicon Valley.

As a rural community, the same applies. Learn to work with a remote staff so you can stay located where you are but still find the best talent from around the world.

(Two tools that will help you get started are Basecamp and Slack. As Matt Mullenweg says, with these two tools you can conquer the world.)

3. Diverse communities are creative communities.

New ideas and perspectives speed innovation and improve work.

Communities that embrace diversity will thrive and will be more interesting places to live. Businesses that promote gender equality and include workers with different backgrounds, are better, more profitable workplaces.

It's not hard to make the connection. New ideas and perspectives force us to rethink how we live and work. The more we rethink, the more likely we come up with a better method.

4. People choose a community based on social offerings, openness and aesthetic.

People expect basic services wherever they go, but they move to a community based on its “soul.” Uniqueness, history, openness and wide-ranging amenities will retain and attract creative, diverse talent.

That is the result of a 2011 Gallup Organization and Knight Foundation study that interviewed nearly 43,000 people in twenty-six communities over three years. What it means is that throwing more money or more job opportunities at a person will not necessarily make them work for you or move to your community. Instead, corporate and community culture must be considered and prioritized. The person has to feel that they will belong and enjoy both their professional life as well as their personal life.

There's a reason tech companies offer ridiculous benefits like free haircuts and laundry or why remote workers often choose to live in expensive, hip neighborhoods. As the work/life balance is blurred, people choose a positive living environment instead of just a work environment.

Create an environment that is welcoming and you will attract more creatives.

An Opportunity for Rural and Small

Most of the news we hear regarding technology and population trends feels like a death sentence for rural America and small business. The headlines shout that if you can't keep up, you'll be left behind.

Fortunately, the trends changing business and community provide an opportunity for rural communities and small businesses. The world's talent is now available, regardless of location or size. The elements that make someone want to work with you are not simply monetary. They are based on openness and feeling like a part of the team or community.

Your business and community can create this environment, no matter the size or budget. Focus on attracting diverse, creative talent to take advantage of the trends changing the way we live and work.


Photo: hyperspace328