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‘Fully remote’ roles declining in popularity

October’s Flexible Working Index shows that fully remote work continues to decline in popularity. Instead, remote-first roles (which offer a mixture of remote and office-based work) are the new flexible working option of choice amongst job seekers and employers.

October’s Flexible Working Index shows that fully remote work continues to decline in popularity. For the second month in a row, there has been a steep decline in the number of employees looking for fully remote roles, and the number of employers offering them. Instead, remote-first roles (which offer a mixture of remote and office-based work) are the new flexible working option of choice amongst job seekers and employers.

The Index, which tracks where, when and how people prefer to work, and the kinds of roles companies are offering, analyses data*. October’s Index analysed a sample size of 38,609 searches by job hunters and over 1,583 job adverts.

Fewer and fewer workers want ‘fully remote’ roles
Between August and September, the number of people searching for roles which offered fully remote work fell by 26%. The downward trend has since continued, with searches for fully remote roles falling by a further 27% between September and October. In September, 44% of searches were for fully remote roles, versus just 32% in October – an all time low.

Instead, searches for ‘remote-first’ roles which offer home-based work with some time in an office (or the option to spend time in one) have shot up for the second month running. Searches for remote-first jobs rose by 74% between August and September, and increased by a further 19% between September and October – up from 47% to 56% of all searches.

With demand for working abroad dissipating as winter arrives and living costs continuing to rise, workers are looking for a different type of flexibility. And remote-first roles – which come with the option of offices and in-person meetings – offer choices which fully remote jobs can’t.

Companies offering ‘fully remote’ roles are even rarer
This trend is also reflected by employers, with fewer companies advertising roles that offer fully remote work. Between August and September, the numbers of fully remote roles being advertised fell by 58%; and again fell by a further 40% between September and October – down from 10% to 6%.

Meanwhile, the number of remote-first roles being advertised has caught up to increasing demand amongst job seekers. Between September and October, the number of remote-first roles on offer rose by 38% – up from 16% to 22%. 

Employers’ attitudes towards working hours are also becoming more flexible. Between September and October, the number of roles with ‘fully flexible’ hours being advertised shot up by 55% – up from 22% to 34%.

Molly Johnson-Jones, CEO and co-founder of Flexa Careers, comments:

Seasonal working trends are clearly being cemented as winter starts to bed in. Whilst the summer months saw big demand for ‘work from anywhere’ schemes, fewer employees are currently looking to work from different locations. But that’s not to say that this marks the end of flexible work – far from it, in fact.

“The rise of remote-first roles (both in supply and demand) instead reflects a move from individuals to seek out even more choice. People like having options; whether that’s coming into the office occasionally or on set days, organised meet-ups with colleagues , but also being able to work from home or abroad on demand. Office work might take place on the first Monday of every month, or on different days with varying frequency from one week to the next. The data is clearly showing that choice is ruling the day.

*research from Flexa Careers, 

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