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Why Post pandemic remote work is increasing? – and how Engineering clients are reacting to it.

30th November - Valencia.

For many Electronics Engineering or Consumer Electronics companies, the idea of remote working has been a normal way of life for years, enabling the best quality talent from around the world to work with success on many advanced engineering projects. These specialists are generally used on short term contracts utilising their top level expertise in high productivity and quick turnaround situations. Engineers often deliberately choose this path as a flexible, profitable enterprise to achieve work-life balance in a stress free, productive, work environment.

But this path is not as easy as you might think and as post pandemic work has increased, it has pushed remote working, particularly for Embedded engineering, under the spotlight.

The Employer trust issue

For those who have not chosen this path, Covid 19 has thrust many companies into the middle of major workplace experiment. As a result, many employees have been forced to work from home or remote places to maintain their job operations.

 ‘Working from home’ has not always been viewed positively. Many leaders don’t like the concept as they do not have an eye on their workers and there is a belief that remote workers are neither as productive as their in-office counterparts.

Remote working has been an overwhelming success for both employees and employers

However Post pandemic studies (PwC) report that instead of recording remote working as a catastrophic failure, remote work has been an overwhelming success for both employees and employers. The shift in positive attitudes toward remote work is significant: over 80% of employers now say the shift to remote work has been successful for their company. The majority of employees surveyed said their companies have been successful in finding ways to make ‘Working from Home’ more productive. Allowing the flexibility needed to manage family matters was rated highest factor for respondents.

Companies that have been slow to adopt technologies that support remote work — or to create clear rules and a secure structure around WFH — are playing catch-up. Those unable to provide run the risk of losing to talent.

It seems few executives think company culture will survive a purely remote working set up and to keep a strong culture, employees should be in the office, at least part-time. As a result, many organisations in a post pandemic future are planning a hybrid virtual model that combines remote work with time in the office.

Just how feasible is it for engineers to work from home completely?

For many Firmware/Embedded Engineers the option to ‘work from home’ is dependent on a few factors. It depends on what you do exactly. Certainly three things will influence the home office capability:

  1. How big are your systems? If the devices fit on your desk you can do a lot from home.
  2. How close do you work with the hardware? If you are just creating embedded software, you can do that from home. But if you are doing initial testing and start-up, you might need a lab and/or expensive equipment. Indeed whilst most of the development could be made from home there is a need to pop in to the office to make hardware changes or run some lab based tests.
  3. It also assumes that the office lab is well managed and maintained. All devices are remotely accessible, configurable and most importantly their current state is clearly verifiable.

For example, Firmware engineers working at a high-level don't really need physical access to the hardware as it may all happen through VS Code's SSH extension and a VNC connection for GUI tools.

Pros and cons of Remote working in the Engineering sector.

Engineering consultants Terminal, in a recent survey, reported that nearly three out of four (74%) engineers said their company adapted well to remote work during the pandemic, and collaboration and productivity have remained high. As companies adapt to working remotely, companies shifted their benefits to address the new needs of engineers working remotely to include:

  • Flexible work hours (55%), remote learning and development (32%), technology and productivity tools (36%), mental health services and subscriptions (31%), and utilities, internet or other home office loans (26%).
  • When asked which remote-specific benefits would be most helpful to them, engineers were most likely to pick utilities, internet or other home office features as their top choice, showing an opportunity for employers to better tailor their benefits to engineers' needs.

The growth of the Global Approach to remote working

 As the pandemic has evolved, so companies have found that their employees have embraced remote work. In addition, employers have also began to recognize benefits from remote work, including:

  • Faster time-to-hire
  • Regional market expertise
  • More high-quality talent to choose from 
  • Diverse perspectives
  • Higher value for the cost

The pandemic also had an effect on personal economics. It has a bearing on where people lived and how expensive it was to be in commuting distance from the office. During the pandemic, as remote working became established, more and more people migrated to less expensive ways of life or moving to outer suburbs or smaller cities.

There is also an opportunity to hire top quality engineers on a global base to help where there is a skills shortage, as this gap is holding back technical development.

In 2019, the Manpower Group found that 54 per cent of global employers struggled to fill job openings. Filling these roles from abroad seems a viable alternative as a global market for talent.

Setting the standard and Exploiting Opportunities

Employers are beginning to realize there are considerable benefits when you employ remote engineers which include potentially lower costs, higher employee engagement and retention, higher productivity, and greater access to talent. Engineers can take the advantage of having a more flexible schedule and can spend more time with family, without the need to commute.

To hire the best remote Engineering talent from around the Globe requires experience in the market that only specialist contract recruitment companies like CIS can provide.

Are you looking to make a shift to remote working or need remote expertise for your next Engineering project? Contact CIS on info@cis-ee.com to check out the talent that is wanting to work for your team.