👍🏼☠️ Remote Work is here to stay... and also about to die?

Here's a preview of the remote work news we are covering this week:

  • 🇹🇭📄Thailand's 10-year (17% income tax cap) visa applications open Sept 1, 2022
  • 🤔🛋Malcolm Gladwell criticizes work-from-anywhere policies from his home office
  • 🏙🚋Remote work ushers in a new era for downtowns

This is the Wayviator Newsletter — Summer Edition.

It’s the remote work newsletter from Wayviator.com, written by Curtis Duggan.

I've been seeing a lot of juxtapositions like this one come through my newsfeed:

Conflicting opinions on what the future of remote work will be.

Maybe it's too grand of a parallel to draw to history, but I've been comparing remote work to the Protestant Reformation.

In the early 16th century, many Western Europeans followed Martin Luther's lead and decided they wanted to start doing the whole Christianity thing a little differently.

Until then, Christianity, west of Constantinople, had basically been run with the exclusive, totalitarian blessing of the Pope in Rome. Every king and queen in Europe had deferred to the pope, on nearly all aspects of morals and society, for over fifteen hundred years.

But certain people in Germany, The Netherlands, England, and France hit a breaking point with the perceived corruption of the pope, the Borgias, the Medicis, the cardinals, etc., etc. and broke away to start their own churches.

Why? Too many people were paying the Vatican bribes to get a get-out-of-hell-free card, and stuff like that.

There were wars for four hundred more years. One side didn't win definitively. Today, there is still a distinction between Protestants and Catholics, all around the world — five hundred years later.

I don't think we are in for four hundred years of debate about remote work (sounds exhausting). Technology and society move faster now. But maybe we are in for a societal change that will last decades, with no clear, definitive winner.

There will still be companies that insist on 'the office'—the way we have done things for over a hundred years.

But there will be successful, large, high-performing companies that allow their workforce to work from anywhere.

It's still the beginning of the beginning.

🇹🇭📄Thailand's 10-year (17% income tax cap) visa applications open Sept 1, 2022

Southeast Asia continues to be a hotbed for very-long-term residence visas.

Bali, Indonesia is already planning a five-year, tax-free visa for remote workers.

Thailand is throwing its hat into the ring as well.

This week, the Thai Board of Investment shared applicant criteria for Thailand’s Long-Term Resident Visa.

To qualify, you have to fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Affluent global citizens: over $1 million USD in assets.
  2. Wealthy pensioners with a stable income, aged 50 and above.
  3. Remote work-from-Thailand workers under well-established overseas companies.
  4. Highly-skilled experts working in Thai government agencies or Thailand-based research institutes, higher education sectors, business ventures, etc.
  5. Dependents — a cap of four, either spouses or children of long-term resident visa holders.

Opportunities continue to pop up all over the world. For decades, there have been the loopholes for the rich—like Option#1 here.

Now, if you make a decent income and can work remotely, you can get access to migration opportunities that you used to need a million bucks for.

🤔🛋Malcolm Gladwell criticizes work-from-anywhere policies from his home office

Remember when I brought up the analogy of the Protestant rebels calling out the hubris of the elite Catholic rulers in Rome?

Well, well. Famous author Malcolm Gladwell, who is confirmed to have spent years working from home, came out against remote work. He claims that it's bad for employees — "What have you reduced your life to?"

Critics on social media were quick to pounce on him. This back-and-forth epitomizes a sort of class consciousness that will infuse the debate about remote work for years to come. 'Élites' who prognosticate from their ivory towers about what the working and managerial classes should or shouldn't do, with respect to remote work, are likely to get an icy reception.

With recession looming, powerful business interests probably think they can push their advantage, spread some fear, and call people back to the office.

On a related note, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan hit out against remote work on a client call, and Tim Cook indicated that Apple employees will have to make their way back to the big billion-dollar spaceship in Cupertino for three days a week.

Good luck to both of them.

🏙🚋Remote work ushering in a new era for downtowns

The central business district, a hallmark of urban landscapes in the last 150 years, may be on its way out.

Probably not completely. That's too dramatic. But we may never have the same density in busy downtown cores as we used to.

Even New York Mayor Eric Adams thinks so.

Downtowns have evolved. They underwent a meteoric rise in popularity when the 19th century became the 20th.

In North America, they experienced a post-war decline as people fled to the suburbs, supported by fresh new freeways, interchanges, shopping malls, and mass adoption of cars.

In the 2000s, downtowns were reborn as places for young people to start their careers. The 'inner city' of the '80s and '90s absorbed an influx of hipsters, gentrification, yoga studios, condos, smoothie shops, gyms, and more.

Downtown won't die, but it will go through another cyclical change.

There may be some pain in commercial real estate valuations, small business revenues, and municipal tax bases before we get through to whatever is on the other side.


This week we launched a utility for tracking different workations. 🎉

Workations are destination travel packages that differ in one very important way from traditional group vacation tours — they assume that guests are continuing full-time remote work for the duration of the stay.

Check out WorkationList if you are looking to explore some options for remote work travel in the near future.

Remote Work News from Around the Internet

WSJ: European locales want remote workers.

Brazil opens South America's first official digital nomad village.

Property developers need to adapt to flexible living.

Italy's first digital nomad community is in a tiny rural village.

Digital trust is the key to building thriving communities.