Another round of extended lockdowns is likely to further embed flexible working trends, according to the managing director of LinkedIn Australia.
Even before Sydney and Melbourne were plunged back into lockdown, there had been a pronounced uptick in the number of jobs that allowed for remote work, according to professional networking and jobs site LinkedIn.
Newly released data suggests the number of jobs offering remote work; rising since the start of the pandemic, showed no sign of slowing down.
Since January 2020, Australian job listings on the platform that offered flexible work options jumped by 14% compared to figures from the previous year.
And despite many businesses returning to the office in the early months of 2021, job ads that included the choice to work from home tripled in the first five months of this year compared to those in 2020.
Matt Tindale, managing director for LinkedIn Australia and New Zealand, told Business Insider Australia earlier this month that the company had seen an uptick in postings for remote work since the start of the year, with a significant number in the tech industry.
“In a macro sense this is driven by the ease at which technology continues to enable remote work,” he said, as well as “people’s real desire to be able to have flexibility and work remotely as well.”
These trends are now trickling down to entry level and graduate postings, Tindale said, as a trend driven by necessity during the pandemic lockdowns solidifies into an acceptable practice by companies and an expectation from prospective employees.
Tindale said he thinks the move toward flexible and remote work as “the norm” will only continue.
“Globally, the [demand] for remote working and flexible working conditions is progressing markedly,” he said.
Even “continuing on post COVID, and as we’re sort of returning back to the office,” demand for remote and flexible working conditions has continued to rise, he said.
Remote work driving regional price hikes
The uptick in remote job listings comes as the trend toward employees relocating to regional areas continues.
In late June, a report from the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) found the number of people that moved away from cities in the March 2021 quarter was 7% higher than the same period in 2020.
It showed the number of people moving to regional Australia was at its highest level since 2018, driving the net regional migration index in the last quarter to be 66% higher than in 2020.
And over the past 18 months, demand for property in regional Australia has skyrocketed, a factor that has caused prices to rise by 17.7% in the past year according to figures from property researcher CoreLogic.
This demand has outpaced capital cities by significant magins, which were up 12.4% over the past 12 months.
Tindale said that as moves away from capital cities impacted hiring, companies were also embracing hybrid and flexible work in order to access a wider talent pool across the country.
“Clearly we’ve gone through the greatest workplace upheaval anyone can remember,” he said.
“Workplace norms are just completely changing and we really think this is here to stay.”