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London-based Companies Increases Pace of WFH Recruitment

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By Brennan Forrest - - 5 Mins Read
Employee meeting on Zoom
Employee video-sharing meeting | Shutterstock

London companies are increasingly allowing more staff to work entirely from home, according to a recent survey conducted by prominent recruitment firm Hays Plc.

This comes as workers seek to capitalize on the premium paid by jobs in the capital without enduring its high living costs.

The survey conducted by Hays Plc shows a rise in the proportion of white-collar jobs in London companies that are entirely remote, increasing from 18% to 22%. This puts London on the same level as the East of England as the regions where fully remote working is most prevalent.


Also read: Employee Surveillance: How Bosses Spies on Staff via Remote Working Platforms


Hays reports that companies located in London are currently experiencing challenges in filling specialized roles, particularly in areas such as technology and compliance, due to a shortage of qualified candidates.

Furthermore, some job-seekers are reluctant to live in London, even though the population in the city's outer boroughs has increased in recent years.

"If employers can't fill a position with their usual hybrid framework - over time, they will consider remote contracts," said Lorraine Twist, a finance director at Hays. 

"This is obviously attractive for candidates as they can enjoy a London salary without the commute and high property prices."

The survey, done between Feb. 26 and March 18, with almost 12,000 workers and employers, shows how work setups are changing in London. 

Flexibility in Work Arrangements

With the effect of COVID-19, habits change, and companies and workers are figuring out how to balance in-person and work-from-home jobs.

The Labour Party, currently leading in polls and expected to win the upcoming general election later this year, has pledged to enshrine WFH policy in the UK to make flexible working a right for all employees from their first day on the job.


Photo of a deserted office space
Deserted office space | Raj Rana/Unsplash


Although, recent figures from Reed Recruitment suggest a decrease in job adverts offering part-time and remote work across England.

Nonetheless, Hays' findings show that some parts of the job market in Britain are really competitive, with companies competing for talent even though unemployment is going up.


Also read: Why Companies Are Monitoring Their Remote Workers, Without Minding the Costs


Based on the survey conducted by Hays, the percentage of London-based employees who work exclusively in the office has decreased from 28% to 25%.

Additionally, hybrid jobs have decreased by one point to 53%. These changes are already impacting the city's office space landlords, who are struggling to deal with flexible working arrangements, economic challenges, and outdated infrastructure.

Furthermore, a report published by Bloomberg reveals that the Bank of England is paying close attention to hiring trends and pay growth in order to identify any signs of lingering inflation.

Remote Work Trends

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data last year that revealed a significant change in work patterns that was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data showed that prior to the pandemic, only about 12% of adults in the UK reported working from home. However, since the outbreak, approximately 1 in 5 Londoners are now working remotely, and 4 out of 10 individuals are balancing remote work with office attendance.

Thus, this change shows that traditional work setups are getting a big shake-up, with remote work becoming more normal across industries and places.

As companies in London and elsewhere get used to these changes, the need for jobs that can be done remotely and flexible work setups is expected to keep growing.