Here we go again.
With Omicron now plowing its way across North America, it was only a matter of time before the shutdown police showed up.
This past weekend, pharmacy giants CVS and Walgreens announced they would be temporarily closing select stores due to staff shortages.
Just before New Year, Apple let its geniuses play hookey as many called in sick with the virus.
Other big corporations are also getting in on the action.
Just as it looked like workers would be asked to return to offices, many companies abruptly changed plans, asking employees to work from home.
While many businesses are fighting tooth and nail to get employees back into the office, others have just thrown in the towel.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers, for example, announced last year that they would embrace remote work where possible for employees.
At stake is no less than the future of work and modern society.
For many, the shift to work-from-home has been a godsend: less time commuting and ironing pants means more time for family and recreation.
Some workers have even taken advantage of their newfound freedom… by moving or traveling to any number of remote locations.
Of course, this is not entirely new. Before the pandemic, there was a category of workers known as “digital nomads” that had jobs that offered them the flexibility to work from wherever they wanted as long as they had an internet connection.
Now the virus has expanded this opportunity to a large number of workers who can similarly enjoy the benefits of remote life.
One of the least obvious beneficiaries of this trend is none other than the RV industry.
Even before the pandemic, RVs were experiencing a renaissance of sorts as “glamping” showed up on lifestyle tv channels and social media.
Some of this glamping has taken the form of what’s known on social media as #vanlife—a social movement of folks who live in vans—embracing a minimalist lifestyle and valuing adventure and free time.
But even if you put the hippy vanlife culture aside for a moment, there’s a major economic shift that justifies campers as a viable option for the middle class.
With the cost of homes now near-record highs, a large percentage of millennials are finding themselves priced out of the market at a point in their life where they would traditionally be purchasing a home.
I believe many of these would-be home buyers will turn to RVs and vans as an alternative.
Of course, living out of a van as a full-time lifestyle choice is extreme. But, the normalization of this trend will likely drive some to consider campers for part-time vacation/recreational use.
That’s on top of the likely surge of soon-to-retire Boomers. As this cohort heads into their golden years, we’re likely to see a similar embrace of the camper lifestyle.
These converging trends—#vanlife, work-from-home, and boomers—all add up to a very positive future for the camper business.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.