Industry Insights

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Is Remote Work Really the Future? Our Data States Otherwise.

March 31, 2022

This post is contributed by Burtch Works’ recruiting team.If the numerous opinion pieces and headlines in the media over the past two years are any indication, working from home has become an area of intense scrutiny, interest, and speculation. Among our network of data scientists, data engineers, market research professionals, and their employers, this is a topic we’ve been hearing about continuously, and have studied ourselves in great depth: How many days do professionals prefer to be in the office vs. at home? Do professionals feel as productive at home as in the office?Looking into the future is challenging, as the situation is still heavily evolving. It’s likely that it will continue to change as data and analytics teams respond to changes in the talent market, employee preferences, their competitor’s strategies, and more. However, we wanted to share a few important insights from our experience recruiting for remote positions.Are you considering a remote position? Or are you not interested in the idea of working from home? Wondering what to expect as the job market evolves? There has been an influx of open data and analytics positions in the job market due to the proliferation of digital transformation efforts and the great resignation which have made an impact on whether employers will allow top talent to be fully remote. Today we wanted to take a deeper look into our data to distinguish if companies are really open to the idea of their employees working remotely. Let’s dive in.Firstly, we want to clarify that most companies are open to the idea of a hybrid workplace, where employees come into the office a few times a week or are present for team meetings and projects that require collaboration. With that said, organizations are also hiring individuals that are out of state but are requiring them to relocate near one of their offices, sometimes within a specific timeframe or by a certain date, so their hybrid models can run efficiently.

Evolution in Hiring

Based on the most recent data in our proprietary database, we compiled a list of organizations, of all sizes, headquartered in various locations within the U.S. Our findings may come as a surprise, but as the work from home policies are evolving, and as the Covid-19 pandemic is winding down, organizations are straying away from the idea of hiring individuals that will be fully remote.

In our sample, over half (64%) of companies are not open to hiring individuals that will be working remotely. They are seeking employees that are willing to comply with their hybrid model and are either based in a city in which they currently have an office or are willing to relocate.On the other end of the spectrum, of all total companies, only 36% are open and willing to allow their employees to be fully remote. This includes the full onboarding process and all ongoing work to be done from any location, and they are not required to come into the office on a cadence or project basis.

Does the Size of the Company Make an Impact?

Next, we were interested to see if the size of an organization made an impact on their remote work policies. Again, our findings were not what we necessarily were expecting.

Large Companies

Of the large companies, (36%) are open to hiring individuals to work fully remotely, and (64%) are seeking those that can relocate or come into the office as needed.

This is an interesting finding because we assumed that larger organizations would allow for more remote work leniency, but the trend continues as even large companies prefer for their hires to be present in the office as needed.

Small and Mid-Size Companies

Of the small and mid-size companies, (43%) are open to hiring individuals to work fully remotely, and (57%) are seeking those that have the flexibility to come into the office.

It is important to note that the split between remote work leniency is fairly close for small and mid-size companies. This can be a result of a variety of factors such as limited office locations and a higher need to fill roles within the organization, leading to increased flexibility for all data and analytics teams and employees.

Does the Location of the Company Make an Impact?

East Coast

Of the companies located in the East coast, (39%) are open to individuals working fully remote, and (61%) are seeking professionals that are willing to come into the office.

West Coast

Of the companies located in the West coast, (36%) are open to individuals working fully remote, and (64%) are seeking professionals that are willing to come into the office.

Central U.S.

Of the companies located in the central region, (38%) are open to individuals working fully remote, and (62%) are seeking professionals that are willing to come into the office.

The breakdown by region is yet again very similar to what we have been seeing as far as willingness to hire individuals that will be working fully remotely. As can be noted, the percentage breakdowns are very consistent across the board, and most companies, regardless of location, do in fact desire individuals that are open to coming into the office for work and collaboration.

Final Takeaway:

The sentiment that “remote work is the future” is not necessarily true. The evolution in policies is generally translating to a hybrid model where individuals are expected to come into the office on a partial or an as-needed basis. With that said, a hybrid model does allow for an immense amount of flexibility for teams and organizations while still benefiting from in-person interactions.The idea that remote work has opened doors for individuals to work in cities across the country is also shifting quickly towards more and more requests to relocate. Our recruiting team have several examples of job seekers going through the full interview process for a fully remote position, only to find out in the final hour that the company would actually “prefer” them to relocate. It can be a tough scenario when companies hope to be flexible on location, but ultimately do want someone in the office at least a few days per week.With that said, there are countless roles and opportunities open to those that are seeking a fully remote position, but they are not the majority of roles available as often assumed or reported by the media. It is important to weigh the costs and benefits of each opportunity before deciding what is right, while also making sure all expectations are clearly defined by the organization that is hiring.We hope this article has given you some insight into what factors you may want to consider, and as the widespread remote work situation continues to evolve, we’ll continue to share our findings!