Almost half of the staff fired, employees asked to work 80+ hour weeks, and a death sentence for the remote work policy. It's an understatement to say that by buying Twitter, Elon Musk has caused a major setback in terms of work organization. Gone is the remote-friendly policy put in place by the previous management team of the social network. And Musk is not the only one. Other companies are screaming for their employees to return to the office.
Are Remote jobs in danger?
Is there a problem with remote jobs? At least that's what the latest edition of LinkedIn's Global Talent Trends reports suggests. According to the report, telecommuting jobs in the United States (the world's leading country in this field) represented only 14% of the total number of jobs offered on the site in September. A percentage that had reached its peak in February this year with 20% of the ads posted actually concerning remote jobs.
Is it enough to talk about a trend reversal? Will telecommuting only be a parenthesis allowed by the developments of the Covid-19 crisis? Is it just a matter of months before employees return to their workplaces?
Let's be reassured. There will be no turning back. The basic trends impacting the labor market do not only depend on companies but also on job seekers. And for the latter, there is no doubt. Flexibility in the workplace remains a priority. The same LinkedIn study shows that.
The demand for flexibility is growing
More than half of all applications (52% vs. 50% the previous month) were for telecommuting positions. In short, while the supply of remote jobs on LinkedIn is slacking, the demand for them is growing.
As Jennifer Shapley, vice president of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn, says, "even facing an uncertain future, people still highly value two areas of work life that have gotten a lot of attention since the start of the pandemic: work-life balance, and flexible-work arrangements – including remote work. I expect those two attributes to remain top talent drivers for years to come."
Employer brand and global reputation
In short, to recruit and retain talent, companies will have little choice. The advantage will go to those who can be truly flexible. But that's not all. For organizations, flexibility will also play a key role not only in terms of employer brand, but also in terms of overall reputation.
Take Remote Jobs, for example. They can play a key role in CSR, which companies now need to pay particular attention to, as they promote the inclusion of people with disabilities. "If more companies adopt telecommuting, it will have a positive impact on the economy as a whole, as well as on the employability of people with disabilities," confirms Debra Ruh, CEO and founder of Ruh Global Impact, an impact company specialized in inclusion issues1.
The fact that some companies are getting uptight (especially in these times of crisis) or displaying a retrograde conception of the organization of work (hello Elon), says nothing of the reality of the trends underway. Is the number of remote job offers decreasing on LinkedIn? In all probability, this is only a cyclical phenomenon.
The major trends at work - such as the new demands of the candidates or the CSR requirements that are now imposed on companies - are, on the contrary, leading to a growing development of flex and remote jobs.
Moreover, if LinkedIn seems to say one thing, Jobgether, a platform specialized in flex jobs, indicates exactly the opposite. The number of offers posted on the site has increased by 276% since June. This impressive figure indicates that there will be no turning back.
1 Forbes (01/11/2022)