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Is Remote Working the Future for Data Engineers?

  • Publish Date: Posted 7 months ago
  • Author:by Niall Wharton

Whilst previous post-pandemic plans may have been to call data engineers back to the office, the data industry is facing an environment where companies that offer remote work have 25% lower turnover than those that don’t. (Source: SmallBizGenius). Additionally, 9 in 10 job seekers are currently demanding remote and flexible working options (Source: BBC News). In an increasingly competitive labour environment - where 48% of companies are struggling to hire skilled data talent (Source: Gov UK) - HR practices need to change to secure the future of the data industry. 

The State of Remote Working in Data

Remote working promises a whole host of benefits for data engineers, bringing greater independence, quieter working spaces to focus in, and flexible working conditions. Yet, despite the 40% rise in demand for remote working across the country (Source: Wired), many business owners may still be hesitant.

Why? Due to the impact that remote working could have on data teams as a whole. 

Data scientists, analytics engineers, data infrastructure engineers, data warehouse technicians and analysts require high levels of communication with non-technically inclined stakeholders, and working from home may disadvantage teams who need to work in sync. Although current technology is able to support remote employees, management have to consider the perspective of other data employees, asking themselves whether it’s fair some positions remain in-office whilst others gain greater flexibility.

The Logistics of Remote Working 

Before the pandemic, many HRMs may have had concerns around staff wanting hybrid work environments. Previously, where they worried that productivity may be negatively affected, the opposite happened - driving change in remote working across the majority of UK industries.

  • 77% of remote workers feel more productive at home given they have the data tools to do the job.

  • By 2028, 73% of all departments are expected to have remote workers.

  • 85% of managers believe having the option to work from home will become the new norm. 

(Source: FindStack)

How Remote Working Will Benefit Software Companies

To achieve maximum levels of productivity, data engineers need to enter the right “headspace” when working on projects - which often requires optimum working conditions that the office can’t provide. 

Remote work would allow data engineers to code efficiently, working faster whilst making fewer errors, ultimately helping software businesses to avoid technical debt. 

Preparing For Remote Working in Data

The aptly-titled Leadership 2.0 that emerged in 2021 encourages leaders to be more empathetic and aware of what employees need (Source: TalentSmart). This year, Leadership 2.0 will drive decisions to be made about remote work for data teams, and enable “deep workflow” for data engineers across the country - largely improving employee wellbeing as well as business output. 

Software companies will need to restructure employee contracts and expectations to support remote work in their organisations. This will involve:

1. Improving communication channels.

2. Adapting company culture and making it stronger.

3. Providing alternative benefits to non-flexible data jobs.

4. Designing clear output expectations for data engineers.

Historically, 75% of UK employees feel pressure to reply to emails out of hours (Source: Small Business). This needs to change to ensure the future of remote working, or many creative professionals will soon feel burnout and move on.

The Impact of Remote Work on Recruitment 

With the current capabilities of remote workers in mind, approximately 5% of agile, cutting edge UK technology brands are starting to look at the international pool of data engineers. 50% are calculating how remote work will help them hire labour with the right skills and experience across the UK - avoiding expensive premiums on data engineer salaries in London. 

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(Source: Glassdoor)

These new recruitment efforts truly reveal how remote work will affect data engineers in the future. Even now, we’re seeing UK technology businesses begin to offer hybrid positions, with 2-3 days in the office and the rest at home. This benefits management positions who worry about channels of communication, whilst also offering ideal work benefits to retain vital, qualified, talent.

The Solution to Data Engineering Recruitment

HR Managers need to prepare onboarding measures for 100% remote data engineer positions, or risk decreasing the number of entry-level positions available in the market - a feat that could devastate the data industry. Investment should be directed towards improving a sense of belonging for all remote employees - creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for young workers and new graduates alike.

To do this, organisations looking to create attractive career opportunities across the UK should partner with dedicated data recruitment consultants as a standard procedure. This would:

  1. Alleviate some of the pressure placed on the existing team lead to onboard new employees in remote work environments 

  2. Help retain new talent through high-quality service - avoiding the reality that 1 in 4 new hires will quit within the first 6 months. (Souce: Recruiting).

Is Remote Working the Future for Data Engineers?

Remote working isn’t just the future, it’s the present - but companies have to commit themselves to keep it that way. 

There are still a lot of steps businesses would need to take to secure the future of working environments, and even though 45% of UK companies have named digital transformation as a top priority in 2022, there’s still a long way to go. (Source: Deloitte)

As of 2022, the majority of job postings for data engineers offer remote capabilities, and if current employers aren’t able to modernise office environments, they risk losing talent to competitors who can offer the work flexibility they are searching for.

Recruiting with Xcede

If you’re an Information Technology, Design, Data or Software company competing for experienced and qualified data engineers with experience in big data, python, java, data science, data models, data integration etc,  put yourself ahead of the competition with Xcede. We are global technology recruitment specialists who source and select top talent for every single one of our clients looking to fill data engineer job roles. Our dedication to finding experienced data jobseekers with the right skills allows you to concentrate resources in practising safe data protection while we fill essential gaps in your workforce.