How California is Still Leading the Hybrid Work Movement

Whilst California has always been an attractive place to live and work, after effects of the pandemic have made it an even more appealing place to be. On top of everything else that LA and its surrounding areas have to offer, it holds a bounty of opportunity for candidates, especially those looking for remote or hybrid work opportunities. 

Whether you’re interested in more flexibility in your job, a completely remote position, or you just want a change of pace, here’s what California has to offer right now.

How Tech Paved the Way

The technology sector has long been a cornerstone of the California economy, and it is yet again setting the trends by offering opportunities to those who may not even live in the state. The industry has been known for flexibility for some time, as it offered remote working, flex hours, and even unlimited paid time off before these things became talking points. As usual, it seems to be ahead of the curve.

These days, the tech industry is making a habit of hiring people with little regard for physical location. Uddhav Mehra, a Managing Consultant here at Michael Page, describes what he is seeing from his clients in this space: “They don’t really care about cities anymore, they’re starting to care about time zones … It’s very common for me now to pick up a job and the client says, ‘As long as they’re in PST or Mountain Standard Time, we’re good to go.’” 

Mehra says that candidates who are located in places like Colorado, Idaho, or other budding tech hubs can still find jobs and opportunities in California because of this attitude towards remote work and flexibility.

Technology has also made flexibility an easier sell in other industries throughout California. George Tuna, Associate Director at Michael Page, explains:  "A lot of people in California see that and say, ‘Why is that just specific to tech? Why can’t that be my job, or my company?’” As a result, many business leaders are following suit and embracing these practices, to the benefit of candidates.

What Can Candidates Expect?

According to a poll we ran this summer, 64% of employees in the LA area say they are very likely to look for a new job if theirs requires a full-time return to the office. Similarly, 41% of respondents are looking for remote work and flexibility above all else in their next position, and about 31% are seeking a higher salary. In this market, qualified candidates are getting both.

Tuna explains: “(Businesses) are more flexible and paying a bit more to get the right talent.” He even explains that many are even making their working status official: "Candidates are asking for companies to put in the offer letter that they are hybrid."

Michael Page Executive Director Dan Plourde echoes this sentiment, saying that people who have traditionally lived and worked in LA are making a change. “The flexible work environment has been critical,” he says. “We’re seeing a dispersing of people from the concentrated LA area into more further outreaching places where they can get a little more space and the cost of living is a little bit lower.”

As a result, most organizations in this region are very open to remote or hybrid working situations. Many even offer stipends for Wi-Fi, laptops and more remote working equipment, and even unlimited paid time off. 

Relocation as a Viable Option

Even if you don’t live in or around California, this may sound like an excellent opportunity. The good news is that this region is very open to relocators as well as remote workers. Plourde says, "There are more options and opportunities for a candidate who wants to move to California than there ever have been, at least in the last several years."

Tuna agrees, noting that many LA hiring managers are more open than ever to relocators, especially those from the east coast as they tend to have a fast-paced work ethic. Also, with remote working becoming common, these relocators can transition to California slowly and work from their current location in the meantime. There is very little lag time now, which makes this option more attractive. 

So, if you’re seeking flexibility in your next position, now is definitely the time to seriously consider a move to California, or simply look into job opportunities there which may suit you. If you’d like some assistance in your search, please feel free to reach out to our team of expert consultants today. 

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