Remoteworkadvocate.com chatted with Arnaud Devigne, Co-Founder of Jobgether, about how to find a remote job that fits your lifestyle and the growing remote work revolution.
RWA: How many people look for remote and hybrid jobs?
Arnaud: This is quite hard to answer in terms of absolute numbers, but we have lots of data showing that jobs that offer free modes of work options are viewed much more. And there are many more applicants for these types of jobs.
RWA: Is the job market going remote these days?
Arnaud: If you post a remote-friendly job, it will have seven times more applications. This is a very strong signal that talent values remote a lot. Airbnb is probably one of the most remote-friendly companies in the world. When Brian Chesky (CEO of Airbnb) communicated that the company would embrace remote in the long term and that he could really become part of the values of the company, then the visits to the career pages multiplied by four overnight. So, it shows me that interest is a growing expectation on the talent side. And now we estimate that more or less 40% of talent value flexibility and remote possibility as the number one reason for choosing a job over another job that doesn’t have a remote option.
RWA: How do you think the world is changing? How do you feel that the market is changing? Is the world going remote, or isn’t it? What does this new world look like?
Arnaud: Remote work is not new. It’s been the obvious consequence of the development of technologies and the development of tools to move the labor market that was mainly dominated by the industrial era to an era based on Internet technologies. Basically, the only tool you need to do your job is a laptop.
It’s been like that for 15-20 years but let’s say that societies, especially on the corporate side, were very slow to move and to fully embrace new opportunities that were coming out of this change. The COVID crisis was definitely the catalyst. It was definitely an eye-opener. It was the kind of point where even the most conservative reluctant employers realized that it works actually, that you can have teams all over the world working from home and that we can still create value and people can still interact. Zoom was definitely the tool we discovered two years ago. It was still a niche for video conferencing. Before, it was mostly for tech players etc., and now it has become the new normal.
Some people may say that it was all just hype or it was just short-term, and we’re going to come back to the old good old times every day in the office. That’s totally wrong.
I think what we’ve been doing for the past ten years was an accident and was not the normal way of working. It was not fully understanding the potential we had. Now we understand that we are not going to go back to the old way of working. So, there is a lot of debate right now.
If you take out the numbers and look at both sides, the company side and the talent side, in terms of what people want to do and how they work right now, it’s becoming absolutely massive.
For instance, you know, on the talent side, there is a huge demand now for more freedom in general and remote ability. They consider number one the freedom to work from wherever they want.
80% of talent values flexibility, but 40% value it even more important than salary. This was impossible to imagine five years ago when everybody rated interest in the job and the salary as number one. Then work conditions were quite low, like the fourth, fifth position. So, it just changed, and it’s not only Gen Z or young professionals. It is across all ages, all experience levels and for different reasons.
Maybe you’re going to have more Jerry Shen (President of Welcome, virtual events company) types. The youngest generation is attracted by the possibility of becoming digital nomads to travel worldwide. And for 40-plus professionals, it’s going to be the possibility to have a work-life balance that is healthier and to spend more time with your family and with kids etc. So, everyone will find different reasons for wanting it, but it’s becoming definitely mainstream to expect to work remotely.
If you look at the company side, 16% of companies globally offer some sort of remote possibility. That doesn’t mean that all that jobs will be fully remote, you know, but some of them might be. Then if you ask recruiters what they see for the future, there is an obvious trend that emerges. Today, 60% of companies consider that remote will have to be implemented in that company at some point. That’s huge.
RWA: Are there any industries that are specifically going remote? Is there a trend?
Arnaud: We predict that by 2030 probably half of the jobs could be done remotely. Of course, some jobs will not be able to be done remotely. Of course, we’re talking mostly about white-collar jobs when referring to remote. There are lots of jobs that still will require the constraints of being physically there, such as retail. They still have to be there when the shop is open. But even in the manufacturing industry, you know there are some jobs that do not require now to be full-time at the plants. You now have lots of options to monitor machines remotely. This is a big challenge even in health care. If you look at healthcare, you think this is 100% onsite. However, now you have more and more technological advances like video conferencing with physicians or viewing imaging for radiology remotely. Many things can be done remotely now. These are the kinds of jobs you couldn’t imagine that could have been done remotely five years ago. Technology is allowing us to move away from just viewing working remotely as being a niche in jobs like developers, graphic designers, marketers and workers in tech companies to something much broader.
It’s very interesting this shift because it’s a level of our society that goes beyond work. It’s about alignment. People have realized that the more they move away from climbing the corporate ladder, the more they are aligned with their true values in life. Before, their main objective was having a career, and then they would adjust their whole life to have a career and even sacrifice time with their families. They would move abroad and not really want to live in that country, but it was good for their career.
Now, it’s about thinking the other way around. The younger generation starts becoming aware of the value of alignment in their 20s. They understand that first, you have to decide what life you want to have. Do you want to spend time with friends and family? Do you want to have lots of free time because you have some hobbies, some passions etc. or just do you want to make more money? Now, it’s you decide the experiences you want to have, and then you will find the job that is aligned with that. It’s absolutely different.
RWA: How should people start having a remote lifestyle? What does it even mean?
Arnaud: It’s not about finding a job with extremely rigid criteria etc. We’re talking about lifestyle. It’s the opportunity to reconcile both lifestyle and career, making sure that lifestyle becomes really the starting point. And you have to do some work on yourself. We are blurring the line between personal life and work life. We are merging the two. It’s true that some people may not be super comfortable with that, but it’s a very strong trend in our society. Today, we have the ability to turn our passion into work. We have the ability to have a job that can be very exciting, and that is not just to pay the rent.
RWA: Why is Jobgether the place to go when looking for a flexible, long-term job?
Arnaud: There are a lot of cliches with remote work still. For example, some think remote work is just for 22-year-old hipster graphic designers or guys who are digital nomads, freelancers or gig workers with short-term contracts who have to fight to get paid. There are a lot of issues like that. So, we created Jobgether because we thought that this growing need and interest for flexibility and remote work deserves better than what existed, which is almost nothing online. There are a few websites that will give you access randomly to some opportunities etc., but most of them will not include all the opportunities that exist across the globe, and by definition, flexibility remote is global.
We are not talking anymore about a local talent pool. By design, the labor market has been built since the industrial revolution on local talent pools, and so websites replicated that local talent pool online. On these job sites, you have to say where the company is based. So, if you want to be a social media manager in Paris, you type that in. This is not aligned with the new opportunities that remote jobs offer. So, first of all, we wanted to gather all the opportunities no matter where they are based, also opportunities that you could get access to from where you want to live. Basically, it’s not where the headquarters of the company is that is important. What’s important is where you want to live. So, it’s a change of approach. Let’s say maybe you live on a tiny island off of Spain, and you want to get access to jobs from American companies, Swedish companies, or Asian companies. You don’t really want to limit yourself. So, we give access to global opportunities to everyone.
Then the second thing is that remote is still quite new, and lots of companies are not very transparent about the details of conditions related to remote jobs, or they don’t have the tools or platform to highlight how flexible they are.
So, we decided that not only would we gather the jobs, but we would add information to them, moderate them and make sure that we are providing the talent with all the details they need to find the one job that will be aligned way with their lifestyle.
RWA: What are the traits of a great job?
Arnaud: A job that matches your lifestyle….and in lifestyle, we consider three dimensions: where I want to work, when I want to work, and how or the way I want to work, freelancing or contract. Nowadays, asking for these things is not a dream. There are lots of companies, and some of them are not the ones you would expect, like Accenture Consulting, that offer this type of work. Lifestyle also takes into consideration whether you can have a second job which is maybe related to your passion, to your hobby. It can be owning a bar and working there on weekends with friends from being a scuba diving instructor. This cross-fertilization is awesome, and by doing other things, you will foster your creativity. It will make you like more open to the changes in the world and more connected to different things. And it will take you away from being in a bubble.
