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Let’s talk about workers – remote… where they work, and finding them

Let’s revisit workers.

Dice released the 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report.     51% of workers are finding it harder to develop and maintain working relationships with colleagues – up from 40% in the second quarter of 2020 – while 34% are having difficulty maintaining effective relationships with their managers, compared to 22% in 2020.   Overall, 36% of tech workers said they were burned out in the second quarter of 2021, up from 32% in Q4 2020. Younger employees are more likely to be experiencing burnout than their older peers, with researchers pointing to differing workloads as a potential factor: 35% of respondents aged 55 and over reported an increase in their workload during the pandemic, compared to nearly half (47%) of those between the ages of 18 and 34. 

Perhaps as a result, the desire to be fully-remote dropped from 41% in Q4 2020 to less than a third (29%) in Q2 2021, Dice found, with more respondents showing a preference for a ‘hybrid’ model of work combining both at home and in-office days.

As we’ve been covering, the market is tight –– Demand for software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers, for example, will grow between 21% and 26% through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   Four in five businesses are pursuing some time of initiative to address skills gaps in the tightening market for IT talent, according to data from CompTIA

CompTIA’s “European Tech Hiring Trends” reveals that employer job postings for technology positions totaled 877 106 in Q1 2021, an increase of 9% over Q4 2020 and 40% higher than Q3 2020. The report provides an in-depth look at tech hiring trends in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

New business applications jumped 24 percent in 2020, the biggest surge in history, and they remain at a much higher level then precrisis.

Gartner is predicting that a third of the global workforce will be at least somewhat remote by the end of the year.    They say 32 per cent of all employees worldwide will be working at least one day a week remotely by the end of 2021, an increase of 15 percentage points from 2019.   The research also predicts that in 2022, 31 per cent of all workers worldwide are expected to work remotely, with the US leading the way at 53 per cent of its total workforce.

Google rolled out a tool on Tuesday for employees to request office changes or apply to become remote workers – and the tool will provide them with details of their new compensation adjusted for the local region.     The company also has closed its startup space in London, which was designed to support small startup organizations, citing less need.

Why do we care?

Playing out in real-time is the transformation of work.     Those looking for a single answer will be disappointed, because there isn’t an obvious one AND the landscape is changing.    

Here’s the data we’re seeing summarized.    Workers will be more in demand and have the power to pick their own direction due to the scarcity.    Employers should be redefining the way they use physical space (as Google is clearly doing), and empower them (again, as Google shows today).   

That burnout question is real.    How you manage culture is critical, because the short term choices will have long term ramifications.    Now is the time to focus there, because that investment will pay off short term in keeping employees happy… and long term by keeping them with you.