FE News | Remote and hybrid work tip heavily in favour of jobseekers earning £60K+

Senior to executive level more likely to avoid onsite work, while office-based roles are prominent among junior workers earning less than £40K  

Sectors most at risk to return to the office: IT, Creative & Design, Graduate

Sectors most likely to keep flexible work: Teaching, Accounting & Finance, Energy 

Two-thirds of job ads still fail to specify workplace location

US employers are firmer on return-to-office mandates than UK employers 

While many top-level executives are pushing for more onsite work, they are enjoying a higher degree of flexibility than junior workers, with the majority of their advertised roles labelling either hybrid or remote, according to new research from smarter job search engine Adzuna. 

The research analysed jobs advertised on Adzuna between July 2022 and July 2023, tracking the proportion of postings that specify jobs are either ‘remote’, ‘hybrid’ or ‘office-based’/‘on-site’.

It finds that seniority is playing a crucial role in determining the level of flexibility jobseekers can find during their job search. In July 2023, the office was the most prominent workplace for entry-level to junior advertised positions, while hybrid working was the most common working style for roles advertising an annual salary of more than £40,000. Particularly, around a quarter of senior roles paying £60k+ (23.4%) to executive level (26.1%) advertised job ads were hybrid.

Tracing back a year ago, while there was not much of a change among entry-level and mid-level jobs – most positions under £40,000 were also onsite – it wasn’t the same story for senior and executive-level jobseekers. For this privileged group, it was remote working that reigned supreme back in July 2022, with 29% of job ads specifying ‘remote’ work.

In total, just 34.5% of job ads specified a workplace location in July 2023, with 8.6% labelled as office-based/ on-site, 11.1% as hybrid, and 14.5% as remote. 65.4% of job ads failed to add location.

Table 1: The proportion of ‘office’, ‘hybrid’, ‘remote’ jobs, by seniority, July 2023

