Americans love flexible working: a 2021 survey from Workable found that at that time 81.8% of business and organizations said that remote work and flexibility/work-life balance will be more important for candidates going forward, with 71.1% saying remote work and distributed teams will be a major paradigm shift moving forward.
Now, in 2023, while we are seeing some contraction on remote working, 35% of U.S. workers with jobs that can be done remotely are working from home all of the time, according to new data from Pew Research Center.
However, when you drill into the figures, it turns out that this is just 7% higher than it was pre-pandemic. As tech leaders such as Twitter’s Elon Musk and Amazon’s Andy Jassy issue return to the office edicts, workers’ flexibility diminishes further.
At Meta, reports indicate that hiring managers are no longer allowed to label jobs as “remote.” Additionally, internal applications for remote work or office relocations have also been put on hold.
While workers valued the new-found workplace flexibility that the pandemic enabled, where commutes no longer took hours out of each day, giving employees space for leisure they never had before, there are downsides to this too.
Boundaries are broken
One negative result of a fluid workday, where some workers may parcel out their tasks in order to fit in family commitments for example, is that the traditional 9-5 workday boundary is broken. Employees may send emails, edit requests and meeting requests at times that suit them, but which may be completely out of hours for other colleagues.
The result is many workers are “always on”; doing more than ever before as they try to keep up with other colleagues, and not look like they are slacking. Weekends, in particular, which have always provided a firewall of downtime for office workers, are now being encroached upon.
The workforce-analytics software firm ActivTrak found that people now work an average of 6.6 hours on the weekend, up 5% from 2021. That figure is even worse for computer hardware industry workers, who work 31% more at 11.5 hours, on weekends.
And Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index also found that weekend work was 14% higher than it was in 2020.
If this is an issue you are facing, it can be a difficult issue to resolve if it has become embedded in company culture. One solution is to seek out a new job where there are clear boundaries in place regarding out of hours work.
The VentureBeat Job Board is a great place to start, featuring thousands of roles in progressive tech companies, like the three below.
Chief Scientist, Afiniti, Washington
A leading provider of artificial intelligence that improves customer experience, Afiniti is looking for a Chief Scientist to lead and inspire a team of expert scientists while building the next generation of contact center technology. You’ll own the development of new and innovative solutions in customer engagement, and inspire, create, and refine viable business ideas that seek to address future business needs. To apply, you will need 10 or more years’ of experience leading teams or large projects with research experience in AI, machine learning, deep learning, analytics, optimization, IoT, and automation as well as demonstrated deep domain knowledge in research and development of advanced AI/ML applications, within customer engagement areas. Get all the requirements for this role here.
Senior Software Engineer – Tax Cloud Platform, Cash App, Seattle
As a Senior Software Engineer on Cash App’s Tax Cloud Platform engineering team, you’ll collaborate with stakeholders, including product engineers, to design, build, and own infrastructure projects that provide critical support for operating services at scale. You’ll dig into the many parts of a large platform using a wide variety of analytical tooling; use a data-driven approach to make the call on any new infrastructure that might need to be added, and work with bleeding edge cloud technology. To apply, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree or Diploma in computer science, or equivalent experience as well as experience in Java, Kotlin, Go, Groovy, GCP, AWS, Docker, Kubernetes, Helm, and Terraform. View more details here.
Software Development Manager, Wallet Engineering, Autodesk, San Francisco
Are you excited by leading a team to solve technical challenges that come with building a scalable, highly available, performant platform? Autodesk is seeking a Software Development Manager to lead, manage, and mentor a large team of software engineers, identify efficiency opportunities through automation and engineering, build strong platform capabilities with APIs and responsive UI and work closely with architects, product owners and experienced teams to drive toward a common vision. See the full job description here.
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