OCED and Indeed
A recent article from the Irish Times shows that demand for jobs that allow employees to engage in remote working has surged during the pandemic, with the trend set to continue even after last week’s easing of restrictions. The research conducted by jobs site Indeed and the OECD showed that searches for jobs in Ireland that allow for remote work in December were six times higher than before Covid.
Indeed, employers appear to cater to this trend, with posts for remote roles currently four times higher than pre-pandemic. The company studied job postings in 20 OECD countries and found the Irish site had the second-highest growth in remote postings. Countries with stricter virus rules – such as Italy, Spain and the UK – saw more significant growth than countries with more limited restrictions, such as Japan and New Zealand.
12.5% of job adverts in Ireland contained remote terms in the job description, compared to just 2.9% in 2019. But Indeed said that even as restrictions have eased, there has not been a commensurate reduction in the level of job ads for remote roles, suggesting this will be a longer-term trend.
This is supported by recent CSO data, which shows that 88% of those who can work remotely would like to continue doing so, with 28% wanting to do so full-time and 60% favouring a hybrid arrangement.
The study, which comes as part of Indeed’s monthly Job Search Survey for Ireland, found varied perspectives on how working life changed in 2021 whilst people were working from home.
- More than 25% of people say they have been less productive whilst working remotely, while 23.2% say they have been more productive. 51.4% reported no change.
- In terms of work-life balance, 26.4% say they are better off working from home than 24.8% who say it is worse. 48.8% reported no change.
- Almost 20% of respondents say their relationships with their co-workers have improved while working remotely, with just over 17% saying they have worsened. 63.3% reported no change.
Changing Public Policy
Jack Kennedy, Economist at Indeed, said the practice of remote working is likely to persist even after the threat of Covid-19 recedes. However, it will raise critical long terms questions. However, Indeed says, the study argues in favour of public policy evolving to make the most of the positive effects of remote working.
“Real thought needs to be given to welcoming new employees and spreading corporate culture in a hybrid environment where some staff are in the office and some at home. Secondly, management and leadership styles will need to evolve to best transmit knowledge and motivate teams. Finally, we must accept that whilst increasing employee flexibility was a trend pre-Covid, the process has been massively accelerated, and on this steep learning curve, it is likely that there will be teething problems along the way with company policies needing to adapt and evolve.”
Government restrictions during the pandemic were a catalyst for this change. While remote work job opportunities have increased across all categories, is a flexible future possible for all employees without changing public policy? Only HR Teams can tell for their organisations.