27 Jul 2021

Looking for a remote-friendly job? Try San Diego or Columbus.

Saad Siddiqui


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By Saad Siddiqui at Telstra Ventures


Last year forced companies everywhere to rethink their remote-work policies. In boardrooms across the world, leaders are rethinking the way cultures are built, rethinking the way they build mentoring programs, and how to recruit and keep talent.


After looking into Tech’s Great Migration: Insights to Emerging Tech Hubs Across the U.S., earlier this year, we wanted to know more.

If the shift to remote work is here to stay – how are startups and emerging tech hubs feeling the impact? Is there a correlating rise in remote-friendly jobs across the U.S.?

Together with our data science team, we analyzed 371,000 jobs posted between April and June 2021, in the U.S., across startup hubs across 27 cities.


What we discovered might surprise you.

Some job functions and positions are bigger winners of remote work than others.

In California, San Diego was far friendlier for remote working than its neighbors in the same state.

Our data revealed that 26 percent of jobs posted by companies in San Diego were remote-friendly, versus 18 percent in Silicon Valley and 14 percent in Los Angeles. When compared to 27 tech hubs throughout the country, San Diego ranks number two — just under Columbus, Ohio, where one in three job openings are remote-friendly.

Houston, Texas is the least remote-friendly city in U.S. Just 2.6% of jobs posted by Houston-based companies were remote-friendly.


So, why are San Diego and Columbus so remote-work friendly?

The answer might be to attract a broader talent set, and to widen the ‘traditional’ search for top talent.

We have several companies in our investment portfolio that call San Diego home or have substantial presence – GitLab, Attack IQ and Airspace Technologies. But increasingly, to find the right people for distinct roles, you often need to look on a national or even international level.


Tech engineering roles win at remote work.

It might not come as a surprise that software engineers are the most likely to get remote work options (and they’re also the ones highest in demand.)

Workers in product, design, marketing and sales also rank high in remote work opportunities. 17.3% of product and design roles, 16.1% of marketing roles, and 15.3% of sales roles were advertised as remote-friendly early in 2021.


Seniority matters.

The more senior the position, the more likely the employer will offer remote flexibility.

By comparison in 2019, less than 0.1% of VP and 0% of CXO roles were advertised as remote-work friendly. At the same time in 2021, 17.4% of VP roles and 14.2% of CXO roles were offered as remote opportunities.

It can be challenging to hire for senior positions, but if you’re stepping into a senior role, you typically need less guidance and less support to do so.


Startups drive trends in a big way.

Across the U.S., Venture Capital (VC) backed companies are embracing remote work trends more readily than non-VC backed companies.

In our analysis, 15.8% of jobs were advertised as ‘remote’ in VC-backed companies, compared to 9.8% for non-VC backed companies.

We’ve all heard the tech start up cliché – invest in snacks, ping pong tables, and cafeterias with a fully stacked alcohol fridge, and you will attract the best talent. The truth – for the majority anyway – is that the cliché worked. It helped to create a culture that people wanted to be part of. And now, that is paying off for remote work.

From a Telstra Ventures perspective, we invest in companies that make remote work possible, because we believe that remote working is here to stay – for everyone.