The number of people searching for remote work is on the rise again, and the number of remote job postings is falling. Jobs posted during the pandemic were flagged as ‘remote’, but only periodically - and people were expected back in the offices now they’re open. But what if people are going back into the office and realising that they actually quite liked working remotely?
Haystack’s users are made up of thousands of techies working in development, data and design, and over 63% of them have stated they’re interested in remote opportunities. Compared to only 15% of users are interested in local opportunities.
1. Remote working widens your talent pool 🏊
By hiring remotely, you can access more people. That’s a fact - geographical constraints no longer exist. You can attract potential employees from further afield. Flexibility is one of the most important factors for millennials when it comes to evaluating potential employers. In particular, when it comes to techies like Software Developers, increasingly they hold the cards - it’s now employers that need to impress and stand out from the crowd.
Widening your talent pool is particularly important when it comes to improving diversity and inclusion - you just have more people to choose from! Statistically speaking, you’ll not only get more applicants but more applicants from different backgrounds.
2. Creating a more level playing field
Primary caregivers (in the UK, this is still mostly women) who are faced with increasing care costs and difficulties of navigating the traditional 9-5 (plus commutes!). Working remotely combined with flexible working hours can alleviate some of these pressures. Women in general, express more of an interest in remote working. Something to consider is that parents also often choose where to live based on local amenities for children, such as the best schools, local parks, etc. - perhaps not geographically close to offices.
Not only this - but remote working also increases accessibility. Imagine if you’re unable to easily commute or travel due to physical disabilities, and certain companies expect you to be in the office every day? It just doesn’t work. Chances are, their home environments will already be adapted to suit their needs.
Working remotely benefits not only people who live with visible disabilities but also people who live with non-visible disabilities, such as endometriosis - which varies in the severity of symptoms people experience but isn’t physically obvious. Working remotely allows them to be more comfortable, without the expectation of being physically present in an office.
3. Saving time and money 💰
The average commute in London is 74 minutes per day. There are two things wrong with this - firstly there are 253 working days in 2021 - and if you commute to the office and back every day you end up losing 13 days each year! Isn’t there a better way to spend this time? Secondly, living in London is expensive, and generally, the cost of living becomes cheaper the further out of the city you live. Those from less affluent areas, may not only spend more time commuting but may end up paying more to commute! The average Londoner spends over £5,000 each year on their commute costs. By hiring remotely companies can attract people from further afield, and perhaps live in these less affluent areas. This is similar for cities across the UK - not just the capital. By hiring remotely you can remove this location bias.
4. Removing office pressures 🏢🧑💼
Shockingly, a 2018 report found that one in five LGBTQ+ workers have had a co-worker either tell them or imply to them that they should dress in either a more feminine or masculine way. With 53% of LGBTQ+ workers also report to hearing jokes about lesbian or gay people at least once in a while - imagine having to work in those environments?
For those who identify as either transgender or nonbinary - even using a bathroom can be a huge source of anxiety. An article in The Wall Street Journal highlights how one nonbinary trans employee noted how working from home made the transitioning process a lot less stressful - as they were able to communicate over Slack. One transgender Software Developer said: “It gave me the freedom to just be able to exist”.
Overall, remote working can help companies to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce - but the biggest challenge remains, how can you attract talent to your company, regardless of how wide you cast your hiring net?
Building your brand as a top employer is still key. You could hire globally, but still, struggle to attract the best tech talent if you have a negative employer brand.