Office bound

Indeed research suggests the office will return.

Research from Indeed suggests that the office is set for a comeback as it found 60% of job vacancies posted by employers on the site since the start of the year that call for home-working also describe the measure as temporary. Analysis of the UK jobs advertised on Indeed show that since the start of the current lockdown – which began in early January – a significant majority of employers offering jobs which can be done remotely are tagging the roles as ‘Work remotely: Temporarily due to Covid-19′, rather than ‘Work remotely: yes’.

The 60 per cent figure is up from just 37 per cent in the final quarter of 2020 and contrasts sharply with November’s lockdown, which saw only 28 per cent of postings for remote working roles described as ‘temporary’.

It suggests employers are feeling increasingly bullish about the prospect of a return to the office as the UK’s vaccination drive picks up speed and national leaders set out plans to return life to normal – or close to normal – by summer.

Over the past year, the proportion of all jobs posted on Indeed calling for remote working has surged from three per cent to 12 PR cent. Yet the new analysis shows that even in occupations where working from home became commonplace during the pandemic, the majority of remote jobs posted during the current lockdown are being listed as ‘temporarily remote’. This is particularly the case with civil engineering roles – where 78 per cent of remote working vacancies describe the measures as ‘temporary’, alongside 71 PR cent of medical technician roles – those including disability assessor and mental health technician – and 68 per cent of jobs in banking and finance.

The long term trend could also have wider implications than office occupancy. Research by Indeed and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) found that increasing remote work in London and Europe’s three other largest capital’s risked widening inequality.

“Of all the new trends that have emerged as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns, the sudden and seemingly irresistible rise of remote working has raised the most questions, because of what it means for city centres and businesses that rely on office workers’ footfall and spending,” said Pawel Adrjan, head of EMEA research at Indeed. “It is still too early to tell whether widespread home working will outlive the pandemic, but the rise in job vacancies that qualify their need for remote-working as ‘temporary’ hints that many employers are keen to welcome their workers back to the office in the future, at least for part of the working week.

“The overall number of job postings citing remote working remains high, suggesting that many employers’ expectations of where their staff will work from have shifted fundamentally,” he added.

“Future working practices could therefore involve less working from home than during lockdown, but more than before the pandemic. The office is not dead but we may visit it less than we used to.”

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