Even as pandemic restrictions ease and more people return to the office, flexible and remote jobs are more popular than ever.
Jobs that allow employees to work from home full-time or part-time received seven times more applications than in-person positions last month, a new study from CareerBuilder found. Jobs span industries and experience levels: tax manager, Spanish tutor and therapist were among the most popular positions.
“People are not going back to work like they have in the past,” said Kristin Kelley, director of marketing at CareerBuilder. “Flexibility is the new norm and expectation of employees – we will see this trend continue in the months to come.”
CNBC Make It spoke with Kelley about the factors driving this increase in flexible job demands and how companies should respond.
People don’t want to go back to the office full time
As coronavirus cases continue their steep decline in the United States, several companies, including TIAA, American Express and Twitter, have announced modified back-to-office dates for March.
Yet most Americans working from home would continue to do so if given the chance. According to a Pew Research survey of 5,889 workers in January, 61% of remote workers said they didn’t go to their desk because they didn’t want to, citing a better work-life balance and better productivity.
Some people would rather quit than commute anytime soon: A recent Morning Consult poll of 400 workers found that almost 50% of people would consider quitting their job if their employer asked them to come into the office before they felt comfortable. security.
So it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing an increase in remote and flex job demands as more companies return to the office.
“After two years of working from home, employers want to put Covid-19 behind them,” Kelley says. “But that doesn’t mean employees want to go back to working full-time in an office.”
Flexible jobs can lead to better career opportunities
The continued demand for remote and hybrid jobs is also coming from service industry workers leaving their jobs in search of higher wages and flexible hours.
In January, the service sector lost the most jobs (274,000), driven by leisure and hospitality, which shed 154,000 jobs, according to ADP’s national employment report. While hiring rebounded slightly last month (leisure and hospitality added 179,000 new jobs), employment in this sector is still well below pre-pandemic levels.
“People working in retail, hotels or restaurants find that their skills – customer service, communication, time management – are being transferred across different industries and are in greater demand than ever in this tight job market,” says Kelley.
According to CareerBuilder, customer service representative, administrative assistant, and sales representative are some of the most requested flex jobs by candidates. “Job seekers feel more empowered to look for opportunities outside of the industry they’ve worked in for years,” Kelley adds.