COVID-19 saw our lives change nearly overnight. As Asia-Pacific responded to the crisis, organisations quickly adapted to support a remote workforce. Digital transformations that would normally take months, if not years, were managed in days and weeks.
Now as we start to adjust to our new normal, a big question lingers - is remote work here to stay?
While remote work isn’t new, COVID-19 made it a sudden priority. Across the region, many organisations are still navigating the new demands and constraints on their work.
However, there are early signs in the region that working from home could become a permanent trend. Australian tech giant Atlassian has announced a permanent shift away from the office and has plans to recruit talent regardless of where they are. India’s leading IT players Tech Mahindra and Tata Consultancy have both revealed long term remote working plans.
Looking at job postings on LinkedIn across key APAC markets, we can see an uptick in remote job postings and applications.
More job seekers are interested in remote work
Globally, the volume of job searches using the “remote” filter on LinkedIn has increased ~60% since the start of March. In Asia-Pacific, applications for remote jobs are growing too, showing an increasing demand for remote work among job seekers.
Strong growth can be observed in remote job applications across key markets, such as China, India, New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore.
India leads the pack in terms of remote job application growth, as it grew by a multiple of 4.65 between March and May. Malaysia recorded the slowest growth, with an increase of just 1.5 times.
The difference in uptake of remote work between countries can be attributed to a wide range of factors, from infrastructure capabilities and sector compositions - to cultural factors like presenteeism.
Companies are hiring more remote roles
While demand for remote roles from talent outstrips the growth in remote jobs on offer it is clear organisations are adapting to a more dispersed workforce.
While COVID-19 forced many people away from their offices, it also brought about a shift in workplace mindset. Organisations uncovered productivity gains, whether it was from shorter commutes, and or improve workflow as talent realised the full potential of tech solutions and collaboration tools.
Early trends suggest organisations are recognising these benefits, and embracing the change, although there are different rates of uptake across the regions.
Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines are leading the region for growth in remote job postings, while Singapore and Malaysia are nearly half the global trend.
Working from home and other flexible or remote work arrangements may not suit all roles, however, what 2020 has shown is that all workplaces can adapt and innovate new solutions quickly when called upon. Looking across the talent market it’s clear some roles are more suited to remote work than others.
We pulled together the remote jobs that saw the most applications across key talent markets in the region. Frequent entries across the region include Technical Support Engineer, Customer Support Representative, and Solutions Architect - suggesting organisations are incorporating new technology into their operations, or perhaps helping customers adapt to new workflows too.
Here are the biggest gainers in key markets across APAC:
What does this mean for recruiters and talent leaders?
The shift towards remote work presents new opportunities for talent professionals as they help their organisations navigate the new world of work.
For roles that are well-suited for remote work, recruiters can consider expanding their search, using the “remote” filter on LinkedIn or including it in the job description, to tap in to a wider talent pool.
Remote work can also be an enabling factor for culture and people are seeing opportunities for flexible work to be created in different ways. The geographical freedom that comes with remote work allows for organisations to rethink hiring and provide new opportunities for quality candidates who previously might not have been eligible for a role due to geographical constraints.
It’s also a great opportunity to promote internal mobility opportunities by encouraging employees to pick up new skills and move into these roles. These LinkedIn Learning paths are free for learning, and teach skills for popular remote roles like IT administration and digital marketing.
It’s important to remember it won’t just be employers driving long term shifts away from the office. A report by Glint found that four out of five surveyed are interested in some flexible and remote work arrangements that are not exclusively office-based (* based on aggregated data from employee surveys by their customers).
It’s still unclear just what the future of work will look like, whether it will be a fully remote future or a hybrid of physical and virtual offices. Here at LinkedIn we will continue to monitor this trend and keep delivering our readers and customers unique insights to help them navigate the changing way we work.
● LinkedIn analyzed data from March 1st 2020 to May 31st 2020 to understand how remote job postings and job seeker
behaviour has changed due to Covid-19. To improve the precision of analysis, only full-time jobs that are premium listings
● To identify Remote Job Postings and Remote Job Searches, LinkedIn used the built-in Remote filters and a number of
keywords (i.e. ‘remote work’, ‘work from home’, home-office’) in 10 different languages
● Uplifts in remote job posts, views and applications are calculated using changes in % shares of Total to normalize for
platform growth. Then 7-day smoothed proportions were indexed to March 1st, 2020
● For most applied for remote jobs, LinkedIn examined all remote jobs that received applications and ranked them by the
growth in the share of all job applications submitted in 2020, from before and after March 1, 2020
● Growth in the share of applications to these Remote Jobs can be attributed both to increased Job Seeker interest in these
Remote Jobs as well as the increase in Remote Job Postings leading to more applications.