Before the pandemic, working from home was considered a luxury. A perk of the job only given to trusted employees who could continue their high-quality work while not being supervised.
As most of us know, when the pandemic hit, everyone was forced to work from home. Without this fast paced change, many businesses would have collapsed.
Now most engineers have access to the remote working perk, we can study whether the changed workplace can really help productivity or if our previous employers were right to limit our freedoms.
Talking To An Expert
We spoke to Neil Harper, owner of PDH-pro and the lead within the survey. He explained: “The pandemic has forced many industries to rethink the way they work, and the engineering industry is no exception.
Our survey shows that engineers have adapted to remote work and believe it will be part of their job in the long term.
This presents opportunities for employers to hire talent from a wider pool of candidates and for employees to have a better work-life balance.”
Neil believes that forcing the workforce back into the office will not create a more productive team and instead will add to the stresses and worries of daily life.
His survey goes into more detail.
The leading engineering education provider, PDH-pro, conducted a survey of 1,000 engineers across the country to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their work and whether remote work is here to stay.
The results show that remote work has become a permanent fixture in the engineering industry, with 85% of engineers saying they believe it will be part of their job in the long term.
We recommend reading the survey yourself, but this quick breakdown can help you understand the main points.
- Before the pandemic only 20% of engineers said they worked remotely. In 2023, that figure has risen to 70%.
- 67% of engineers who work remotely say they can get more done in the same amount of time than they would in the office.
This suggests that the larger remote workforce is exceeding pre-pandemic expectations. The efficiency of this industry has doubled simply by allowing people to work from home.
Looking deeper into the survey we can also view how the engineers feel about the change.
- 67% of engineers feel more productive working remotely.
- 7% of engineers feel less productive working remotely.
- 74% of engineers feel their work-life balance has improved due to remote work.
- 9% of engineers feel their work-life balance has worsened due to remote work.
- 62% of engineers feel their mental health has improved due to remote work.
- 11% of engineers feel their mental health has worsened due to remote work.
The last statistic goes against the main concept of this study.
- 47% of engineers feel they have a better relationship with their colleagues while working remotely.
This percentage suggests that 53% of engineers have a worse relationship with their colleagues, however as the previous statistics show, the full figure is never completely released. We can assume that the missing figures suggest those who don’t feel different in their new remote working lifestyle or were already remote working, so cannot comment.
Either way, the lack of transparency means we cannot get a full picture.
Software Engineers Are The Most Efficient
Focusing more on our New York engineers, we wanted to see if these statistics reflected our state. By and large, the answer is yes, however, New York City’s software engineers take up a large portion of remote working positivity.
This type of engineer has become the most efficient while working from home. In fact, their efficiency has become so great that employees are paying them more to keep up this momentum.
Now, New York based remote software engineers are earning more than their in-office counterparts.
Small City Workers Reaching New York Salaries
Location-based pay will soon be a thing of the past. Remote working means you can apply for a New York City job while working out of state. This allows people to earn New York salaries without having to stay in a busy city.
Over time, we can expect location-based pay to even out.
It seems like working from home, at your own pace, in an environment that sparks joy, is enough to create efficiently. By these findings, employers can spend less money on renting buildings, and more money on employee satisfaction.
Only time will see if this positive change is permanent.