LONDON – PR agency leaders believe that more than half of all job roles will be filled by remote workers, according to new research by European agency Tyto and The Pulse Business.

The study found that 54% of agency CEOs now expect “over half” of all job roles to be filled by remote workers, with 27% expecting more than three-quarters of roles to be filled by remote workers. One in three CEOs (33%) believe more than a quarter of roles could be filled by overseas workers.

As a result, most agency CEOs (83%) are now expecting a decentralisation of the UK PR industry away from London, where the majority of agencies are currently based.

The survey also found that the boom in remote work is not only changing working patterns, it is also fuelling investment in technology and tools to create more business opportunities for UK agencies: 31% of agency CEOs said that the remote economy has driven at least 25% of their revenue over the past 12 months, and 14% reported it has driven more than 50% of revenues.

Tyto CEO Brendon Craigie, who set up the agency in 2017 with a "borderless" remote model, said: “I believe we are witnessing the start of the greatest shift in staffing models the PR industry has experienced in the past 50 years. Remote work is transforming the agency landscape by opening new possibilities for agencies, employees and clients.

“Agencies can now draw talent from across the globe, employees can choose where to live without compromising their career ambitions, and the conditions are being created for us to build a far more inclusive industry. This in turn is creating the conditions for exciting new client service models that bring clients closer to their target audiences than ever before.”

Craigie added: “What started as a temporary adjustment to life in a pandemic economy, has changed the outlook of agency leaders and suggests that over the next five years we will see a decentralisation of the agency business. Agencies that are well positioned to seize the hiring and growth opportunities from the remote economy will be sure to prosper as the world has changed now and the old ways of office-based working models are soon to be a thing of the past.”

Tyto had seen first-hand how remote working was changing the European PR industry, he added: “We’ve found that we are able to remove inefficiencies and siloed working to deliver clients 30% more value from the same investment. We’ve are also able to tap into new talent pools overseas, allowing us to build a digital media hub in Spain, where there’s a real depth of digital talent. In addition, London house prices, Brexit and the prospect of a better quality of life overseas, alongside new digital nomad visas in the likes of Spain and Portugal, are emboldening employees to leave the capital or move abroad.”

The survey findings are based upon a poll between 10-20 September 2021 of The Pulse Business’ Communications Leaders Index of 350 UK agency CEOs and board directors.