Number of ‘remote working’ job ads defies Boris Johnson’s call to return to offices

| 30 May 2022

In our exclusive recent research, we’ve found that the number of ‘remote working’ roles advertised in the UK reached 256,014 last month.

Trends in remote working job vacancies defy growing assumptions amongst leaders that pandemic-led ‘work from home’ arrangements will – and should – end. Earlier this year, chief executives of leading financial organisations voiced such sentiments, whilst Boris Johnson has recently renewed calls for workers to return to offices to avoid distractions of cheese and coffee at home.

Our analysis of national job adverts show that the number of remote working roles advertised in 2022 has grown 28%, rising from 200,521 in January to 256,014 in April. The number of these types of vacancies has increased month-on-month since the turn of the year.

There were ten times more remote working job adverts last month, versus the 24,235 roles on the market in April 2020 when the nation contended with the impacts of the UK’s first COVID lockdown.

Although there’s an upward trend in the number of advertised remote working jobs in 2022, levels are below a peak seen late in 2021. November saw a record high of 270,851 remote working vacancies, whilst October saw the second highest number of adverts at 262,291.

Natalie Douglass, Director within our talent intelligence team said: “With Boris Johnson weighing into the debate around remote working’s impact on productivity claiming that working from home is ‘distracting’, the data suggests that his views aren’t necessarily shared by many of the UK’s employers, or the candidate pool.

“There’s been much chatter about whether the uptick we’ve seen in advertised remote working jobs is a kneejerk response to Covid or whether hybrid and remote working is here to stay. Our view is that it’s a direction of travel that started before the pandemic and, whilst it has certainly been accelerated over the past few years, we’re more likely to see this trend level out that return to pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s a candidate-led market at the moment and businesses wanting to attract the best talent in a competitive marketplace need to be offering attractive packages. We’ve been working with some of the UK’s biggest employers to help shape what this looks like. Remote working isn’t right for every sector or job role and the organisations we’re working with are looking at creating more bespoke packages that consider both the role requirements and the induvial circumstances of each employee.

“The Prime Minister may be against working from home, but this data coupled with the popularity of the UK’s four-day working week trial shows a growing appetite amongst businesses and employees for more flexible and less traditional ways of working.”

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