In 2019, the number of people who teleworked, at least occasionally, reached a record level in our country with just over 1.5 million (7.9% of people with a job then in Spain). With the outbreak of the pandemic and the state of alarm decree in March 2020, the total number of people who work at least occasionally from home has doubled, exceeding 3.5 million people (16.2%). In the second quarter of 2021, 9.4% of the employed (1,849,600) worked from their own home more than half of the days.
More than a year has passed since the Spanish company immersed itself mainly in remote working and their perception of it continues to be very satisfactory: according to the latest Adecco report on healthy businesses and management absenteeism, 78% of working people think it is good or very good.
In this context, the Adecco Group Institute, the study and dissemination center of the Adecco Group, publishes the Remote work in Western Europe report which analyzes the effect that the pandemic has had on teleworking, in particular on online job offers published in six Western European countries: Germany, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.
Demand for telecommuting has exploded in the wake of the pandemic
Remote working is a structural change that’s here to stay. This new job posting analysis by The Adecco Group shows that the number of job postings in 2021 that include the term ‘telecommuting’ has skyrocketed from 2019, and the trend is forecast to continue to rise. grow. .
The number of jobs mentioning the word “telework” increased by 126% over the period between May 2020 and April 2021, compared to the previous year. In addition, in May 2021, 12% of job vacancies in Western Europe referred to remote work. This is more than double the proportion of job postings referring to telework in May 2020 (5.2%) and almost four times the percentage before the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2019 (3.1% ).
The study shows that flexible working solutions are not just the result of the pandemic. In fact, remote working had already started to gain popularity in 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis. At the end of 2019, 3.3% of job offers already included this option against 2.8% in January of the same year, an increase of 28% in 2019. The pandemic has only accelerated a change already in force.
Moreover, these patterns persist regardless of how we measure the demand for remote work. There is a similar growth in the demand for telecommuting in job titles and job descriptions.
Despite the de-escalation and strict restrictions due to COVID-19 have ended in many countries, job vacancies directly referring to telecommuting continue to grow. People want to work remotely and companies are responding to this demand by making remote work opportunities explicit in their job postings.
The following map shows the percentage change in the total number of jobs with the term “telecommuting” published from May 2020 to April 2021 compared to 2019 to April 2020.
In 2020-2021, compared to 2019-2020, the number of job postings with terms related to remote work increased in the six countries assessed. Across Western Europe, the demand for telecommuting increased throughout 2019 and exploded in 2020.
Taking into account only our country, the same thing happens, the number of job vacancies with the term “telecommuting” was already increasing throughout 2019, but the demand has increased enormously from COVID-19, by 214%. This growth was highest in the provinces of central and western Spain. Only the province of Soria experienced a drop in the demand for remote work.
It wasn’t until November 2020 that there was a substantial drop in demand for remote workers when the country imposed partial restrictions.
Remote working has spread to different sectors
As the IT industry continues to offer the highest rate of remote positions compared to others, there are big changes in the demand for telecommuting in other industries as well.
The percentage of jobs referring to telework more than doubled in many sectors, especially in administration and call centers, with an increase of 306% over the previous year. Other sectors have also seen strong growth in distance job vacancies such as utilities (154%), finance and insurance (128%) and communications (127%).
If we look at the profiles with the highest growth in teleworking offers were: sales administrative assistant (237%), accountant (301%), telemarketer (302%), DevOps engineer (166%) and real estate agent (150%) ).
We observe that highly qualified people are more likely to obtain remote work contracts, especially in the following sectors: Information and Communication (61% of workers in the sector accepted remote work before COVID-19), Professional activities and scientists (55%), Finance and Insurance (44%), Real estate activities (44%) and Public services and administration (30%).
It must be taken into account that there is a digital divide that could hamper access to remote work. On the one hand, this digital divide is caused by unequal access to ICT infrastructure, the stability of which differs between countries and between rural and urban areas. On the other hand, there is a digital skills gap among employees as some do not use ICT tools.
It is estimated that approximately 36% of the work can be done entirely remotely. For the remaining 64% of positions, a hybrid arrangement can be established and it is important to note here that such an arrangement can also be used for the manufacturing and service sector. While these industries may require the physical presence of their employees most of the time, some profiles of these industries must also perform certain tasks, for example administrative tasks, which could be performed remotely.
In other words, while 36% of the work can be carried out entirely remotely, a certain number of hours of “non-remote” work could a priori be carried out outside the company’s premises.
Companies with less than 50 employees are more likely to telework
A final interesting model in telecommuting offerings is the division of roles between companies of different sizes.
During the pandemic, businesses of all sizes turned to telecommuting to comply with security measures and keep their employees safe. In May 2021, more than 40% of job offers referring to teleworking were made by companies with less than 50 employees. Additionally, the growth trend of remote working was remarkably consistent across organizations of different sizes.