The pandemic drove companies worldwide to shut their offices and adopted the flexibility of remote and hybrid working options, but those jobs may be drying up, a new study shows.
According to LinkedIn’s October 2022 Global Talent Trends report, employers are scaling back remote offerings in anticipation of an economic downturn, even as flexibility remains a top priority for job seekers. A new global C-level research shows flexibility and employee benefits introduced during the pandemic are now at risk due to the ongoing economic uncertainty. Nine out of every 10 business leaders surveyed in India say the current economic climate could threaten flexible working (91%), while other areas of work life such as learning and development (90%) and employee wellbeing (89%) are most likely to be affected too.
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“This year we are seeing a slower pace of growth, as the economy comes back down to earth after a meteoric rise last year in one of the fastest recoveries we have ever seen,” LinkedIn chief economist Karin Kimbrough said in the report. “Nevertheless, labor-market dynamics remain tight. So, in many ways, employees still hold the power to demand more from their employers when it comes to salary, flexibility, and benefits. But this power balance is likely to start leveling out in the coming months,” Karin added.
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Flexibility was listed as the third most important priority to candidates, after compensation and balance, according to a LinkedIn survey conducted in August 2022. The data further found that the US leads the remote work trend globally, followed by the UK, Germany, and India, based on number of applicants for remote-friendly jobs.
Even with a shrinking number of remote jobs, Jennifer Shapley — LinkedIn’s vice president of global talent acquisition — said she anticipates job flexibility will remain a major priority for candidates.
“Even facing an uncertain future, people still highly value two areas of work life that have gotten a lot of attention since the start of the pandemic: work-life balance, and flexible-work arrangements – including remote work. I expect those two attributes to remain top talent drivers for years to come,” Shapley said in the report.
Further the report said that demand for flexible work options continues to increase even as availability declines. LinkedIn’s data shows that during the February peak, remote job postings attracted 50% of all applications — by September, as availability started to drop, that percentage increased to 52%.
A senior Noida-based hiring manager said: “One thing that’s clear is that remote work is not going away. There are, however, a number of ways to make it better and more commonplace, and to ensure that it doesn’t harm you more than it helps.”