For a large portion of the workforce population, the flexibility of remote work – or lack thereof – is a game-changer or deal-breaker for accepting a position within an organization. On the other hand, for some organizational leaders, the time to return to an in-office work environment is now. And, for many, the preference lies somewhere in between, for both sides.
Positions on In-Office vs. Remote Work Vary
For an IT staffing agency, finding top talent and filling roles is a balancing act based on candidate expectations and availability versus the requirements of the hiring client.
Per our Vice President Mountain West, Jamie Contino,
“One of the first questions candidates ask us is, ‘what is the in-office schedule?’ This question has become a top priority for candidates along with understanding the position description and compensation. The onsite work requirements greatly impacts if the candidate is willing to continue the conversation with us. In fact, many candidates we talk to are willing to accept lower compensation for fully remote roles.”
Our team continues to see that despite massive layoffs and restructuring, tech talent is still in high demand and short supply.
For employers, there are a lot of factors at play in making decisions to reduce remote work options. There are costs of office spaces that sit empty, legal and compliance issues for managing multiple locations, in addition to concerns about workforce morale, socialization, productivity and collaboration. In reality, not every employee at a company has the ability to work from home or a flexible location to do their job, so creating a company dynamic where all employees feel valued and have access to perks and fair policies is incredibly important. Plus, Zoom fatigue did present factual merit amongst remote workers, and remote workers themselves expressed missing those co-worker bonds that are difficult to create or maintain in a remote environment.
Remote work remains high on the list of many professionals, in the tech industry and beyond. So much so that even as late as November 2022, in the throes of layoff announcements, DICE reported that “the majority of tech professionals — 60% — ranked fully remote as their most-desired workplace setting.” Also in 2022, a McKinsey survey reported that 77% of tech talent responded they would rather work remotely than relocate for a job.
Personal preferences aside, remote work numbers are changing.
At the same time, as workers continue to tout their affinity towards a remote work environment, reports are indicating that tech employers have been inching in the other direction. Recently, a Fiverr survey shared that 33% of responding managers want a return to office and 67% of executives/managers within large organizations would call for 5 full days in the office.
Current job market data supports these sentiments. A recent report in 2023, shows that “posts for fully remote positions declined to 18.6% in May from a post-pandemic peak of 24% last August,” according to research from JLL and Lightcast. The latest CompTIA jobs report for July also shows a downward graph in current remote and hybrid tech job postings.
Can employers and tech professionals reach a consensus on in-office vs. remote work? Prosum weighs in.
Currently, Prosum is witnessing what the greater tech hiring trends are showing: clients are leaning towards in-office or hybrid work environments, while candidates are still in remote work mode.
If organizations are weighing the pros and cons of remote work, some things to consider about remote hiring include:
- Access to a larger pool of highly qualified candidates for specific roles because of the allure of remote work.
- More competitive bill rates and salary expectations.
- The opportunity to engage more women in tech roles as data suggests women rate flexible work environments as a high priority when seeking new opportunities.
For candidates, the openness to in-office and hybrid roles over remote work presents:
- A higher availability of job openings.
- Potential for better compensation.
- Mentorship and comradery opportunities that lead to soft skill set building.
Review Options Carefully To Avoid Regret
As the tech industry navigates the in-office vs. remote work trends, it is important for leadership to take into consideration the hard data to make the case for where workers should sit along with important feedback from employees and candidates and what the markets around them are doing in order to remain competitive for top talent.
For candidates, it’s important to weigh all options even when remote work is a top priority. Things to consider like company culture, increased opportunities from face-to-face interactions and much-missed networking can add to a fulfilling role.
In all instances, help from an expert is here. To explore hiring strategies for your tech workforce, and for IT consultants seeking out new opportunities, contact the IT recruiting and staffing experts at Prosum today.