Remote Work Still Popular? Well, Duh.

Remote Work Still Popular? Well, Duh.

Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

It surprises me that it still surprises Corporate America that remote work remains popular.

How could it not!?!

Yesterday, I read an article on LinkedIn, “Remote job postings gain popularity,” which you can find here:

In the blurb, editor Taylor Borden writes:

“A third of U.S. companies had open roles for remote workers in January — and those job postings were more popular than ones for on-site roles, according to a recent analysis from LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team. Remote job postings attracted 2.5x the views and 2.7x the applications that on-site jobs did, based on paid LinkedIn job listings. The industries with the highest shares of remote opportunities included software and IT, corporate services like accounting and management consulting and media and communications.”
-emphasis mine


As I’ve said before: a vast majority of the time, when I encounter companies having hiring difficulties, those difficulties are of their own making. This can include:

  • Refusing to offer remote work
  • Setting impossible expectations
  • Keeping toxic managers on staff that every employee loathes
  • Using a long, protracted hiring cycle
  • Asking third-parties to reach out to prospective candidates to “sell” the opportunity or “sell” the company itself
  • Having an open office / hot-desking / zero privacy environment


What do these look like in practice?

Refusing to offer remote work.

Proclaiming that Covid-19 is over and everyone needs to “come on back to the office.”
Requiring a hybrid schedule even though a majority of your workforce does not want that.
Willfully ignoring the fact that most office workers have been fully remote for 2 years and most were more productive at home than they had been in an office!

Setting impossible expectations.

“We want Tony Stark for $50k/year and within a 10 mile radius of Nowheresville.”
“We know that the going-rate for this work is $80K, but we can only pay $65K. So go find someone for us. And if you can’t, we’ll use you as a scapegoat.”
“We want 20 years of experience with a technology that’s only 10 years old.”

Keeping toxic managers on staff that every employee loathes.

“Bob’s department has an 80% turnover rate. Everyone leaves within 6 months of hire, but we think it must be all the employees and not Bob. He can’t be the problem; it must be everyone else who started and then left.”

Using a long, protracted hiring cycle.

“If someone is serious about working here, they need to submit to five different interviews and the whole process will take about two months. We also want them to go through a background check and drug test, give us a DNA swab, and allow us to take their first born child.”

Asking third-parties to reach out to prospective candidates to “sell” the opportunity or “sell” the company itself.

Without exception, any time a company has approached me and asked me to “sell” a particular job they cannot fill or to “sell” their company itself, it’s been bad news. You may not like this, but candidates do not like to feel that they are auditioning in front of a third-party recruiter or talent sourcer to see if they make the cut to talk to another recruiter or talent sourcer within your actual company. This whole process creates a huge bottleneck and time drain. It’s also degrading. And candidates have figured that out! You are communicating to them: “You are not important enough to us to have a real conversation with someone on our team. Therefore, we will hire an outside person to weed out the ‘riff-raff’ and then we’ll deign to call you on the phone if we see fit.” It’s that same workplace feudalism attitude – we are the feudal lords and you are the peons! Yuck.

Having an open office / hot-desking / zero privacy environment.

These types of environments are often developed by people who do not have to live with them. CEOs who have a private office with plenty of amenities but who expect you as a worker bee to sit in a loud, noisy space with no walls. And perhaps not even a desk of your own that you can set a few photos on. Then they wonder why no one wants to “come on back to the office.” Really?


In a recent tweet, Dan Price summed it up well:

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