News digest from Dec 9, 2022
Remote work has become a right for knowledge workers. The data says we should create more fully remote jobs
Before COVID-19, “remote work” was represented by the cliché of digital nomads staring at their laptops on exotic beaches. However, the pandemic revealed that remote work is rarely that glamorous. Mostly, it’s working at a kitchen table in pajama bottoms and a business top. It’s working from the in-laws’ basement for three weeks on an extended holiday visit. Occasionally, yes, it’s working from an Airbnb in the mountains or on an extended summer vacation.
Because I manage products for global talent mobility (business travel, relocations, distributed workforces, etc.), I speak frequently with CEOs and HR leaders who fear that remote work is a looming disaster. Their fears largely stem from false assumptions.
Assumption #1: Remote workers are unproductive
Stanford researcher Nick Bloom, who has studied “work from home” since 2004, finds that remote work translates into more time working. On average, of the 70 minutes saved by not commuting, employees spend 30 minutes on extra work. Other studies concur: Remote work either has no negative effect on productivity or slightly improves it.
Assumption #2: Remote work across borders is an unmanageable compliance mess
In surveys we conducted between 2020 and 2022, roughly a third of employees admitted to working remotely outside their home state or country, but only a third of those employees said they reported all those days to HR.
At the same time, 91% of employees said they are comfortable with having their location tracked down to the city level, which is all an employer needs to comply with tax and immigration laws worldwide. The message from employees to employers is simple: Do whatever you need for compliance, just don’t burden us with paperwork.
So no, compliance is not a reason to reject remote work or work from anywhere. Employers can steer employees to the many locations that welcome remote workers and use technology to manage risks if they do arise.
Assumption #3: Sooner or later, most people will return to the office full time
Of the 125 million full-time jobs in America, 60 million can be done from home, according to Gallup. In other words, about half the jobs in an advanced economy are remote-friendly. Every survey I come across–from McKinsey, Gallup, Buffer, and Owl Labs, among others–finds mass support for remote work. In Topia’s 2022 survey, 94% of knowledge employees agreed that they should be able to work from anywhere, so long as they get their work done.
Facing the data, it’s hard to bet against remote work. Remote work is not a fad, and not even a recession is likely to change that.
Remote work might be a privilege reserved for computer workers. Still, privileges have a way of becoming entrenched. Workers will increasingly view flexibility as a basic labor right, alongside time off and health care. The 70-minute commute to be distracted in a noisy office will become harder and harder to justify.
Hesitant About Remote Work? Why You May Want To Reconsider Your Workplace Requirements
Chief Executive Officer at Safeguard Global.
The pandemic and its after-effects forced many company leaders to consider employee needs beyond simply what could be provided within an office space. Many workers, forced to merge their personal and professional responsibilities, asked for more flexibility regarding when, where and how they get their work done.
My team has made work increasingly flexible because we listened to what our employees told us. Companies with rigid, location-based policies that affect all employees across the board, in the same manner, are often asking far more of their people than they realize.
Getting away from location-based work not only makes for happier, more productive employees, but it also frees up a company to find the best talent anywhere in the world.
Hire the best talent, period. Post your job advertisements as remote opportunities—it can give you a distinct edge. Don’t expect people to move to take a job, and let them work remotely if it’s best for their work-life integration.
Go beyond location and offer flexibility when it comes to how and when people work. Continually explore new people-centric policies aimed at helping employees integrate their work with their personal lives, whatever their specific circumstances are.
As CEO, I have seen the return on investment from giving workers more flexibility and fewer restrictions on how to do their jobs. Employers who want to cling to location-based work and hiring—and company policies that do not reflect concern for the well-being of their people—will be left scrambling as the best talent goes to work elsewhere.
Remote Work Trends Are Rapidly Infiltrating Airport Spaces
Airports continue to transform as they keep up with new post-pandemic travel trends, including the rise of blended travel. Airport hotels, for example, are becoming more popular meeting venues for companies with geographically diverse teams.
But now co-working is set to feature more prominently, as flexible office platforms and lounge operators capitalize on corporate work-from-anywhere policies. And the number of flexible workspaces located in airports has already grown 83 percent year-on-year since the end of 2021, according to data and analytics platform CoworkIntel.
Remote work triggers move to DAOs in the post-pandemic world: Survey
Over 1,100 Americans took part in a survey conducted by MetisDAO Foundation which explores trends in remote working preferences and the emergence of DAOs in recent years. A key consideration is the effect that Covid-19 has had on worker sentiment and the growth of DAOs in corporate governance.
A major takeaway from the results is that nearly 75% of respondents believe that companies will need to adapt how they run their businesses to offer more remote work options. Millennials working in hybrid or remote settings offered the most positive responses on how DACs offer workers opportunities to help govern a company.
47% of the respondents also indicated that they would be open to working for a DAO or DAC as a contracted employee. The survey also indicates that millennial workers are more willing to work for a DAO or DAC than any other age group.
Meanwhile, Gen Z respondents most accurately defined a DAO compared to respondents from other age groups and a majority of Gen Z participants also defined DAOs as ‘revolutionary movement changing the future of work’.
MetisDAO concludes by highlighting the influence of prolonged remote working conditions driving the desire for more decentralized and autonomous work environments.
Source: Coin Telegraph
Some Bosses Embrace Work From Home to Keep Wages Down
For all the high-profile bosses who’ve ordered staff back to the office, plenty of US businesses are still embracing work from home, partly because it means they can hire workers where they’re more affordable.
Much of the buzz around the remote work revolution has been about how it’s empowered workers, such as the professionals who fled New York or San Francisco during the pandemic for more moderately priced locales without having to sacrifice their big-city salaries. But in a time of soaring wages—and steep pay gaps between regions—some employers are flipping the script. They’re willing to take on more WFH staff but are targeting small-town labor markets where wages are lower, in Florida, Idaho, Texas and other states, according to recruiting companies and human resources consulting firms.
Tammy Browning, president of the outsourcing and consulting group at Kelly Services Inc., the giant staffing agency, says that “almost every day” she’s asked about the potential to hire in places such as these, especially for newly remote roles in billing, finance and technology. “Customers are asking us for ‘saturation data,’ meaning how many people are in the market and how much do they cost,” says Browning, who oversees 250,000 job placements a year.
Pay differentials across the country are allowing employers to save as much as 15% on wage bills by hiring remotely, staffing companies say—though they also warn that some of the gaps are narrowing as tight labor markets persist. Unemployment in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, where Extra Space Storage’s call center is located, was 2.1% in October, compared with 3.7% nationally.
Remote work debate rages on at credit unions nearly three years into pandemic
Some of the largest companies in the U.S. — including JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Twitter and Apple — have drawn attention in recent months for calling remote employees back to the office, but many credit unions are trying to strike a balance between in-person work and work from home.
Certain credit unions describe the ability to work from home as an advantage in hiring and retention, but others say nothing can replace face-to-face collaboration.
Some executives, including Matt Selke, president and CEO of the $93.2 million-asset Pinnacle Credit Union in Atlanta, said allowing employees to remain at home can be a hiring and retention advantage.
Selke said about 50% of Pinnacle’s staff is still working at least partially remotely.
“Working remotely is still a competitive advantage, and we hope to roll out a work-from-home option for all employees,” he said. “Interactive teller machines are the key for that so that our teller staff can video teller from anywhere. That being said, I think we will see more hybrid or work-from-home options.”
So has dealing with remote employees been a discussion point for the merger partners?
“Yeah, it’s a large topic,” Selke said. “RVA is 100% no teller line in the branch, so some very progressive ideas are being discussed.”
Bruce Kershner, president of Kershner & Co., an executive search firm focused on financial institutions, also said work from home is a “huge” incentive for potential employees. And many financial institutions are still dangling it out there as a hiring and retention tool.
Source: American Banker
The great mismatch: Remote jobs are in demand, but positions are drying up
Lori Black has been firing off dozens of applications with one goal: to land a work-from-home job.
But four months in, her search is starting to feel impossible. Positions are in short supply, and rejections have been plentiful.
Demand for remote jobs remains near all-time highs, even as companies roll back telework positions. Fifty percent of job applications submitted on LinkedIn are for work-from-home positions, which make up just 15 percent of listings, according to a recent report from the jobs site.
“It’s the ‘great remote work mismatch,’ ” said Rand Ghayad, head of economics and global labor markets at LinkedIn, who wrote the recent report. “In the past, labor mismatches have been about skills. Now we’re seeing a different kind of mismatch, where workers are looking for jobs that offer certain attributes — like the ability to work remotely — that employers aren’t willing to offer.”
Although there are nearly two job openings for each applicant when it comes to on-site work, the opposite is true for remote jobs: There are two active applicants for each available work-from-home job on LinkedIn. That means the gap between demand for jobs and supply of workers for on-site positions is four times as high as it is for remote work, according to Ghayad.
Source: The Washington Post
The 10 best cities for finding a remote job that pays $100,000 or more―they’re not all on the coasts
If you’re looking to land a remote job that pays at least six figures, you might want to target your search to companies that are headquartered in certain zip codes.
Employers located in these areas offer more jobs that let employees work from anywhere, as well as jobs that are location-specific remote, which allows employees to work from home as long as they remain within certain geographic bounds, whether it’s a specific state, city, country, or even region of the country.
Coastal cities like San Francisco and New York are leading the charge in offering high paying remote jobs, Ladders CEO David Fisch points out, with other large cities like Washington D.C. and Chicago close behind.
10 best cities to find a remote job that pays $100,000/yr or more
Companies across tech, media, health care and other industries are increasingly hiring for a variety of roles that can be done from home and offer six-figure salaries, per Ladders’ research.
Software engineer, project manager and account executive are among the top remote occupations that saw the highest number of job ads on Ladders’ site between Aug. 31 and Nov. 1 and pay more than $100,000.
My son is autistic. Remote work will give him a better future.
My son is 6 years old. When he was a toddler, my wife and I were worried about his development, so we took him to a specialist who confirmed that he was on the autism spectrum.
In a recent survey of adults with autism by Britain’s Office for National Statistics, only 22% of respondents said they were gainfully employed in any capacity. This may help explain why feelings of anxiety and depression were much higher among adults with autism than among the general population.
Because I work for a company that allows me to work remotely, my wife and I have the time, space, and flexibility we require to give our son the attention and care he needs and deserves. More importantly, working remotely gives us a glimpse into a future that will celebrate my son and enable him to shine, rather than punish him for his disability.
I look at my son and know that one day he could be a superstar at an IT company. But he’ll never get a job if he has to come in and interview in the traditional way: One-on-one conversations with strangers terrify him, and he may not be able to read some of the social cues that people who aren’t on the spectrum take for granted. So I wish that employers serious about advancing people with autism would reconsider the way they screen candidates. Thankfully, several tech innovators are working to correct this, including by using AI to help find talented people based solely on the skills they would need to do their jobs.
Companies benefit from a truly great and truly diverse and truly committed workforce, individuals benefit from having a well-paying job they love, and the marketplace benefits from innovations courtesy of brilliant minds that see the world a little bit differently.
A tale of two US labour markets: How remote work could help break down barriers to employment
One reason for the slack we see in the remote labour market is driven by a slowdown in remote openings. In March 2020, only one in every 67 paid US jobs posted on LinkedIn offered remote work. By the start of 2022, that number ballooned to about one in six, and fell recently to 14% of total openings.
That is, only one out of seven job postings in the US offered remote work in October. This is obviously much higher than where things were pre-pandemic, but it has started to drop, ever so slightly.
Another reason for the increased slack is an uptick in the number of people who want more remote work. Our data show that the percentage of applications that went to remote jobs reached over 50% in October – slightly lower than its peak of 53% in July.
Hence, workers continue to prize flexibility and work-life balance even as the economic outlook darkens. While this number has been slowing down, it is still more than triple the rate in October 2020 and up nearly 10-fold from remote work’s meagre 2.8% share in January 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Rather than threatening productivity growth, remote work provides us with the opportunity to close labour market gaps and reduce spatial mismatch. Remote work also has great potential in helping spread productivity across different geographies, rather than hoarding economic opportunity into a handful of geographies with costly housing markets.
This isn’t just getting job seekers what they want in a tight labour market. The shift to remote work provides an opportunity for employers too to hire candidates who were previously out of reach. Removing geographic and time constraints means employers can cast a wider net of qualified candidates–a compelling solution to diversifying their workforce.
Source: World Economic Forum