Should we hurry to apply for remote working jobs before the window closes?
Flexible working is hailed as a positive side effect of the pandemic, with many employees having ditched the commute in favor of a better work/life balance.
However, there is rising concern that office recalls could see more people returning to in-person work contexts, reducing the opportunities to work from home.
And with millions of workers being constantly on the hunt for remote working jobs, there may not be enough flexible positions available for all of them.
Significant demand for remote working jobs
In the US, 50% of all job applications submitted via LinkedIn in February 2022 were for positions that offered some home-working – marking the first time that remote jobs had attracted the majority of applications.
Although workers are seeking out and applying for remote jobs in unprecedented numbers, there’s already quite a significant mismatch between the demand and supply of remote working positions. Despite remote roles attracting 50% of applications in February 2020 via LinkedIn, these jobs represented less than 20% of the total roles advertised on LinkedIn.
Has the ‘Great Remote Work window’ reached its peak?
Fuelling an uplift in demand for remote working jobs is growing alarm that remote working opportunities might be reduced in the future as employees head back to the office.
Yet while there is a rush to find remote jobs, there’s a growing problem of supply and demand. There is simply not enough remote roles to fulfill the influx. And it is thought that the gap could get temporarily worse due to the current rush to switch positions.
Knowledge-based organizations or those providing digital services tend to be the most likely areas where workers are offered fully remote or hybrid roles. The reasons are two-fold – they are the easiest sectors to transition to remote, and they are very much gripped by a talent shortage that makes flex working a key offering. Other companies that tend to offer remote or hybrid working include those in the service sectors, such as logistics firms or utilities companies, while bottom of the list will be manufacturing or retail.
In terms of specific roles types that are more likely to be offered as remote or hybrid working positions are the ones that are more focused on concentration and that are able to be done in isolation - these will more likely fare better than collaborative positions. Likewise, remote working opportunities may be harder to find for those new to an industry, due to the need for a greater level of support.
Thankfully, it's likely that the huge changes in remote working brought about by the pandemic won't suddenly disappear overnight.