Remote workers very likely to be laid off first amidst recession: study

Oct 7 2022, 6:53 pm

Remote workers will most likely be the first to go amidst a looming recession, according to a new report.

Beautiful.ai, a presentation software company, surveyed 3,000 managers in the US about the future of the digital workplace, and what the future holds for remote workers.

The survey found that 60% of managers said it’s very likely that remote employees would be laid off first if downsizing became necessary.

“Even with the change to a digital workplace and eliminating overhead costs like large office spaces and catered lunches, many companies have issued hiring freezes or been forced to lay off their employees as a result of the recession,” reads the report.

It adds that employees working in a hybrid-remote situation might be more at risk than those working on a fully remote team, due to overhead costs like a physical office space.

“Seventy per cent of managers agree that a successful digital workplace that limits the need for physical office space is more recession-proof than a business with all of its employees in the office,” states the report.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw companies adapt to a new normal as employees went from working in the office to working from home.

According to the latest stats from March 2021, around five million Canadians were working remotely, which accounts for over 30% of the workforce in Canada. This is a huge jump from the 4% of remote employees in 2016, according to Statista.

While this study covers the US, Beautiful.ai CEO Jason Lapp says remote workers in Canada will also be affected with a recession on the horizon.

“We know that management decision-makers need to understand the pulse of budgeting, managing hybrid teams, and employee resources in the face of economic uncertainty,” he said in a statement to Daily Hive.

This can be seen in managers’ attitudes toward a remote work environment. According to the survey, 62% say managing is more difficult in a remote workplace.

Just 38% believe that managing is easier with more employees working remotely.

“Managers in both Canada and the US need to understand that the future of¬†remote¬†work¬†is allowing¬†employees¬†the freedom to¬†work¬†where they want to live and to provide them with¬†work-life balance that makes them happy, engaged and more productive¬†employees.”

This report comes as countries around the world are taking advantage of the rise in remote workers.

Digital nomad visas are now being offered by vacation destinations like Indonesia and Portugal.

All data found within this report is derived from a survey by Beautiful.ai conducted online via survey platform Pollfish. In total, 3,000 adult Americans in management positions were surveyed.

This survey was conducted over a five-day span, and all respondents were asked to answer all questions as truthfully as possible and to the best of their knowledge and abilities.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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