Remote workforce to grow at a quarter of US firms, fed survey shows

Firms are increasingly promoting remote and hybrid work arrangements to lure employees as these companies struggle to hire while setting a new normal. — Dreamstime/TNS

US firms, struggling to fill job vacancies near record levels, are increasingly promoting remote and hybrid working arrangements to recruit employees.

A Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond survey found that a quarter of employers expect to have more remote workers next year. The bigger the company, the more likely it is to anticipate an increase in the number employees who will be working away from the office.

These firms are also recruiting farther geographically than they used to.

The findings back up recent research showing that remote and hybrid work is on the rise – even as the Covid-19 virus recedes in the US and many big banks are bringing workers back to the office in large cities.

An increasing number of companies are concerned about an exodus of talent, according to a survey from outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. As a result, almost three-quarters said they are offering hybrid and remote work options to retain workers.

Among firms with more than 500 employees, the Richmond Fed’s survey found that almost 60% now use work-from-home options to recruit full-time employees. And more than three-quarters offer that flexibility to retain existing ones.

These efforts may boost employment and earnings opportunities for people who live "in out-of-the-way and left-behind places,” according to the regional Fed’s blog post. – Bloomberg

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