We’ve all been curious to find out what working life after covid will look like. Now, here in Manchester, we think we’re getting our first glimpse of the future. Several London employers have recently approached us, wanting us to advertise for entire remote teams up North. Which begs the question; why are they not advertising to fill these jobs locally? We explore why London employers are looking to the north to fill their skills gaps and what this might mean for the future of work.
Problems Faced by the Tech Sector in London
Despite the headlines being full of doom and gloom about redundancies, we’re not feeling this within the technology recruitment sector. There is still a severe tech skills drought which makes finding skilled workers in the capital a challenge. It seems the only way employers can compete for talent is to advertise higher salaries with every job vacancy.
As if tech professionals weren’t hard enough to find before 2020, the situation has been further exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. While working from home, many individuals have moved away from big cities, looking for a cleaner, more affordable life. So now, there are even fewer skilled professionals available to fill the open positions in the capital.
The impact of social distancing measures on work spaces has been considerable. To comply with covid-19 safety measures, employers must ensure that their staff can maintain a two-metre distance at all times.
The cost of office space in London is already at a premium. The demand for extra space means that few businesses can afford to have 100% of their workers in the office full time.
We Don’t Want to Return to Work
At the beginning of the pandemic, 80% of British employees felt that working from home had impacted their mental health. Now, it would seem that the prospect of returning to the world of work might be just as damaging.
A recent PWC survey reveals that over 50% of us would be happier working remotely at least three days per week. The results also show that almost a third of us would be more satisfied working from home all the time.
The above might suggest that we just don’t adapt well to change. On the other hand, now that we’ve embraced remote working and realised we work more productively, doesn’t returning to the office full time seem like a backwards step?
The Nightmare London Commute
The thought of returning to work is not the only thing impacting our mental health. Possibly more so is the idea of spending 74 minutes per day squeezed into a tube. In fact, for some of us, maybe it’s not the thought of returning to the office that depresses us but having to endure the journey there and back.
The Proposed Solution for Working Life After Covid
Our London clients believe that having northern-based employees working for them remotely will solve these problems. Not only that, but northern people working from home will likely gain a few added benefits to boot.
Our southern clients expect that advertising salaries slightly higher than the northern average will be enough to attract the skills they need. However, this will still result in substantial cost savings for their business.
Better Work-Life Balance
Working from home provides people with the flexibility of working when it suits them. As productivity in tech jobs is measured on getting the job done, how it gets done is rarely in question.
Also, not having to negotiate the daily commute leaves remote workers with over six extra hours per week free. That’s almost a working day that they will have to themselves instead of commuting.
Once a business decides to employ 100% remote teams, surely it hardly matters where in the UK they work from?
Better Quality of Life
These UK based remote workers will earn higher salaries than the northern average while remaining up north. They will have no commute and, therefore, extra time on their hands. The theory is that they will undoubtedly enjoy a better quality of life than being office based in London.
Could This be the Future of Work?
There is an age-old business theory that a happy workforce is a more productive one. Whether or not this is achievable through employing 100% remote teams remains to be seen. However, we are thrilled to be part of the experiment and excited to see how the results pan out over time. We can’t wait to see what working life after covid looks like and if it will make for a happier UK workforce.
If you’re interested in working remotely up north for a London employer, please check out our latest jobs.