Remote Work Levels the Playing Field
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has been on the rise. This is leveling the playing field for diverse people, especially working parents and others with family commitments. At Alariss Global, we celebrate the rise of remote work and are proud to connect Americans with great remote jobs at global tech companies. If you’re interested in one of our remote global jobs, sign up for our talent portal today.
More and more companies are becoming remote-first or offering an option for remote work. 20 percent of teams are now fully remote, up from 2.3 percent pre-COVID, according to research by Upwork. And 59 percent of workers who said their job can be done from home were working from home as of January 2022, according to the Pew Research Center.
The companies that are going remote-first are generating a huge amount of interest. Airbnb recently announced that employees can work from anywhere, wherever they are the “most productive,” and earn the same pay anywhere. In addition, they can work abroad for up to 90 days in each location. Airbnb’s careers page was viewed more than 800,000 times after the announcement.
Other companies have become remote-first. Coinbase decided in May 2020 to become a remote-first company. In October 2020, Dropbox became a “virtual first” company. Dropbox still has “studios” where colleagues can get to know each other, but they can’t do solo work there. Shopify also has become remote-first, advertising “Work anywhere” on its career page. They also allow employees to work abroad for up to 90 days per year.
As COVID-19 abates, more and more companies are now forcing their employees to come back into the office. JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are tracking their employees’ ID swipes to see who’s coming back into the office and who’s not. Google’s employees returned to the office in April.
But companies are realizing that it’s not so easy to get employees to come back into the office, especially in a competitive labor market, according to Bloomberg. They don’t want to take action against employees who refuse to come back into the office for fear of losing their employees.
An Apple worker group called Apple Together wrote an open letter to the company’s leadership asking “to decide for ourselves, together with our teams and direct manager, what kind of work arrangement works best for each one of us.” And when data-storage company Teradata asked its US employees if they wanted to come back into the office, about half of them said yes–but only half of those employees actually showed up.
Many workers have a strong preference for remote work. Nearly half of workers say that if they’re no longer able to work remotely, they would start looking for another job that allows for more flexibility in where they could work, according to a report by Owl Labs. One in three said they would quit their jobs if they were unable to continue working remotely, according to the report.
As a result, some companies are giving the option to continue to work remotely. The law firm Cooley LLP announced that it would let its lawyers decide whether to go into the office. Twitter has given its employees the option to work remotely forever if they choose to, though they reopened their offices in March. Amazon has left it up to individual teams to decide whether their employees can work remotely or not. PwC also has given the option to employees to work remotely from anywhere in the continental US.
A majority of major companies are transitioning to a hybrid working model, where they’re reopening their offices and requiring employees to come in at least a few times per week. For instance, JPMorgan Chase estimates that about 40% of its workforce will work some days in the office and some days at home.
This is out of line with what many workers want. Many workers want to work fully remotely. But unfortunately, there may not be enough remote jobs for everyone who wants one. In the US, job postings that mention remote work are up 319% between January 2020 and March 2022, but searches for remote jobs are up 458%, according to Indeed and LinkedIn data shared with BBC Worklife.
For people with remote-capable jobs, 39 percent of workers were working exclusively remotely as of February 2022, 42 percent were working in a hybrid environment, and 19 percent were working fully on-site, according to Gallup. There is a strong preference for remote work. Going forward, only 24 percent of remote-capable workers believe they’ll be working remotely, although 32 percent of them want to work exclusively remotely. Only 9 percent of remote-capable employees want to work fully on-site.
Remote jobs are in high demand because they accommodate the other demands in people’s lives. If you need to pick up a child from school or daycare, you can. If you need to go to a doctor’s appointment, you can. Remote jobs level the playing field for working parents and people with family commitments, so that they don’t have to worry about being at a disadvantage at work because they have family responsibilities. Of those who worked remotely during the pandemic, 63 percent needed to provide care to children or a dependent, according to a report from Owl Labs.
Unfortunately, a number of major companies that allow people to work remotely, such as Meta, Twitter, Microsoft, and Google, offer lower salaries to people who work in less expensive locations. That is why Airbnb’s new policy to offer the same pay for the same work anywhere in the country is so noteworthy.
Brain Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, says that making Airbnb a remote-first company is allowing him to recruit the best talent. “The most talented people aren’t in San Francisco anymore…and they’re not here in New York,” he said, according to CNBC. “The most talented people are everywhere now.”
Although some employers are hesitant to allow workers to work remotely, they should recognize that workers can be just as productive working from home. A recent Texas A&M University study cited by the Boston Globe found that remote work does not lower productivity. And a recent study cited by Forbes found that working remotely increases employee happiness by as much as 20 percent. 90 percent of workers say they’re as productive or more working from home compared to the office, and 84 percent of them say that working from home after the pandemic would make them happier, according to a report from Owl Labs. 86 percent of workers say that being able to work from home after the pandemic would make them better able to support and be present for their family, according to the report from Owl Labs.
Before the rise of remote work, parents and others with family commitments had to worry about being put at a disadvantage because of their obligations to their families. Now, they can worry less about that because with remote work, they can seamlessly take care of their family lives and their work at the same time.
At Alariss, we are proud to connect Americans with great remote global jobs. If you’re interested in one of our remote job opportunities, sign up for our talent portal today.