IIt may feel like a waste of time: Find a promising job description and apply. Intercept an interview and prepare for it. Have a great discussion with the hiring manager – only to learn the ‘hybrid’ policy promoted in the job advert means access to work from home only once a week.
A new tool launched Tuesday attempts to make employers’ flexible work policies searchable and help job seekers — as well as human resource managers, academics and anyone else looking to compare practices or track mixed working trends — find employer arrangements in one place.
The database is called Flex Index, and it uses standard terms like “fully remote” or “specific days/week” to attempt to index the types of remote work setups gleaned from employee surveys, job websites, and job postings. Currently, it has classified the policies of about 4,000 employers. Users can search by city, state, industry, and company size, as well as flexible policy type—but relatively few company profiles have been verified by employers on the newly launched site.
The Flex Index was launched by hybrid work management startup Scoop, and ultimately aims to fill a void of curated information about remote work policies. Many companies don’t post their office requirements on their websites, or only talk about them in vague, opaque terms.
Outside of blue-chip companies like Disney, Starbucks or Google whose policies are regularly covered in the press, many companies say things like “we support flexible working” but are “very short on detail,” say Scoop CEO and co-founder Rob Sadow. “I felt there was this disconnect between how important this topic is to job seekers and the market and how little information is available to the public.”
Sadow admits that the Flex Index could be a marketing payoff for Scoop, which is building software that helps workers plan their workdays (who will be there, where they will sit) and gives employers insights into hybrid site habits and trends. their workforce. He hopes it will help increase brand awareness, as well as be a key builder for businesses that might become customers, he says. “We have really good data on hybrid companies.”
Even if it also helps build a Scoop business, hybrid business experts say the database provides a tool not currently available in the same form anywhere else. “This is, I think, the best data set I know of on what companies are doing to work-from-home and hybrid policies,” says Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economist and consultant to Scoop Equity—but her monthly research on working trends is widely cited by the company. after. Most of the current datasets, Bloom says, track trends related to individual workers, rather than corporate practices.
Until now, Scoop’s tool has mainly been collecting employers’ remote working rules by surveying employees about their company’s policies; It also makes a hand-picking of the policies listed on the company’s job sites, job postings, and other publicly available information. From employee surveys, Scoop assures respondents are working for the company by checking email addresses and then emailing HR leaders to allow them to verify details.
But job seekers shouldn’t count on it as good news just yet. Of course, policy can differ from practice — how employees and their managers really behave when it comes to remote work can be a matter of culture, especially as people get stressed about their jobs. To date, much of the data has either been self-reported by workers or culled from public sources and not verified by employers. Only a handful of companies have had a recently launched checkmark confirm that they’ve verified the information, Sadow says; “Relatively few” companies have validated the data on company profiles, although he believed that number would grow exponentially after launch.
Scoop, which integrates with platforms like Slack, Google Calendar and Workday to help workers plan their time in the office, hasn’t always helped companies with the logistics of mixed work. Sadhu and his brother, John, launched Scope in 2015 to help companies coordinate employee commutes — a market the pandemic has been “poisoning,” says Scope investor and general partner Simil Shah, who was part of an $8m early-stage venture. Raised in October. (In its previous incarnation of facilitating commutes, Scoop raised about $100 million in several rounds of fundraising before the pandemic.)
By late 2020, Sadow had to lay off more than 80% of its workers as it became clear that people would never move around at the same rate again. Realizing that they knew the logistics, they focused on helping workers coordinate the logistics of hybrid work and avoid going to the office and having a day full of Zoom calls on site because they didn’t know their co-workers’ plans.
Shah, who said in an email that Scoop is part of a new software class called “employee site management,” thinks many CEOs grapple with hybrid work, “We saw it as a new secular and global problem.”
Bloom says the index will need to face three challenges: how well it represents the full employer market, how accurate the data is and how well it can keep up with employers changing their policies and suddenly calling everyone back to the office, especially in the current environment. At first, he sees similarities between the overall trends in the Flex and government data, which gives him confidence. On the third, he says work-from-home trends have been relatively flat in recent months and may have leveled off. Regarding the second, “they have a responsibility to stay abreast of developments,” he says.
He also believes it will be a resource for researchers like him and others interested in tracking trends in hybrid work. In its report compiling data from the index, Scoop found that 87% of employers with a minimum required number of work days set it at two (41%) or three (46%) days. Smaller firms (with fewer than 500 employees) are more than twice as likely to be “fully elastic” than larger firms (those with more than 1,000 workers). And there was one day that was most popular when it came to employers’ in-office demands: Tuesday.