The Stocks and Markets That Will Thrive in the Age of Hybrid Working

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a growing focus on remote working as being the future of the global workplace.

However, hybrid working is likely to be more widely adopted in the shorter term, particularly as businesses look to transition to a remote model and create the infrastructure required to operate this effectively.

Interestingly, it’s thought that the majority of employees in the UK currently prefer hybrid working over any other alternative, with approximately 61.5% hoping to work partly in the office and partly from home as part of a flexible schedule.

3 Stocks That May Thrive in an Age of Hybrid Working

The question that remains from an investor perspective, of course, is what stocks are likely to thrive in the age of remote working?

One that immediately springs to mind is Zoom, with the remote communication and video conferencing platform having seen demand soar through 2020 and its share price surge by 425% as people were compelled to work from home as part of social distancing measures.

However, other companies and markets will have the opportunity to thrive in an age of hybrid working, including those that are focused on designing and re-imagining office space in Edinburgh and similar cities.

In such locations, the commercial landscape is thriving and the demand for property is continuing to soar, while firms may have to adapt and reinvent their interior space in order to optimise office occupancy as hybrid working takes hold.

We’ve outlined some other options to consider in an age of hybrid working, as employees are required to split their time between the office and their home.

#1. Cybersecurity Stocks Such as Zscaler (ZS)

In days gone by, firms approached network security by maintaining their information on-site in a centralised data centre and deploying a basic VPN or virtual port network to allow for remote working on a small scale.

However, this architecture is simply unfit for purpose given the demand that will be created by hybrid working, while it’s also ill-equipped to work alongside Cloud computing and public sharing.

Because of this, a number of forward-thinking cybersecurity firms boast much more effective network protections in the current climate, with Zscaler (ZS) offering a relevant example. This firm funnels its client’s web traffic through its secure network, creating a single point of control for both internal resources and the public Cloud.

Okta (OKTA) offers a similar option, albeit one that focuses primarily on identity and access management that ensures the security of data for the purpose of remote and hybrid working.

#2. Freelance Platforms Such as Upwork (UPWK)

As people get used to hybrid and remote working, we’re continuing to see a number pursue additional income streams through the gig economy.

This is borne out by the numbers, with the recent growth in the gig economy (which has more than doubled in size since 2016) fuelled by the fact that 48% of its workers also hold down more traditional job roles.

This also continues to underpin the growth of freelancing platforms across the globe, particularly the market leader Upwork (UPWK). This company was borne out of the Elance – oDesk merger in 2013, and has its finger on the pulse of remote working trends.

In the site’s recent ‘Future Workforce Report 2021’, it was revealed that nearly 30% of its users will be fully remote within five years. It therefore provides a comprehensive service that intuitively adapts to the needs of its users, with this helping Upwork to record revenue growth of 42% year-on-year in Q2 2021.

Since the beginning of 2021, Upwork’s stock has risen 70%, while there’s no sign of this trend abating any time soon.

#3. Ecommerce Platforms Such as Shopify (SHOP)

Globally, the ecommerce market grew by an incredible $26.7 trillion through 2020, as the coronavirus forced citizens to shop online and accelerated a trend that has become increasingly prevalent through the digital age.

This trend has continued in 2021, while the age of hybrid working will continue to see people spend larger amounts of time at home and leverage online shopping to supplement a more convenient and remote lifestyle.

This long-term behavioural trend has driven significant and sustainable growth for globally renowned stocks such as Shopify (SHOP), which benefit from increased demand for ecommerce ventures and has seen its share price rise steadily by 30% through 2021 to date.

In Q2 of this year, the firm posted a revenue increase of 57%, highlighting its growth in explicit terms and creating a viable option for investors across the board.