woman facing a pedestrian bridge into a forest
CategoriesLifestyle,  Tiny Homes

Little Women

On our social media channels – particularly Twitter – we keep tabs on some of the biggest trends nudging people towards what we’re building at Big Calm.

Of course, the biggest one is the COVID-19 pandemic and how it forced both a shift towards remote work and a reckoning with our mental well-beings.

Climate change is another macro force that has things like gardening, prepping, and regional food security coming up more often in casual conversation.

But another significant movement that’s largely gone under the radar is just how popular tiny house living is amongst women. According to Classic Building Sales, more than 64% of tiny house owners are women. Web forums indicate, and many builders confirm, that women are the ones driving the surging sales of premium tiny houses on wheels (THoWs).

We’re seeing three main reasons for this: lifestyle (design), life event (affordability), and life stage (communal independence).

Life Style

Some of the best designers and builders have gravitated towards tiny houses. The remarkable quality and ingenuity of today’s premium THoWs is being profiled and celebrated on Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube – especially amongst younger women and couples embracing a minimalist yet stylish aesthetic. Related bonus: According to iPropertyManagement, moving to a tiny home can decrease a household’s ecological footprint by 45%.

Life Event

Tiny houses are regularly associated with affordable housing – and there is a massive opportunity for cities to go tiny in meaningful ways. But even at the premium end of tinies, units are significantly less expensive – on average, less than one-fifth! – than getting a mortgage for traditional house or condo. And this is resonating for women on the flipside of a major life event – such as a divorce, the death of spouse, or the last child leaving the nest. Tiny homes offer a simpler, independent, and more affordable mid-life option.

Life Stage

While many people think of tiny homes as something only 20-somethings want, the market says otherwise and is showing significant engagement from those who are older. According to Restoring Simple (pre-pandemic), 23% of 35-54-year-olds and 15% of those over 55-years-old would seriously consider moving into a tiny home. There is a coming wave of retirees interested in leaving the nest themselves and finding a community that provides friendship, activity, safety, snow shovelling, and dog-sitting.

Ross Chapin wrote the book on Pocket Neighborhoods, describing them as “…settings where nearby neighbors can easily know one another, where empty nesters and single householders with far-flung families can find friendship or a helping hand nearby, and where children can have shirttail aunties and uncles just beyond their front gate.” That’s our goal at Big Calm.

For more on this, take inspiration from some of these great stories:

Photo by Jake Melara on Unsplash

a remote digital worker with laptop outdoors at night under a starry sky

The Future of Work is Remote, and the Future is Now

What do you value most in a job? If you replied “flexibility” or “work-life balance,” you’re among the majority of individuals who also place these values ahead of the nature of work, career advancement opportunities and even salary.

Below are the most interesting insights from reports examining the increasing trend in remote work.

Remote work is increasing. An analysis done by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics showed a significant upward trend in the number of people working remotely in the U.S. In the last five years, remote work increased 44%.

FlexJobs: Trends in Remote Work Growth

Those who currently work remotely want to continue doing so, citing flexibility as their top reason. In a three-year survey conducted by Buffer.com, 98% of remote workers said they want to continue working remotely.

Buffer: Remote Longevity Buffer: Remote Work Benefits

Meanwhile, in Canada, individuals are similarly interested in remote work. In a survey conducted by the Government of Canada, most Canadians responded that, if they had the right to request a flexible work arrangement, they would be very likely to use that right.

Government of Canada: Flexible Work Arrangement

Not only is the ability to work remotely one of the most sought after work perks, individuals are increasingly demanding more flexible work. A study conducted by Regus Canada identified that workers demanding to work closer to home and remotely are the second and third biggest drivers of flexible working (following businesses’ desire to decrease office costs)..

Regus: Main Drivers of Flexible Working

Here are some other interesting stats:

  • Upwork’s May 2019 Future Workforce Report shows that 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028.
  • In a study by Softchoice, 85% of North American office workers expect their employers to provide technology that enables them to work remotely, while 74% of workers would change jobs based on a work-from-home policy.
  • In 2016, the Oxford Internet Institute created an Online Labour Index (OLI) that provides an online job economy equivalent of conventional labour market statistics. Here’s the 28-day moving average OLI for Canada showing a 50% increase since July 2016 (check out the site for overall OLI; and OLI by country and occupation).

Oxford Internet Institute: Online Labour Index

Bottom line: the remote work revolution is happening. It’s a great opportunity for both companies and workers (and reduced commuting means it’s also environmentally friendly!), and in most cases, it’s the employees driving the trend.

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash