More of us than ever want jobs that we can do remotely, says study

Lockdowns may be ending and work-from-home guidance scrapped, but that doesn’t mean we’re super keen to return to the old ways of working.

The pandemic has made many of us realise that, wait a minute, maybe work doesn’t have to happen in a traditional office – maybe it can be done from home, on a beach, and anywhere else you fancy.

And even as we come out of the pandemic, that trend for remote work is likely to continue.

New research from Indeed suggests that interest in roles that can be done remotely is higher than ever in the UK, showing more of us are prioritising increased flexibility.

The proportion of job searches on Indeed by candidates looking for remote work has risen tenfold since before the pandemic, with the UK seeing one of the biggest rise in vacancies offering remote work out of all countries.

One in ten job adverts now offer remote working options – nearly four times more than did so pre-Covid.

And to show just how keen we are on this option, searches for remote work on the site made up 2.4% of all searches in December 2021. That might not sound like much, but it’s far higher than the 0.23% in December 2019.

Certain sectors are more likely to be offering the chance to work from home. Software development, for example, has a 44% share of ads for remote work, followed by media and communications at 31%. That’s quite a jump from 12% and 6%, respectively, in 2020.

Sectors’ percentages of remote-working job ads

  • Software development: 44%
  • Information design & documentation: 31%
  • Media & communications: 29%
  • Marketing: 28%
  • Arts & entertainment: 26%
  • Insurance: 22%
  • Mathematics: 25%
  • Project management: 24%
  • Human resources: 22%
  • Banking & Finance: 20%

Pawel Adrjan, head of EMEA research at Indeed, said: ‘Remote working and expectations around greater flexibility were on the rise before the pandemic but nearly two years of lockdown living and working from home orders have turned remote work into a mainstream and viable option for entire workforces in certain sectors of the economy.

‘Far from seeing the trend reverse as lockdown restrictions eased, our research shows that searches for remote work have remained high throughout the year and have just hit an all-time high, suggesting that many jobseekers want to continue working remotely.

‘At the same time, the elevated share of remote job postings suggests that we are settling into seemingly permanent ways of working and while this benefits some – especially people with caring responsibilities and priorities outside of work – not everyone is a winner.

‘Remote opportunities are not evenly spread across the labour market and with higher-paying, non-client facing roles seeing the biggest increases in remote working opportunities, employers will need to assess how equitable their WFH policy is.

‘With the jobs market now extremely tight, firms face intense competition when trying to hire staff; so offering remote working makes sense as it can be a powerful way to grab the attention of the sizeable number of candidates who really value this flexibility in a job.’

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