Number of remote working roles advertised rises 20% in past month

Published: Tuesday 22 February 2022

Number of remote working roles advertised rises 20% in past month

  • Nearly 11% of jobs advertised in January were entirely remote, compared to 9% at start of December
  • However, the figure is still below last years peak of 13%
  • Experience of enforced remote working mean hybrid working model may be here for the long term

11% of jobs advertised in the UK last month were entirely remote working roles, up a fifth on December’s figure (9%) concluded our recent study.*

The increase in remote working roles has been driven by the increasing acceptance by many employers that flexible and home working has been working relatively well over the last 22 months.

Our study looked at approximately 1.4 million job advertisements over the past two years. Remote-only roles, as a percentage of all advertised roles, have been as high as 13% in November.

Employing remote workers means roles can be advertised to a larger pool of talent as recruitment is not confined by proximity to offices. Remote working jobs can be particularly attractive to candidates with young children or other caring duties.

In addition, businesses can also reduce their rent costs and increase head count without adding space. On the other hand, businesses will incur the costs of having to supply office equipment to remote workers, such as laptops and desks.

Allowing employees the option of remote working ensures that the individual needs of the employee are accommodated for. Tailored approaches to employee requirements and capabilities will be key for businesses who want to retain staff long term.

However, some businesses have been concerned that remote working could create a ‘two-tier’ office system, with employees going into the office benefitting from socialising and networking opportunities whereas those at home do not. The lack of social interaction during the working day could leave employees feeling isolated.

In addition, working from home may leave employees feeling burnt out, as the line between their personal and professional life blurs.

Many businesses have adopted a hybrid-model which can allow employees a better work life balance – cutting down on commuting time and allowing flexibility for personal activities such as school runs.

Allowing employees, the option of different types of working models (e.g. home based, flexible, office based) will help businesses retain staff long term. Recent research revealed that 51% of employees who currently have the choice to mix remote and office work would leave their company if this flexibility was removed.**

Our research found that the current top sectors for remote working are technology (31% of jobs are remote working), media (19% of jobs are remote working) and sales, retail & customer support (18% of jobs are remote working).***

The research also showed 74% of entirely remote roles currently offer above the UK average annual salary of £31,000. Traditionally, home-based roles have been associated with lower salaried customer services and administration jobs. More recently though, roles in higher-paid sectors such as technology have become fully remote as companies move into remote or hybrid-working models.  

Felicity Sang, Director, says “The pressure brought on by the rise of the Omicron variant, and perhaps other future variants, has forced some businesses to reconsider their working model.”

“Some degree of work from home is going to be with us for the long term as the UK comes to terms with COVID-19 being part of the landscape for the foreseeable future, but also as businesses realise the benefits of hybrid models for both them and their employees.”

“The rise in remote only job vacancies in the past month shows that employers have learnt to quickly adjust to external pressures. For many businesses there is currently no ‘set’ way of working, as they adapt to accommodate the changes.”

Percentage of jobs per sector advertised as remote working roles***

Sector Percentage of jobs in sector that are remote working
Technology 31%
Media 19%
Sales, Retail & Customer Support 18%
Admin & Business Support 9%
Public Sector 7%
Law 4%
Education 2%
Recruitment & HR 2%
Financial Services 1%
Transport 1%
Healthcare 1%

* Analysis of job adverts posted on Indeed with over 1,400,000 adverts being looked at (Comparing January 17th 2022, December 2nd, 2021, and 23rd November 2020)

***As of January 17th 2022

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Felicity Sang
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