The pandemic may eventually come to an end, but working from home is here to stay.
Fifty-eight percent of employees working remotely over the past year said they would look for a new job if they weren’t allowed to continue working from home in their current position and 65% want to work remotely full-time post-pandemic, according to a survey conducted by FlexJobs, a job search and career coaching site. Only 2% of respondents say they want to return to the office full-time.
“We found the impact is already really significant,” says Brie Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs. “So many people who didn’t necessarily have a specific reason for wanting to work remotely before, but now have had the chance to do it, have liked doing it.”
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Before the pandemic, only 5% of the U.S. workforce worked remotely full-time — as of February of this year, the percentage rose to 57%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Reynolds says this percentage is predicted to fall and plateau to 20-25% of the workforce by the end of the pandemic.
“Remote work is going to be here to stay at a much larger level than it used to be,” she says. “The demand is so high because employers themselves see that it’s beneficial and that even in a really unprecedented, unusual and stressful time for people it was still a productive and effective way for people to work.”
The shift to an all-virtual landscape has forced employers to change their recruiting strategies and fill more remote roles. Handshake, a job searching platform for college students, recently named 120 employers across all industries that have ramped up their virtual recruiting and early talent programs to secure new hires. Internally, companies have been broadening their benefits offerings and adjusting their policies to stay competitive in the face of the rise in virtual applicants.
“Companies really now are starting to look more strategically at how to set remote work policies that make sure people are signed out and off the clock when they’re not working so that they have that space between work and their lives,” Reynolds says.
FlexJobs shared which employers are in the market for more remote workers: