Are Employers Pulling Back on Remote Tech Jobs?

Are employers pulling back on remote work?

The latest job report from CompTIA, based off data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), suggests that employers tapped the brakes on open remote tech jobs in August, especially for popular positions such as software developer/engineer, IT support specialist, and IT project manager:

Ever since the pandemic began, a sizable percentage of technologists have either worked from home full-time or only gone into the office a few days per week (i.e., hybrid work). The latest edition of Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Salary, in asking the work habits of 58,958 respondents worldwide, found that around 42 percent were fully remote; another 42 percent were hybrid; and 14 percent were fully in-office. “Smaller organizations are most likely to be in-person, with 20 percent of 2-19 employee organizations in-person,” that report added. “The largest organizations, with 10k employees, are most likely to be hybrid.”

If employers are curtailing remote positions, as the CompTIA data seems to suggest, it could have a significant impact on how technologists work—and the companies they choose to work for. Earlier this 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.”

But 50 percent of respondents said they’d need a pay bump of 20 percent or more to come into the office: “As salary expectations increase, people need more compensation to work on-site. This may also indicate that as people advance in their education and/or career, their life stage can create a desire for more flexibility—including where they do their work.”

There are also indications that remote work has shrunk the traditional “geography gap” in technologist salaries. For years, technologists in dense tech hubs such as Silicon Valley pulled down more in compensation than their professional colleagues in smaller cities. The prevalence of remote work may have leveled that playing field—and given all technologists more leverage to negotiate not only salary, but also perks and benefits they want. If employers are less interested in offering all-remote work, it could potentially limit that leverage in certain circumstances.

Whether CompTIA’s data is indicative of a longer-term trend, though, the current demand for technology expertise ensures that technologists with the right mix of skills and experience will have their pick of potential positions—whether in-office, hybrid, or remote.

One Response to “Are Employers Pulling Back on Remote Tech Jobs?”

  1. Jake_Leone

    Why does management want workers to come in? Because “management” is the only product of management. With no workers in the office, you can’t produce management’s only product, “management”.
    If there is no one to manage, management can be cut. And that is a meme that management cannot dare to let get out. The BOD can never be allowed to have such a horrid concept be in their cognitive space. So instead, management tries to put pressure on employees, to come in. And it is all a huge smoke-screen for managements inability to add anything to the product development capability of a software company.
    If you notice, there is no “Reason” for this change from remote work to in-person work. No reason can be provided, because most software groups don’t need to come in for work. They can work, more productively, remotely.
    I have seen this at my own company. In every phase of development we are hitting the mark, we were always late pre-pandemic. Further, we have a special 3-day event, devoted to employees developing their own projects. Pre-pandemic, we had typically less than 80 projects submitted. BUT, During the pandemic, we had 250+ project submissions. That proves, that in-person serendipity is a complete myth (and a lie). In-person serendipity is not only a myth (and a lie), it actually damages innovation by 60% (at my company). Why have it? Now that we know we don’t need (in person serendipity), and we know it kills innovation, why do we need it? Because management needs in-person workers, management needs to manage someone, in person, or there is not product for management to base its value on, that’s why, that’s the only reason. Hence, no reason is given for the pressure to return to in-person work.
    And here are reasons why in-person work, kills productivity, and kills innovation (Notice, I have provable reasons):
    The reason for this is that the huge commute times in the Bay Area cancel, nullify completely, any mythical “serendipity” (which is an unproven myth).
    Serendipity, for software engineers, doesn’t come from other workers. It comes from doing research, reading a great book (I am reading a great book on Deep Learning). But the time for that goes out the window if you have to spend 3 hours commuting to work, and 3 hours coming back.
    Further, the smog that you ingest, driving around, or hanging around commute hubs with big deisel buses or along side the freeway (Bart). Actually damanges your intelligence, via damage to your pulmonary efficiency.
    Demanding that software workers get back to work, is nothing but an insane meme, wrought by a management that is scared of losing its job. A job that added little or nothing to actual software productivity.
    Further, it is an environmental crime. The same CEO’s who claim to care about the environment, and say they are “carbon-neutral” are liars. Because they know that people commuting to work, is a huge (if not the hugest) source of Green House gas. Literally, Biden is missing the opportunity to get industry to ask itself, can we implement a permanent work from home capability for certain jobs? If Biden would offer a Green Tax incentive on this we could simultaneously bring down inflation caused by high fuel prices and cut Green House gas production. But Biden never thinks about this, the Biden administration thinks high fuel prices are a good thing, and it is the wishes of the donor class management at Big Tech that Biden listens to. And they are all saying work from home is not working, but never give any reasons, save campaign donations.
    Some jobs, can’t be done from home, warehouse work, manufacturing, hardware development. But software development can be done 100% from home, with greater productivity, than working onsite.
    And management knows this, but will never admit it, lest they be seen putting grease on the guillotine after sticking their head in it.