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Work from home trend may have peaked, research from LinkedIn shows

The social network also found a growing gap between what employees want and what their employer demands.

Remote working may have peaked in the UK as a relaxed labor market returns power to employers, according to research from LinkedIn.

In September, 12% of UK jobs advertised on the site were remote, compared to 16% in January, as “paranoid” employers worry about working from home productivity, said Josh Graff, LinkedIn’s director for EMEA and Latin America.

The company also found that three out of four UK bosses are concerned that the current economic slowdown means they will have to return to flexible working, in a global survey of around 3,000 C-suite executives at large organisations.

Power “is shifting back to employers as hiring slows,” Graff told Bloomberg Radio. “It’s certainly a tight labor market, but it’s starting to loosen up and economic uncertainty is starting to threaten the pandemic progress we’ve seen in recent years.”

Despite the declining percentage of external and hybrid work being advertised, it is still popular with candidates, Graff said. He noted that while only 12% of the jobs advertised were remote, they got 20% of all applications. Graff described this as a “growing gap between what professionals want and what employers offer.”

Some companies are already restricting flexible work for existing employees, with Bank of America Corp. tells its employees in global markets that they can only work from home two days a month.

Graff added that staff and bosses also disagree about the effectiveness of working from home, with “paranoia” about the amount being done. Research by Microsoft Corp. found that 80% of managers felt their teams were less productive when they were out of the office. About 85% of managers worry they can’t see if employees are getting enough done, while 87% of employees say their productivity is fine, Microsoft found.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK job market is still hot with an unemployment rate of 3.5%, the lowest since 1974. However, Graff said the UK hiring rate on LinkedIn fell 10% in September over a year. rather, a sign of slowing down.

Graff warned that returning to “command and control” structures may not be good for companies, as they risk “losing motivated employees at a time when they need them most.”

“While there are undoubtedly tough decisions to make, it’s important to remember that your employees are your company’s most precious asset,” he said. “They have experience with your systems, your processes. They are aligned with your culture and values ​​and most importantly, they are the ones who also have deep customer relationships.”

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