The novelty of remote work wears off for job seekers as a new mentality takes over

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Over the past two-plus years, employees have been drawn to remote work like a moth to a flame. But as the dust settles, the novelty of wearing pajamas all day has worn off for some job seekers.

Fewer workers are looking for fully remote work jobs and not as many companies are offering them, according to job directory Flexa Career’s latest analysis of 43,000-plus job searches and over 1,200 job postings on the site.

It found that 60% of job candidates’ searches in August were for “fully remote” positions. In September, that dropped to 44%. In the same time frame, the percentage of fully remote jobs advertised fell from 9.27% to 4.88%.

Instead, more workers are seeking remote first positions—hybrid roles that give space for in-office work. The number of searches for remote first jobs rose from nearly 27% to 46% from August to September. 

“Remote-first is the working environment that offers both the freedom of working remotely, but also the choice of an office,” Molly-Johnson Jones, CEO and co-founder of Flexa Careers, said in the data’s release.

That means workers aren’t looking to give up remote work entirely; they’re just not going full hog on it. While flexibility remains imperative to keeping employees happy and preventing them from joining the Great Resignation, that doesn’t always mean remote work is the only thing that will keep them satisfied

While some studies show that fully remote workers are happiest, only 31% of employees want to be fully remote, according to WFH’s research. It found that younger employees are least likely to want to work fully remotely, due to their desire to connect in-person. Gen Z craves mentorship and career growth, two things they feel they can get by being in office, at least part of the time.

Research from Citrix found that hybrid workers were more likely to feel connected and be productive at work than their fully remote or in-person peers. Many big name companies like Apple and Google have taken to hybrid policies, albeit with a bumps along the way.

But the shift in searches for remote-first jobs may also signal that workers are begrudgingly accepting the return-to-office push, which finally made headway this Labor Day. There were more workers in the office in September since the pandemic began, according to data from data property management and security firm Kastle Systems, although office attendance losed a bit of that steam by the end of the month.

“This end of summer transition could be something we see becoming an annual trend, and reflects the ongoing need for employers to remain flexible, nimble and offer choice when it comes to talent attraction,” Johnson-Jones said.

It seems that hybrid work has become the dominant way of work. For now, at least.

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