The growth of remote working has been accelerated by the pandemic, but anyone imagining that the high level of remote working undertaken during lockdowns would lead to this being normalised may have had a shock.
Employment consultancy Timewise has published a survey showing that just 26 per cent of new vacancies advertised by firms offer remote working options.
The firm commented that this is the case even though many sectors have been complaining about a lack of skilled staff, at a time when job vacancies are at their highest level since 2001. It stated that many firms could be missing out on staff because those who need to work remotely will be unable to apply for three out of every four available jobs.
Although the number of jobs offering flexible working has increased – it was at ten per cent in 2015 and 17 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 before the initial Covid lockdown – the figure is still far below the 90 per cent of people who want to work flexibly.
Of course, some jobs won’t suit flexible or remote working, but in many cases it could be that employers are holding back because they have had concerns about the impact of staff working at home during the pandemic. Some of these relate to the equipment staff have, which is where IT support services in Essex can help firms in the county.
This concern was revealed in a survey by Wandera revealing how common certain concerns were for employers across different countries when the pandemic forced a shift to remote working.
It found 52 per cent of employees said their employer had to invest in better technology, 37 per cent of IT officials found staff did not have the tools they needed for remote working when they had to make the transition to it, and 61 per cent of employees used their own equipment to access company networks, which might bring security risks.
Given these problems, some employers may feel justified in restricting remote working. But with the right IT support, they will be able to do this and thus open up vacancies to a much wider pool of potential applicants.