We’re a few days into the new year, and already some companies are re-evaluating their work-from-home policy. At Salesforce, for example, CEO Marc Benioff is questioning the productivity of the company’s remote workers, particularly the newer ones. Disney employees, meanwhile, have been asked to come back to the office for four days per week.
Companies will likely debate the best remote and hybrid work policies for quite some time to come. In the meantime, it seems the total number of remote tech positions is falling, according to the latest job report from CompTIA (based off data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Lightcast, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the U.S.). Take a look at the chart:
Even with the dip, it’s important to note that companies everywhere are posting many thousands of all-remote jobs. No matter what your chosen field or specialization, chances are good there’s a remote position out there—even jobs that traditionally demanded a worker’s on-premises presence, such as sysadmin or IT support specialist, can be done from the comfort of one’s living room couch (pants optional).
The big question right now is how remote work will trend over the next several quarters, if not the next few years. As the worst of the pandemic seemed to pass, companies everywhere lauded remote work as the way of the future—and a great way to save money on office space and expensive in-office perks. But just as many employers also cited the cultural benefits that come with in-person work, such as collaboration and opportunities for mentorship. This isn’t a debate that’ll be settled anytime soon.
Many workers want the best of both worlds via hybrid work, where they head into the office for two or three days per week. Last year, The Muse surveyed 900 new grads about their job outlook and found that many were okay with heading back to the office for at least a few days per week: “When asked what percentage above market rate would you need to work from the office five days a week, 23 percent of new graduates say they would do so with no increase in salary, indicating that they see it as a chance to build relationships and find community.”
With demand for tech professionals still high (CompTIA pegs the current tech unemployment rate at 1.8 percent in December, down from 2 percent), you have some flexibility to negotiate for a schedule you want, especially if you have highly specialized skills. Make sure to emphasize to your current or future manager that you’ll be more than capable of remaining productive no matter where you work.