Upwork released its Future of Workforce Pulse Report this week, revealing that 26.7% of the U.S. workforce will continue to be remote this time next year. Today, 41.8% of the workforce is fully remote due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While working from home may diminish, it’s definitely not vanishing. By 2025, the study predicts, 36.2 million Americans will work remotely. That represents an 87% increase from before the pandemic. The Upwork study surveyed 1,000 small business owners, HR managers, and CEOs between October 21 and November 7, 2020.
It probably comes as no surprise that 70% of people like having fewer non-essential meetings, while 60% appreciate a more flexible schedule. Fifty-four percent say they enjoy having no commute, and 44% said they have less distractions at home than in the office. Hiring managers agree that remote work is going better than expected – 68% say its going more smoothly now than it was in the spring when the pandemic began.
Stocks related to work-from-home technologies have been on the rise this year and this week has been no exception. The markets have been rallying lately due to positive news related to a second stimulus bill and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and tech stocks have been doing exceptionally well.
The Upwork survey revealed a lot about how we’ll be working going forward – and just how smart it would be to take a long position on these tech stocks, knowing the future of remote work is pretty secure.
Last updated: Dec. 31, 2020
Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM)
The San Jose, California based communications technology company stock opened at 400.47 today and continued to gain as the day went on. The six-month trend shows a steady climb, and an announcement yesterday that the company is opening a Research and Development Center in Singapore should keep the stock zooming. The expanded capacity and presence in Singapore will allow the company to tap into the area’s wealth of engineering talent.
Following a definitive agreement to acquire Slack, Salesforce stock continues to climb. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM), business productivity, and communications platform stock has gained about 70 points over the past year. Investor’s Business Daily calls Salesforce one of the “big-cap tech stocks to watch.”
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)
You may not immediately think of Microsoft as a Salesforce competitor, but its Dynamics tool offers a lower priced alternative to the Salesforce/Slack combo. Microsoft is also trending up. This time last year the stock was at $155.53. Twelve months and one pandemic later, the industry leading software developer is trading on the NASDAQ Composite for just around $220.
Software developer Adobe provides a host of tools for students, designers, and most recently, digital marketers. Perhaps best known for its Adobe Acrobat PDF software, which makes it easy to convert, edit, and sign PDF files, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are mainstays for professionals. Trading at nearly $490 at market close on Wednesday, ADBE is below its double bottom buy point right now, according to Investors Business Daily. However, IBD lists Adobe on the IBD 50 list of top growth stocks and the IBD Long Term Leaders List, making it one to watch.
DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU)
The San Francisco-based Software-as-a-Service provider is on its way to becoming a household name during the pandemic. DocuSign offers the capabilities to put eSignatures on documents. With Chase Bank reporting that more than 50% of mortgage applicants filed digitally this year, demand for DocuSign’s capabilities will only continue to grow. DocuSign also provides a suite of contract and document management tools, and has API integrations with industry-leading apps like Salesforce. DocuSign stock closed up 1.45% on Wednesday, and several experts are rating it as a buy or hold right now.
IBM (NYSE: IBM)
The future of work isn’t just at home – it’s in the cloud. Broad-based cloud infrastructure providers like IBM power the data centers and applications that make remote work possible. An industry leader for decades with a market cap of $112 billion, IBM could show higher profits next year as it focuses more heavily on cloud infrastructure and software. IBM’s cloud-specific sales increased 19% year-over-year in third quarter reports, The Motley Fool stated. With mergers and acquisitions on the radar and a dividend of 5.2%, IBM could be a value at $125 per share today.
CrowdStrike Holdings (NASDAQ: CRWD)
Research firm Gartner predicts that corporate computer security will increase more than 10% annually, compared to 3% growth across IT departments. As remote work continues, cybersecurity will only grow more important. Investor’s Business Daily likes CrowdStrike as one cybersecurity stock with a high Relative Strength Rating, adding it to the IBD Leaderboard earlier this month – and it’s been a stock to watch since its initial IPO.
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