The coronavirus pandemic has made working from home the new norm. Over the past few months traditional job postings have decreased as unemployment reached 14.7% in April, but the number of virtual, remote and telecommute job postings have skyrocketed.
As of April 2020, there are five times more remote job postings than there were in April 2019. That’s nearly a 500% increase in just one year. With an increase like this, it’s likely that remote jobs could be a long-term trend.
Just a few months ago most people were operating in a traditional work environment. Practically overnight, businesses were forced to convert to a virtual work setting and employees were sent to work from home. For most businesses, this was a foreign practice that they were forced to adapt to quickly. Many companies invested in work from home tools and technologies to ease the burden of being away from the office. For those companies that adopted the means to work from home and have had success thus far, it is possible that they may not return to the office any time soon.
Many technology companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Slack have extended their work from home policies to allow employees to work remotely until later this year. Twitter even has plans to adopt a permanent work from home structure where employees will no longer be required to come into the office. Earlier this month at a meeting with government officials, IT industry leaders estimated that nearly 50% of the country’s 4.3 million IT workers, will soon work from home. Other companies may follow the tech industry’s lead and extend their work from home order as well.
Some companies on the other hand will be going back to work sooner than others. For many, their home offices were equipped to be used for a few months, but in order to convert to a permanent work from home space, there are more drastic measures that need to be implemented.
Working from home has limited health and safety concerns and early indicators suggest that in some industries, employee’s productivity has improved. The benefits of working remotely have been far greater than anticipated and could explain the drastic increase in remote job postings.
These remote job postings could also mean more innovative opportunities for students and employers. For example, a student who graduated from a university in the Midwest, may have planned to stay in that region post-graduation but may now be able to work for a company in California without having to relocate. By eliminating geographic limitations, employers can hire more diverse and competitive candidates from across the world and students can work for the top employers without ever having to leave their house. This allows companies to build stronger more productive teams while giving their employees flexibility.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape our world, the job market begins to adapt to the changes. The idea of remote and telecommute jobs have become a new trend quickly adopted by the tech companies. As other industries start to follow suit, employers and employees will both embrace the benefits of working from home.
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