New research shows that the number of jobs advertised with ‘remote working’ options has tripled during the pandemic. 

Data from Talent.com, a talent sourcing company, has shown that the number of remote working jobs in the UK has tripled since the start of 2020 as candidates demand flexibility.

The research reported a 199 per cent increase in the number of work-from-home jobs being advertised from January 2020 to April 2021.

Although there was an initial decline during the peak of the pandemic due to the drop in businesses actively recruiting, demand for remote workers spiked in line with the relaxation of COVID restrictions in the UK.

In September 2020, the number of work-from-home jobs advertised increased by 10 per cent month-on-month from August last year.

In line with this, job seeker interest in these vacancies has also climbed throughout the course of the pandemic.  March 2021 reported the highest number of clicks for jobs advertised with a work-from-home option in the last 12 months.

However, Ella Bond, an employment expert at Harper James Solicitors, has stated that this move to widespread remote-working presents challenges for all companies, regardless of their size.

Ms. Bond reflected on the positives of this transition, for businesses and employees alike:

Working from home can be advantageous for both staff and businesses. For staff, it is likely to enable a better work-life balance and gain back valuable time which would otherwise be spent on the daily commute.

While for businesses, having home-working arrangements in place could better enable them to keep operating during adverse weather conditions or a crisis such as the current pandemic. It could also help to improve staff retention rates for businesses due to staff having increased job satisfaction.

However, the law firm stated that businesses needed to be mindful of the equipment that they would provide to staff when working from home, saying:

 If company equipment is to be provided then businesses should make sure provisions are in place which stipulate the company’s ownership and set in place any conditions required for its return.

Measures may need to be put in place for annual inspections or for the return of equipment on termination of a staff member’s contract, or at any time at the request of the employer.

In addition to this, the law firm flagged issues linked to data security and privacy issues when using company equipment:

If staff equipment is to be used, then businesses should make sure provisions are in place requiring the deletion of company documents, information and data from that equipment (together with any copies) on termination of the staff members’ contract.

Businesses should also consider who will pay the relevant utility bills of their homeworkers (eg telephone and electricity) and ensure the arrangements for this are made clear.

Noura Dadzie – VP Sales UK & International Markets at Talent.com commented on the trend of staff opting for remote working:

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has created an uptick in not only employer’s willingness to offer work from home employment choices, but also demand from talent pools for this option as well.

As more companies start to adopt work from home policies on a permanent basis, it’s becoming clear the modern world is changing rapidly. The pandemic has played a big part in advancing and fast tracking this change, increasing both the supply of remote jobs and jobseekers’ demand between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. We anticipate this trend to continue growing post pandemic into 2022.