Recap of 2021 Remote Work Trends: The Numbers

The more discussions I have online and offline the more I am convinced that the remote work revolution is here to stay. Even companies that have the clout to entice and enforce a work-from-the-office policy (e.g. FAANG) when conditions allow it, will still have to adjust and be far more flexible with remote work, than they have ever been.

I found it very interesting, when I recently came across two studies that highlighted this trend from YCombinator and Flexjobs.

YCombinator 

Full disclosure: NetBeez is a YC company, but the data we use here is publicly available.

YC is a startup accelerator and part of the help they offer to their portfolio companies is to match them with employees through their Work at Startup program. A big percentage of their portfolio are tech companies, so their data is heavily skewed towards jobs in the tech industry (software, sales, marketing).

In a recent review article they shared data and highlights from their job openings since the beginning of the pandemic. Here is a summary from the data on their platform:

  1. The 2021 job postings (7,300) were 4.5x compared to 2020: this is in line with the 2021 general trend that it has been an employee’s market, especially for high tech workers.
  2. In 2021 82% of job seekers were looking for remote positions, compared to 15-20% pre-pandemic: safety, location and flexible hours was a top priority for 2021 and it will continue moving forward.
  3. Startup remote jobs grew 6.4x in 2021 (69.5% of all listed jobs are remote friendly): employers realized that in order to attract talent in a highly competitive landscape, they need to offer more flexibility but also overseas jobs markets became more attractive.

Flexjobs

Flexjobs is a subscription service for employees that are looking for remote and flexible-hour positions. For the last nine years, they’ve been publishing the Top 100 Companies to Watch for Remote Jobs, and the 2021 report had summarized some interesting statistics: 

  1. By mid-2020 25% of the US workforce worked remotely compared to 4.1% in 2019 and 20% predicted they will work from home post pandemic: I find the the 25% figure remarkably high especially because this is among all workers which includes jobs that cannot be done remotely (e.g. healthcare, services, retail, etc).
  2. A survey they conducted showed that 65% of respondents want to remain remote: this is similar to the trend shown by the YC data.
  3. In 2021 the remote job postings increased by 12% compared to 2020: this is lower than the increase YC saw in their job postings, but Flexjobs was already focused on remote work and flexible-hour positions before the pandemic, so this spike was more moderate.

NetBeez has also had to adjust to the new reality both from the company and product perspective. 

On the company side, almost overnight we transitioned to a remote environment without too many hiccups, and we are part of the majority of companies that will stay mostly remote post-pandemic. 

On the product side, we had to adjust to our customers’ needs that had transitioned to remote work and needed tools and support for the employees that were now working from home. By mid 2020 we released our Windows and Mac agents for remote workers, and since then, NetBeez has become the monitoring tool for remote-worker IT support.