Flexible Working Index January 2023

10th Feb 2023

The Flexible Working Index, which tracks where, when and how people prefer to work, and the kinds of roles companies are offering, we analyse data from our platform, the global directory for verified flexible companies. January’s Index analysed a sample of over 1,200 job posts and the working preferences of over 110,000 job hunters between December 2022 and January 2023.

More workers want flexible roles than ever before

Between December 2022 and January 2023, the number of workers searching for flexible jobs almost tripled (up by 199%), rising from 29,796 in December 2022 to 88,968 in January 2023 - marking a new record for the Index. 

The number of flexible jobs advertised also increased by 37% last month - up from 527 in December 2022, to 722 in January 2023.

‘January blues’ see ‘fully remote’ roles spike in popularity 

In particular, flexible job hunters wanted ‘fully remote’ roles (where there is no obligation to come into an office). The number of workers searching for fully remote jobs increased by a huge 85% last month - up from 26% in December, to 48% in January.

‘Remote-first’ roles (where staff spend most but not all of their time working remotely) also accounted for 48% of searches in January, but were slightly less popular compared to the previous month. The number of workers searching for remote-first roles fell by 6% overall, down from 51% in December. 

This shift is significant, as remote-first roles were more popular than fully remote roles overall last year. The number of job seekers expressing a preference for remote first roles when signing up to the platform rose by 244% between January 2022 and December 2022, whereas preferences for fully-remote jobs increased by 33% during the same time period. 

Employers are twice as likely to offer remote-first roles instead

In line with increased demand amongst job seekers, employers advertised slightly more fully remote roles last month. Between December 2022 and January 2023, the number of fully-remote roles on offer increased by 17% (up from 6% to 7%). 

But overall there were twice as many remote-first roles being advertised in January, compared to fully-remote roles. This is despite the number of remote-first roles on offer falling by 26% last month (from 19% in December to 14%). This suggests that employers are aware of job seekers' desire for greater flexibility, but still value opportunities to gather teams in-person. 

Over half of jobs offered dog-friendly offices

Overall, more jobs came with dog-friendly offices than not. The number of roles advertising dog-friendly offices increased by 16% in January - up from 49% in December to 57%

This follows the spike in demand for dog-friendly offices since the Christmas puppy boom. Between the 25th and 31st December, the number of job seekers expressing a preference for roles which come with a dog-friendly workplace increased by 58% compared to the week prior.

Molly Johnson-Jones, CEO and co-founder of Flexa Careers, comments:

“January is known to be a busy month for job hunting. And, looking at the latest numbers, we know that job hunters are looking for flexible work in particular. The number of people looking for flexible jobs on Flexa in January alone neared one hundred thousand - a new record for us. 

“On the surface it might appear that employers aren’t willing to accommodate the level of flexibility that job seekers would like - in this case, ‘fully flexible’ roles - particularly as job market power is swinging back to employers. In reality, companies are offering staff more choices than ever. ‘Remote-first’ roles were twice as common as ‘fully remote’ roles in January, and could be argued to offer twice the choice. Not only do remote-first workers have the option of working from home, or elsewhere; they also have office space available to them. Plus, chances are that workers will have the option of bringing their dogs into said offices, too. 

“It remains to be seen whether the trend for fully-remote roles amongst job seekers is seasonal - perhaps a sign that workers are looking to escape ‘January blues’ - or whether it will grow further in 2023. But either way workers won’t be short of options.”