Last week, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweeted that “Airbnb employees can live and work anywhere.” The same week, London law firm Stephenson Harwood offered its staff the option to work from home - if they take a 20% pay cut. The company’s remote working policy says employees must be in the office at least three days a week, unless they are willing to see their salaries cut by a fifth – in which case they will be able to work from home permanently.
The new policy, which is set to come into force next month, will require homeworkers to go into the office for just one day each month. Stephenson Harwood says it does not expect many people to take up the offer to work remotely full-time.
MEANWHILE there are suggestions that there may not be enough remote-work jobs for everyone who wants one. Data from job sites Indeed and LinkedIn show worker interest in jobs with a remote component is outpacing the number of such available roles in many instances. Even as remote job opportunities have surged during the pandemic, “the share of job searches that contain keywords related to remote work has risen even more in most large economies,” observes Pawel Adrjan, head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) research at Indeed. While Mary Kate Fields, data communications manager at LinkedIn, says:
“If we look at the US overall, searches for remote work have gone up four-and-a half times as a share of all searches since 2019, and the share of remote job postings has gone up by only 3.2 times… The key takeaway here is that the supply of, and employees’ demand for, remote jobs have both grown rapidly over the past two years, but demand has grown faster.”
Lisbon has come out top in a remote work ranking for executives, according to research by real estate broker Savills, which rated 15 prime residential markets by their appeal to long-term remote workers. “The pandemic has been a catalyst for executives to make the jump from office life,” observed Paul Tostevin, director of world research at Savills. “Lisbon offers the advantages of city living, and the benefits of being in the European Union.”
Ricardo Garcia, director of residential at Savills in Lisbon, added: “The area is becoming more and more international and I don’t see Lisbon or Portugal slowing down anytime soon.” Miami is placed second in Savills’ index: the Florida city is a popular destination for buyers relocating from north-eastern U.S. states. Dubai also scored highly alongside Barbados, Barcelona, and Dubrovnik. No Asian cities appeared in the ranking.
In a post on Social Europe, Antonio Alosi and Luisa Corazza argue that “many workers have chosen to move from cities to low-density areas in their home regions or to migrate to sunnier climes, thereby benefiting from the availability of ample space, improved working conditions and a better quality of life. Over the last few years, the authors say, “such ‘south working’—remote working from rural and inland areas—has become widely practised.”