Employers Drive Return to Office as Remote Jobs Decline, Here’s Why

Remote and hybrid jobs are becoming increasingly rare as employers push for their staff to return to the office, recent data indicates.

Research conducted by CMD Recruitment shows that the percentage of employees working remotely has decreased to 14% in June 2024, compared to 38% in June 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It was also found that 90% of employers plan to enforce return-to-office mandates in 2024, with 51% having already implemented such measures.

Dan Barfoot, Operations Manager at CMD Recruitment, attributes this shift to employers’ efforts to create a work environment that addresses inefficiencies and enhances cognitive working and employee engagement within the brand and team environment.

He stated: “There’s a definite change in the landscape regarding remote work. Companies are pushing for a return to the office, reducing previously available remote or hybrid options. I think this is a shock to many who have worked remotely for the past few years.”

Dan believes this trend is driven by the difficulties companies face in fostering collaborative teamwork remotely.

Dan added: “It appears that some companies have over-recruited and are discovering that the easiest way to accurately monitor staff performance is if they are on-site in a work environment.

“With so many people turning to remote working during the Coronavirus pandemic, it also seems that employees have changed their lifestyles to suit working from home. With this in mind, employers offering remote working are often having to adapt the available role to the new candidate’s demands and routines.”

As of January 2024, LinkedIn reported twice the number of applications for remote roles compared to the available remote positions. The platform also revealed that only 9% of job postings last month were fully remote, with remote postings down 23% from this time last year.

CMD Recruitment, a leading recruitment agency specialising in the South West, offers a wide range of services to help businesses find the right talent.

As the company approaches the end of Q2 for 2024, experts at CMD Recruitment have concluded that the upcoming election has also had a considerable impact on recruitment.

Dan added: “The upcoming election is creating uncertainty, which has led businesses to take a more cautious approach.”

The team also noted an increase in candidates who have been put at risk of redundancy or are currently undergoing the process. “This is a little later in the year than we anticipated,” Dan commented, indicating a shift in the usual employment patterns.

The manufacturing sector, a significant part of the South West’s economy, presents a mixed picture. While some companies continue to enjoy strong order books, others are facing a slowdown, leading to potential restructuring and redundancies.

Current trends in recruitment reveal a rise in HR, marketing, and internal talent candidates facing redundancies, as businesses strive to balance accounts and manage costs. On the other hand, demand remains high in tech, sales, and engineering sectors, leading to a significant increase in salaries.

“These in-demand fields are experiencing a significant rise in salaries, exceeding 20% in some cases, due to a talent shortage. Unfortunately, when companies tighten their belts, HR, marketing, and internal talent roles are often the first to be cut,” Dan highlights.

“Recruitment is tough at the moment, and there is no magic solution,” Dan acknowledges. “It’s about using a strategic partner like us and leveraging all the data and experience we have to help you fill your roles.”

With this in mind, Dan is encouraging businesses to engage in no-obligation discussions with CMD Recruitment to explore potential solutions. Dan added: “While hiring comes with a cost, the consequences of not filling crucial roles with the right candidates can be even more significant to the business.”

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