Despite pandemic restrictions easing, remote working has remained popular and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. While some companies have been reportedly paying less to employees who opt for remote working, this practice is a long way from catching on in Pasadena.
Instead, high-skilled workers are benefitting from a strong job market and making career moves based on remote working conditions, said Pasadena-based Chris Garza, regional vice president for recruitment agency Robert Half.
Garza said Robert Half is not currently seeing workers in Pasadena taking pay cuts for remote work options.
“On the contrary, we have professionals being more transparent today than ever before. They are sharing and comparing perks and benefits with colleagues and are ready to make career moves based on pay and remote offerings,” added Garza.
“Los Angeles is a highly competitive market and with record high job openings and low unemployment rates, local workers know they have the upper hand and negotiating power,” Garza said.
Garza noted that while most companies in the Pasadena area are back in the office, a growing number of companies are starting to embrace a hybrid and remote work model.
“We are talking to local companies every day and sharing what workers are telling us they need from an employer, which is higher pay, more remote and a defined career path.”
“These employers know how challenging it is to not only fill roles but to keep roles filled. Workers have more options than ever with high job openings and low unemployment rates.”
Two years into the pandemic, Garza believes workers have already proven that they can be productive even when working remotely.
Remote Working Trends
With the pandemic restrictions easing, more and more companies are calling workers back to the office but workers are not very happy about this. According to the third edition of McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey published in June, 87 % of workers want to work remotely for much of the week when given the choice.
Prior McKinsey research has shown that for those that left the workforce during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace flexibility was a top reason that they accepted new jobs.
The Working From Home Project, led by economists at Stanford and the University of Chicago found that 4 in 10 employers planned to use remote work as a way to ease overall wage-growth pressures.
In Pasadena, some employers are asking workers to return, but others are maintaining work-from-home options and hybrid work models, according to Paul Little, President of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.
Little cannot say for now whether or not some Pasadena employers are looking at offering work from home on the condition that employees take a pay cut. However, he believes more companies will switch to hybrid or remote work in the future.
“Green Dot went to an all remote work model and used the high cost of living in California as one of the reasons for the ability to hire workers anywhere in the world, which would enable them to possibly pay less if the cost of living is lower where the workers live.”
“I think there are many companies that will go to a hybrid or all remote model for a lot of reasons: lower cost if less office space is necessary, happier workers and more productivity.”
A recent research by Robert Half showed that workers are working longer hours from home than at the office.
More than one-third of local workers said they are more productive working from home and are not unplugging after work hours due to high volumes of meetings and feeling pressure to always be on call. Two thirds of workers however said they feel their boss cares more about their contributions to the company than when and where they work, regional vice president for Robert Half, Garza said.
Job Market in Pasadena
“If you are trying to attract talent in Pasadena, workers want remote,” Garza said. “The appetite for remote work is only growing stronger in Pasadena and will continue being a priority for local workers.”
While this may hold true for high-skill workers, Chamber president Paul Little said that Pasadena’s job market is a challenge for low skilled and low wage workers, like many other places.
Aside from offering remote work, Garza said Robert Half is advising employers who are not able to provide fully remote work options to offer higher salaries, signing bonuses and additional nonmonetary benefits.
“Skilled professionals in the greater Los Angeles area know their worth and know they have options. They value choice and flexibility in where they work and are ready to jump ship for a company that puts workers first and values work-life balance.”
“Competitive salaries and remote flexibility are table stakes in today’s job market and Pasadena companies must continue adjusting to attract and retain top talent.”
Meanwhile, the top roles currently in demand in Pasadena as per Robert Half are accounts payable, payroll professionals and staff accountants. Administrative assistants, call center and customer service specialists as well as HR recruiters and coordinators are also in top demand.