Two years ago, the pandemic thrust us into remote work out of necessity – but now that many of the safety measures have lifted, large swaths of employees are still working from home. And many are doing so permanently. In several countries, companies have transitioned once in-office roles to become either entirely or partially remote. Plus, job listings with a remote component have soared.
A recent study from employment site Indeed shows the number of global job listings that mention remote work has nearly tripled since the onset of the pandemic, up from an average of just 2.5% in January 2020 to almost 7.5% in September 2021, with countries like Ireland, Spain and the UK seeing the greatest increases. Meanwhile, careers site Ladders predicts that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. This doesn’t even account for the number of jobs that are not technically classified as remote or hybrid yet, but where workers are still at home while bosses toy with formal return-to-office arrangements.
Meanwhile, many employees who have been called back are returning to a partially remote workplace; globally, some 38% of employees now work in a hybrid office, according to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index. Much of the world is rapidly embracing a more progressive model for the future of the workplace, with employers going either remote and hybrid on a large scale.
Yet, this isn’t necessarily the case with every nation.
In some places, remote work just isn’t as culturally sanctioned, hasn’t been embraced by society or never caught on due to technological or logistical barriers. So, while many countries march head-first into a work-from-anywhere future, workers in locations including France or Japan are often returning to the office full-time, rejecting the notion that a five-day in-person work week is a relic of the past.
‘French people are, most of the time, reluctant to change’
Working from home has become so commonplace for many workers during the past two years that it can be hard to remember that, outside of Scandinavia and a few pockets in Western Europe, the practice was still quite rare in the 2010s. Now, most European nations – particularly those with higher GDPs – have embraced the concept whole-heartedly.
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