When you’re a professional working in a bubble with people who think exactly the same without meeting people who have different backgrounds and experiences, it’s not something good for the company. You will kill creativity. You may be someone who can execute or implement things, but you will be unable to invent new things or create new things. Companies nowadays need people who innovate. They don’t need people who just replicate existing things.
This is why we really wanted to offer people opportunities of not only what they want to do but, more importantly, how they want to do it, as well as when and where. And we give them the ability then to filter on all those criteria, play with the search engine and find the jobs that really click, and they may say, “this is exactly for me.” Not just the job description, but they see themselves being happy in this role, and to grow, and to learn new skills.
We’ve all experienced toxic work environments, burnout, and mental health issues in the work environment where we suffered from it in the end. Our number one assumption was that working shouldn’t be a cause of pain. Work should be an opportunity to be happier. Sometimes, yes, you work hard, but it shouldn’t be painful.
It’s going to take many more years to deprogram all the wrong behaviors that we have built for decades. We have replicated these toxic patterns from generation to generation. So, it’s about unlearning these things. We are moving away from the time when seeking alternatives to the established way was considered lazy or just “you don’t want to work.” This has been what’s prevented us from moving forward for 20 years.
It’s all this guilt. All these outdated cliches. It’s about to change, but we are not there yet.
RWA: How does Jobgether help in finding a legit remote or hybrid job?
Arnaud: When we launched, it was really because we realized something very important for the well-being of people of talent and there was no such tool to help them turn this new aspiration into something real.
We wanted to enable them to find those jobs that most people consider niche or not available in their industry. We have already gathered over 30,000 super cool jobs from all over the world. They have been enriched by adding information, such as details about flex conditions or the HR policy of the company. You get access to them just in one click by adding your filters. In doing this, we are showing this is not a niche anymore. It’s going mainstream—the 15,000 jobs were just limited by the capacity to process. There are many more. Then those 15,000 will be 100,000, and then one million in probably one or two years.
RWA: Who can apply? Are there any country restrictions?
Arnaud: Anyone in the world can apply. This is a revolution. And the biggest revolution is yet to come. We have not scratched the surface yet. It’s about increasing the quality of life for top talent that already has a pretty decent quality of life. Let’s say this is only the first step of this revolution. So, the next steps are about moving away from local talent pools to a global talent market. Companies will change from seeking talent from the city where they are headquartered to searching for someone with the right talents or that is the right culture fit, and this person can be from Bogota or from Mumbai or Ukraine.
Initially, we thought it would be for all companies in the world, and we would, in terms of talent, focus more on European talents, but we soon realized the interest in this goes far beyond Europe.
We’ve had organic traffic coming from all over the world, Latin American countries, Asian countries, even from Africa and from everywhere. We had some incredible talents that were applying, and this was a big kind of surprise for us how fast it grew.
Then we realized, of course, the impact in the long term. It’s a shift in our economies. It’s a major shift in geopolitical and macroeconomics because we are now talking about giving access to the best jobs in the world to people who live in Nairobi, Kenya and may sign a US contract and get paid $100,000 a year.
The job market has been unfair in the past. There was a bias by many recruiters that if you were not a Londoner, you wouldn’t have been able to deliver us value. And there have been stupid legal constraints. You needed people to live in the country to sign their contracts. Now, it’s not the case anymore. You can sign contracts with Oyster (HR software) and many other platforms that make it easy. You can hire all over the world. This is game-changing.
We are doing that internally. This is our history as well. Our founders are based in Bogota, Venezuela. Our staff is spread out all over the world. We hired a marketing team from Ukraine. It’s important to help and show solidarity at the global level. We found incredible talents all over the world. You don’t have to live in Paris or New York to be like a top talent anymore. And this is just the beginning of a revolution.