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A new survey by Reed shows job vacancies which are open to remote and hybrid working have increased significantly over the last two years, as has candidate demand.
The number of job vacancies advertised as open to remote working has increased significantly in the last two years, but still accounts for only 5% of jobs, according to data from jobs site Reed.co.uk.
It says that in the January-July period, the number of job opportunities advertising remote working arrangements increased from 1% of all vacancies on its site in 2019, to 2% in 2020, before finally rising to 5% in 2021. Compared to pre-pandemic, the increase in 2021 represents a 452% rise in job vacancies with an option to work from home.
Over the same period, job opportunities advertising ‘dynamic working’ arrangements – including hybrid or flexible working – also increased from 4% of vacancies in 2019, to 5% in 2020, and 7% in 2021. This represents a 79% rise in job vacancies in 2021 with dynamic working arrangements compared to pre-pandemic.
The site saw a similar rise in candidates looking for remote working. Between January and July in 2019, candidate applications for jobs with remote working accounted for 1% of the total on the site. This rose to 5% in 2020 and 9% in 2021, over the same period – representing a 689% increase between 2019 and 2021. Early research suggests that jobseekers who exclusively search for vacancies on Reed.co.uk offering remote working options are more than twice as likely (114%) to apply.
Applications for jobs with dynamic working arrangements also increased from 3% in 2019 (January to July), to 4% in 2020 and 5% in 2021 – representing a 106% increase in applications on the site for this category of job vacancy between 2019 and 2021.
Chris Adcock, Managing Director at Reed Technology, says: “We are now in a transitional period. Before, we were all forced into home working, but now we are slowly moving back to the office. At the moment companies are discovering what working arrangements suit their business. At the same time, workers are trying to find out how they fit into this new hybrid working setup and how they can balance work and life, having got used to working from home five days a week.”
Meanwhile, the Labour leader Keir Starmer has called attempts to force people back to the office with threats of pay cuts ‘wrong headed’ and has urged employers and policymakers to consider the benefits of remote or hybrid working and to embrace change.
The survey comes as the Institute of Directors warns that shortages of workers could hamper the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic, with a poll showing that 44% of businesses are currently experiencing staff shortages. Of the businesses that said they were seeing shortages, 65% attributed the problem to a long-term skills gap, while four in 10 noted a lack of potential workers from the EU and 21% attributed the matter to the so-called ‘pingdemic’ and staff having to self-isolate.