Remote work has become a norm for more than two years. The working model comes with various benefits as well as a few challenges. ZipRecruiter recently conducted a study to understand the latest remote work trends, especially in job search and hiring. Check out a few insights from the study.
Remote work, which became a norm due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has now taken root as a win-win for many organizations, workers, and the economy. It helps workers find opportunities across geographies, save money and time, have flexibility, and reduce the risks of contracting the virus. For companies, it allows them to access talent across borders, save on expenses, and increase productivity. And from an overall perspective, a healthy workforce is good for the economy.
All that said, remote work presents challenges, some of which have recently gained attention. Yet, studies show that remote and hybrid work is here to stay. According to an ADP Research Institute study, 64% of respondents would consider quitting if expected to return to the office full-time.
ZipRecruiter recently conducted a study to understand the latest remote work trends, especially in job search and hiring. The following are a few insights from the study.
See more: 4 Ways to Break Down the Roadblocks To Working Remotely
Most Job Seekers Prefer Remote Work
The study found that more than 60% of job seekers hope to find remote opportunities. Further, 20% wanted to work only remotely, and 40% preferred to work most of the time remotely. Job seekers’ preferences to work remotely remained quite stable throughout the year.
Many job seekers have become comfortable with remote work since they first experienced it during the beginning of the pandemic. About 13% of respondents in May said they were able to work for the same company but shifted to working remotely during the pandemic. In August, 11% of working job seekers wanted to change companies to shift to working from home.
Job Seekers’ Reasons for Remote Work Have Changed in Priority
Throughout the year, the reasons job seekers prefer remote work changed in priority. For example, at the beginning of the year, health and safety concerns were the top reason for 49% of respondents. The percentage went down to an average of 33% in the third quarter. On the other hand, commuting costs were a major concern for 50% of respondents in January. It increased to 64% in July and August. This is understandable, given the high inflation rate and economic uncertainties over the past few months. About 34% did say in July that the increase in gas prices had made them look for remote work.
Job seekers are also ready to take a pay cut to work remotely. According to the study, job seekers, on average, were willing to take a 14% pay cut to work from home. This seems consistent with studies conducted last year. For example, a study by beqom last year showed that 65% of people were ready to settle for lesser pay if they had the flexibility to work from anywhere. Interestingly, according to ZipRecruiter’s study, younger job workers are willing to forgo a bigger chunk of their earnings than older workers.
Average % cut in pay job seekers are willing to accept to work remotely, by age category
Job seekers with young kids valued the opportunity to work remotely the most. Job seekers also value flexibility more as their incomes increase.
Remote Work Allows Companies To Hire Women and Minorities
According to the study, women are more likely to prefer remote work for various reasons. For example, they may be the primary caregivers at home and prefer to balance work with personal responsibilities. As the pandemic effects have come down, the percentage of women wanting remote work has slightly reduced but remains above 65%. Hence, remote work can be valuable in retaining and hiring women.
Minority workers are also more likely than white workers to prefer remote work for many reasons. Hence, remote work can help companies attract more people from a minority background.
Gaps Between Remote Work Preferences and Opportunities Exist
The study found that highly educated workers preferred to work remotely and found companies and industries where remote work is prevalent. While the preferences and labor market conditions align in some dimensions, there is a significant misalignment in others. For example, women and minorities prefer remote work more. However, they are overrepresented in occupations where there is less remote work, such as retail, nursing, and housekeeping services.
While a mismatch exists between preferences and opportunities, the study found that a growing number of job postings are offering remote work. About 37% of jobs in the U.S. could be comfortably performed from a remote setting. However, there is also variation across industries. For example, less than 1 in 50 jobs offer remote work in the storage and transportation industry, while over 25% of job postings offer remote work in the tech industry.
Remote Work Is Challenging and Reversing in Certain Industries
A few major industries where remote work is a challenge are freight or passenger transportation, restaurant, storage, and brick-and-mortar stores. It may be obvious that many tasks in these industries and sectors cannot be performed in a remote setting. These industries also faced the toughest challenges regarding employee and revenue loss during the pandemic as the goods and services could not be provided virtually.
In a few industries where remote work is a challenge, a few businesses adopted remote work as a temporary measure. But they are now returning to an in-person work environment. For example, remote teaching led to poorer academic outcomes, according to a Rand Corporation report. Hence, most educational institutions are returning to in-person learning.
There is certainly more potential for remote work. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 85% of tech jobs can be performed remotely. But fewer than 30% were explicitly advertised as remote work. There is huge potential across other industries as well.
Percentage of jobs across industries that could potentially be remote
See more: 7 Tips for Collaborating Effectively While Your Team is Remote
Remote Work Leads to More and Better Matches
Before remote work, proximity to work was an important factor when considering employment opportunities. Traveling long distances comes with its challenges. Hence, applications coming from long-distance candidates would be ignored. However, converting in-person roles to remote opportunities immediately expands the talent pool. According to the study, remote jobs on the ZipRecruiter platform got 2.6 times as many unique clicks as those for in-person jobs. Further, these jobs allow recruiters to attract higher-quality candidates. And several studies already show that remote workers are more satisfied and intend to stay longer with a company.
Share of remote and in-office recent employees who agree with statements
Another problem that remote work can help control is inflation. By June 2022, the inflation rate was 9.1% in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, remote work reduced labor wage growth by two percentage points in two years. And it is the industries with the most remote jobs that have seen the lowest wage growth. But given that most workers are ready to take a slight pay cut to get remote work, it may just be something that may reduce the wage growth pressure on organizations.
As it can be found from the study, remote work can offer several benefits to employees and organizations. On the one hand, it enables the right talent to find opportunities. On the other hand, it helps organizations find the right talent beyond borders. Further, it can help bring down the economic pressure on both people and businesses. There are undoubtedly some challenges associated with remote work. However, businesses can use policies and technology to overcome most of these challenges. Overall, remote work creates a win-win situation for employees, businesses, and the economy.
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