Editor’s Note: Indeed Hiring Lab previously released a proprietary metric called the Remote Job Tracker, measuring the aggregate share of job postings in a specific location that included keywords associated specifically with remote work. Today, as hybrid in-office/at-home work arrangements emerge as a primary modality of flexible work — which itself is a topic of growing interest to job seekers, employers and policymakers alike — we are updating and renaming the Remote Tracker to the Remote & Hybrid Job Tracker. This re-released series expands upon the definition of remote work previously used to construct the Remote Job Tracker and now includes terms more generally associated with hybrid work arrangements.
- In France, Germany, the UK and the US, job postings that overtly advertised remote or hybrid working arrangements were relatively rare prior to the pandemic. But by May 2023, the share of postings offering remote/hybrid work had more than doubled in each country.
- While the share of jobs advertising remote/hybrid work continues to grow and hit new highs in Western European countries, it has declined from its February 2022 peak in the US.
- While the share of postings mentioning remote work has largely continued to grow, the share of searches actively seeking remote work has largely stagnated over the past year after spiking in the early period of the pandemic.
Recent global trends in the prevalence of hybrid/remote work arrangements advertised in job postings prove that while employers may say they want workers in the office more regularly, the share of job postings touting remote/hybrid work flexibility largely continues to grow. And would-be employees are showing that these kinds of arrangements may be something they are starting to expect, as searches for remote/hybrid work have mostly stabilized after spiking early in the pandemic.
The global labor market continues to move past the strict work-from-home norms adopted during the pandemic and towards more flexible arrangements. The share of job postings advertising hybrid/remote work flexibility has risen consistently in a number of countries, according to the latest data from the Indeed Remote & Hybrid Job Tracker. But there are some global variations in the trends — in the US, for example, jobseekers appear to have grown more keen on remote work, relative to available postings, while in Western Europe the trend is largely the opposite.
In France, Germany, the UK and the US, postings that overtly advertised remote or hybrid working arrangements were relatively rare prior to the pandemic, in each case representing less than 5% of all job postings in early 2020 (ranging from a low of 1.9% in France to a high of 4.3% in Germany). By May 2023, the share had more than doubled in each country, rising to 8.4% in France and the US, 14.6% in Germany and 15.5% in the UK.
The appeal of working from home is increasingly regarded as a significant benefit to attract job seekers, particularly in competitive sectors such as tech. But while the share of jobs advertising remote/hybrid work continues to grow and hit new highs in Western European countries, it has declined from its February 2022 peak of 10.4% in the US. The decrease in remote job shares within the US may be attributed to a shift in the composition of available jobs. Analyzing data from the Indeed Job Posting Tracker reveals a noteworthy decline in tech jobs, specifically software development positions, which (as of May 31, 2023) have fallen below their pre-pandemic levels in the United States even as overall US job postings remain more than 30% above pre-pandemic levels.
Remote by Sector
There are, of course, sectors where remote work is more or less feasible than others; Construction or retail work, for example, can’t be done from home and must be done on site, while more traditional “desk jobs” lend themselves to more flexible arrangements. Perhaps the ultimate example of this kind of “remoteable” role is a software developer that typically only needs a reliable internet connection to do satisfactory work. Software developers are also the exact kind of highly paid, highly skilled workers that companies would typically make more efforts to retain through flexible work arrangements. This might be one of the reasons why in all four countries analyzed, job postings for software developers were most likely to advertise remote/flexible working arrangements.
Globally, the share of software developer job postings advertising remote/hybrid work arrangements is much higher than the share of postings overall. In UK, for example, a small majority (50.1%) of software developer job postings in May advertised remote/hybrid arrangements, compared to 15.5% of postings overall. France was the country with the lowest share of software developer job postings advertising hybrid/remote options in May, and even then the share was more than 32%, compared to 8.4% overall. Remote posting trends for software development jobs in Germany and the US have seen very steady and similar increases in the share of remote/hybrid postings over the last three years, rising to more than 40% in both countries (Germany: 45.2 %, USA: 42.4%).
Remote Work is Expected, Not Sought
Overall, the share of jobseekers actively seeking remote-hybrid work is much higher today than it was on the eve of the pandemic in virtually all countries analyzed. But while the share of postings mentioning remote work has largely continued to grow, the share of searches for remote options has barely grown at all over the past year after spiking during the early years of the pandemic. This may be a somewhat surprising signal that remote work options have become an expectation for job seekers after several years of successfully working from home, not something to be actively sought.
In the European countries analyzed, the share of postings advertising remote options in May 2023 was at least 4.7x higher than the share of searches explicitly looking for remote-related terms.
In France, for example, while 8.4% of job postings overall mention remote/hybrid work arrangements, just 0.6% of searches are aimed at discovering those postings. The trend was similar in Germany (Searches: 3.1% vs. 14.6% postings) and the UK (Searches: 2.7% vs. 15.5% postings). An important outlier appears to be the United States, where the share of searches for remote terms (9.4%) is roughly equal to the share of postings(8.4%) that include remote/hybrid terminology.
While public statistics and surveys help us understand how many actually work from home, advertised working-from-home options in job postings have the advantage of providing a more reliable measure of firms’ preferences and help us understand the post-pandemic persistence of working from home. Our latest Remote & Hybrid Job Tracker shows that while many employers want their employees back in the office, this doesn’t mean that they stop advertising working from home to attract the talents in high demand. At the same time, stagnating search trends for remote work show that these kinds of arrangements are becoming something job seekers expect or assume their employers will offer, rather than something they actively seek out. Especially in tight labor markets such as Germany and the UK, negotiating for work-from-home options may be becoming standard.
Working from home is here to stay. Yet, the labor market in many countries is cooling, and the future remains uncertain, as our latest Labor Market Updates for Germany, the UK and US show. Nevertheless, demand for skilled workers is high for many occupational groups. It will be interesting to watch if tight labor markets in Europe result in further increasing remote shares — for those occupational groups that can work from home — and how high those shares can get before leveling off as they have done in the US (which may signal that these benefits are assumed/expected by job seekers).
A deep review of the methodology behind Indeed’s Hybrid/Remote Tracker can be found here.