Remote-Friendly Jobs in San Diego Lead Startup Cities

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A new report says that San Diego businesses are more apt to permit remote-friendly work than companies in other California cities and nearly the rest of the nation.

The San Diego Times-Union reported on the research by the San Francisco Bay Area venture capital firm Telstra Ventures. The study reviewed startup hubs in 27 cities. They looked more than 250,000 job postings from March through May across the country. They found San Diego was far more amenable to remote-friendly jobs than most in the state and the nation.

Remote-Friendly Report Findings

In the research sample, 26% of jobs posted by San Diego companies were remote-friendly, compared 18% in Silicon Valley and 14% in Los Angeles. San Diego ranked second only to Columbus, Ohio in comparison to 27 tech hubs throughout the U.S. Houston, Texas occupied the bottom of the list.

Saad Siddiqui, principal at Telstra Ventures, explained that San Diego’s remote-friendly work environment id due to a need to attract certain talent. Siddiqui’s investment firm has several companies headquartered in the region, including GitLab, Attack IQ, and Airspace Technologies. Siddiqui has seen a need to widen the hunt for qualified candidates.

Remote-Friendly Worker
Photo by Jess Morgan on Upsplash

“For us to get the right talent, we need to try to find the best candidates on a national and international level,” Siddiqui said.

In Telstra’s analysis, software engineers were the most likely to be allowed to work remotely. This makes sense since they’re also the people highest in demand). In addition, workers in product, design, marketing, and sales also ranked near the top for remote-friendly work opportunities. The more senior the position, the more likely the employer will offer remote flexibility.

“Companies are probably offering this as a competitive advantage,” said Jonathan Serfaty, head of Telstra’s data science team. “It’s harder to hire for these senior positions. They also need less guidance and less support.”

Non-Venture-Backed Outfits In San Diego More In Line With The National Average

These venture capital-backed companies are leading the list in the nation in remote-friendly jobs. However, the regular (not venture-backed) companies in San Diego are much more in line with the national average.

Locally, just 9.4% of the regular employers in Telstra’s analysis offered remote work. That jives with the more conservative findings published by the San Diego Association of Governments in May. That study showed that about 50% of all San Diego County businesses were able to offer the ability to telework during the pandemic. That was an increase of 20% from pre-pandemic figures, the San Diego Association of Governments said. After the pandemic, that number is anticipated to drop to 40%, according to the study.

“We found that most businesses believe remote work will be less prevalent following the pandemic than at its peak,” said Antoinette Meier, SANDAG director of mobility and innovation. “With that said, more employers have considered telework as a viable option.”

“As we continue planning for a faster, fairer and cleaner transportation future for everyone, teleworking will be studied to determine its impact on how and when people travel throughout the region,” Meier said.

Siddiqui’s firm invests in companies that make remote work possible. He notes that the future findings might motivate more remote-friendly, even for companies that aren’t VC-backed.

“Startups are the kind of companies that generally drive trends in a big way,” Siddiqui said. “For example, remote meetings through Zoom. Those trends started on the startup side and graduated to bigger companies as the solutions mature.”