Disclosing Work-From-Home Flexibility to Compete for Talent? Evidence from Job Postings
58 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2022 Last revised: 2 Jun 2023
Date Written: May 30, 2023
This study examines what drives employers to disclose work-from-home (WFH) flexibility in their job postings (hereafter, WFH disclosure), and whether such disclosure serves as an effective tool to attract talent. Using a comprehensive sample of job postings for a set of public firms, we first document a gradual upward trend in WFH postings from 2016 to 2019, followed by a sharp increase in 2020 and 2021, precipitated by the pandemic. We find that employers are more likely to disclose WFH flexibility when facing greater labor market competition, with this effect more pronounced in tight labor markets and when employee demand for workplace flexibility is higher. We further find that WFH disclosure is associated with greater hiring efficiency, suggesting that such disclosure is effective in attracting new employees. Finally, we provide evidence that while WFH disclosure is associated with higher employee satisfaction, it is negatively associated with future labor productivity and firm performance. These results represent the first large-sample archival evidence on employers’ disclosure of workplace flexibility to attract employees and highlight its potential implications for employee productivity.
Keywords: disclosure, labor markets, working-from-home, job postings, competition, workplace flexibility
JEL Classification: D83; J23; J32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation