As companies reopen offices, with nearly all major corporations announcing some sort of office plan, many leadership members are deciding how the remote work arrangements they’ve relied on during the pandemic will assist (or not) in long-term office comeback.
For example, Google’s “flexible workweek” announcement includes that employees will spend at least three days a week in the office, and then they can have the freedom to work the rest at home. Meanwhile, Ford Motor’s “flexible hybrid work model” leaves it up to workers and their managers to decide, while Facebook, or Meta, has opted to delay their original office comeback and give employees the choice to return or not.
Overall, this trend shows us that many Fortune 500 companies have created a plan that relies on compromise. The appeal of this likely plays directly into the Great Resignation/labor shortage we’re currently facing in that employers hope to give employees the flexibility that comes from working at home while still rebuilding the in-person productivity of the office.
However, does this type of compromise work for every employer? No. It’s a delicate mix of strategy and knowing your company culture. There are many occupations and professions where working remotely flexibly isn’t an option. To workers in healthcare, retail, physical labor, and security – among quite a few others – the concept of “hybrid workplace” has little impact on how they work.
However, some businesses saw the benefit in cutting the office space and going entirely remote - and keeping it that way. What’s the point in paying for a fancy office, especially if you’re a smaller business, if all your employees work online off their laptops anyway and don’t see customers?
The question comes down to whether “Hybrid Work” is suitable for your employees.
There’s no denying it’s here to stay. A recent survey from Wakefield Research showed that almost half of employees at 47% would take actionable steps to look for a job if their company doesn’t adopt a flexible working model.
Generally speaking, the answer comes down to leadership’s ability to weigh the pros and cons of each environment. Sure, working remote may mean you can’t keep an eye on your employees and their productivity, but we’ve spent the last two years working remote. If you haven’t seen any massive issues arise from it, then it’s probably best to continue to allow the flexibility, so you don’t have to manage an incredibly costly overturn ratio.
The world has changed permanently, and it’s more than likely that employees will not soon forget the freedom that comes with flexible working. Employers will have to trust their employees to do the right thing and work productively when it suits them best.
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Reevaluation of work has been thrust upon us by COVID-19, and it is ongoing. From hiring remotely or working with your current recruitment strategies, TRC Staffing Services is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our professional staffing solutions.