SeniorityProportion of vacancies specifying they are office-based, July 2023Proportion of vacancies specifying they are hybrid, July 2023Proportion of vacancies specifying they are remote, July 2023Entry-level to junior (<£40,000)10.8% (-0.1pp)7.2% (+0.7pp)5.7% (-0.3pp)Mid-level (£40,000-£60,000)10.5% (-0.7pp)14.8% (-0.2pp)8.9% (-3.5pp)Senior (£60,000-£100,000)10.4% (+1.4pp)23.4%  (+2.8pp)14.9%  (-9.5pp)Executive level (£100,000-£180,000)13.2% (+4.0pp)26.1% (+6.0pp)20.6% (-10.4pp)Top 1% earner (£180,000+)7.7% (-1.2pp)15.0% (+2.2pp)11.3% (-5.8pp) *The percentage of ads where location specified in July 2022 and July 2023 is on similar level (+/- 7%) Andrew Hunter, co-founder of job search engine Adzuna, comments: “Senior managers and top executives not only have bigger paychecks but also greater flexibility. To effectively motivate workers to go back to the office, decision makers should consider Ieading by example. As businesses navigate this transformative period, there will be an ongoing tug of war between companies and their employees. Viral work trends like “Lazy girl jobs” suggest that Gen Z, which will account for one-third of the workforce by 2025, are particularly prioritising their work-life balance. Jobseekers are becoming more discerning when it comes to searching for jobs that offer work models that fit their priorities and needs. As UK employers continue to face skills shortages, those who want to attract and retain the best talent may need to start indulging jobseekers’ needs, and that includes offering greater flexibility. Increased transparency would also help. Currently, only around a third of job ads specify working location, meaning a missed opportunity to attract jobseekers searching for particular patterns.” Top sectors at risk to return to office The domino effects of widespread return-to-office mandates in the US are being felt acutely in the UK’s tech industry. Despite being the sector with the second-largest proportion of ‘remote’ job ads, employees in the IT sector are most likely to be asked to return to the office among all industries. The proportion of ‘remote’ job ads had the biggest year-on-year drop (-10.8%) among all sectors, while postings advertised as ‘office’ or ‘hybrid’ roles’ went up.  The Creative & Design sector, where being physically together facilitates better collaboration, comes next, with ‘remote’ postings going down -7.3% and ‘hybrid’ and ‘office-based’ roles climbing +6.5% and +1.5% respectively. Employers also increasingly want fresh graduates coming back to office, as graduate roles usually have less autonomy in the workplace and require more guidance from their supervisors and seniors.  Top sectors most likely to embrace flexible work Not all employers are backtracking on flexible work arrangements. With the rise of online tutoring and at-home learning, employers in the teaching sector are keen on keeping remote work, with the proportion of ‘remote’ job ads increasing +18.5pp year over year to 20.8% in July 2023.  Elsewhere, the accounting and finance sector seems to be aware that not many workers would be receptive to the return-to-office mandate, and hence the data reflects that even though employers are increasingly wanting employees back in the office, they are opting for a softer approach, with the ‘hybrid’ job ads rising +10.5pp from 21.6% in July 2022 to 32.5% in July 2023.  Table 2: Remote, hybrid and onsite working trends, by sector SectorProportion of vacancies specifying they are office-basedProportion of vacancies specifying they are hybridProportion of vacancies specifying they are remoteAccounting & Finance10.3% (+1.1pp)32.1% (+10.5pp)10.5% (-1.1pp)Admin13.9% (-0.8pp)13.3% (+2.0pp)19.3% (+12.0pp)Charity & Voluntary7.8% (+0.2pp)32.5% (+4.6pp)15.2% (+0.7pp)Consultancy8.1% (-1.9pp)26.1% (+7.6pp)14.2% (-0.1pp)Creative & Design9.0% (+1.5pp)21.3% (+6.4pp)15.3% (-7.3pp)Customer Services16.7% (+0.9pp)15.3% (+2.5pp)12.7% (+1.6pp)Domestic help & Cleaning9.9% (+1.1pp)0.3% (unchanged)2.2% (+1.4pp)Energy10.0% (+1.7pp)15.9% (+10.2pp)10.5% (+3.2pp)Engineering14.6% (+1.1pp)16.3% (+7.0pp)8.8% (+2.0pp)Graduate8.0% (+0.4 pp)11.5% (+1.3pp)8.8% (-2.8pp)Healthcare & Nursing7.6% (+0.9pp)3.5% (+0.5pp)4.7% (+0.7pp)Hospitality & Catering5.0% (+0.6pp)0.3% (unchanged)2.0% (-0.3pp)HR & Recruitment14.1% (+1.7pp)31.2% (+1.6pp)13.8% (-1.4pp)IT9.5% (+2.5pp)29.2% (+7.0pp)26.5% (-10.8pp)Legal5.0% (+0.4pp)25.5% (+7.9pp)11.4% (-1.8pp)Logistics & Warehouse12.8% (-0.9pp)1.6% (unchanged)1.5% (+0.1pp)Maintenance12.8% (-2.2pp)1.8% (+0.6pp)2.3% (+0.4pp)Manufacturing18.1% (-0.9pp)1.7% (+0.7pp)1.1% (+0.1pp) PR8.9% (+0.5pp)28.7% (+4.0pp)28.6% (+6.5pp)Property7.8% (+0.4pp)10.6% (+4.0pp)6.9% (-0.5pp)Retail2.5% (-0.5pp)2.9% (+0.4pp)1.5% (-0.2pp)Sales8.6% (+0.6pp)14.0% (+3.4pp)14.7% (-2.5pp)Scientific & QA13.4% ( (+3.7pp)14.8% (+6.4pp)13.2% (-1.1pp)Social work4.8% (+0.9pp)5.9% (+3.5pp)3.0% (+0.3pp)Teaching3.0% (-0.6pp)0.8% (-0.2pp)20.8% (+18.5pp)Trade & Construction17.5% (-0.7pp)5.7% (+2.6pp)3.0% (+0.3pp)Travel4.7% (+0.6pp)2.7% (-0.2pp)2.5% (unchanged) Remote jobs spearhead despite an uptick in office-based jobs While some employers are keen to have employees back in the office starting this year, they recognise the importance of flexibility for employees and therefore turn to a mix of onsite and remote work as their solution, with the proportion of job postings specifying “hybrid” increasing to 11.1% in July ‘23 from 9.8% in July ‘22.  Overall, workers in the UK have been resistant to returning to the office. The proportion of advertised vacancies labelling “office” slipped from 9% in July ‘22 to 8.6% in July ‘23, while “remote” postings accounted for 14.8% of advertised vacancies in July ‘23, up +3.4pp from 11.4% a year ago. By comparison, employer’s reportedly firmer stance around returning to the office crystallises in the US, with the proportion of advertised roles specifying “office-based” increasing to 4.2% by July ‘23 with 318,829 advertised vacancies – compared to 3.6% in July ‘22 with 295,060 advertised vacancies. Similarly, the proportion of advertised hybrid roles has experienced a similar growth rate, reaching 3.7% in 2023 with 281,766 vacancies compared to 3% in 2022 with 247,617 vacancies. Despite the resurgence of office and hybrid roles, remote jobs are still dominating job ads, with 701,194 roles available in July ‘23, accounting for 9.2% of advertised positions.  James Neave, Head of Data Science at job search engine Adzuna, comments: “Working from home is not a trend anymore, but the end of the pandemic doesn’t imply a quick pivot back to three years ago – when going to the office was the norm. Our data shows that while the pandemic disrupted the workplace – provoking a nearly 10% jump in remote jobs within a year and pushing hybrid jobs towards mainstream – its impact is long-lasting. Working from home is a solid reality employers need to take in. ” Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Employability, Work and leadership

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