By Catherine Lang-Cline
What was once a business perk is now the way we are all doing business. Employees are working remotely due to COVID-19 and according to this Smart Business Trends survey, 57% wanted to keep working remotely, 48% felt that they were more productive working from home, and more companies are embracing this idea because it works. This means that when it comes to your current employees returning, and your next new hire, flexibility will be a factor in order to find and keep the best talent.
Just looking at the younger generations, they are “all-in” with flexibility and according to this survey, (taken before the pandemic), 99% of these younger workers want the opportunity to work from home for the rest of their careers. You will find in the same survey that most companies are comfortable with a hybrid or work from home scenario, but what if you don’t offer that? What does that mean for you?
All of this has come with some pros and cons.
First a few cons:
As the survey stated, there are people that don’t feel productive at home
People can feel isolated
Tech issues and security could become an issue
Then a few pros:
About half of the people did feel more productive at home
Virtual employees mean less office space is needed
You have access to talent all over the country because people can work from anywhere
This pandemic forced us all to quickly embrace flexibility and the duration of the pandemic has changed the habits of business forever. As a result, even more people are liking it and are making career decisions based on it. Be prepared that not everyone is wanting to come back to the office as it was and also be prepared to grow your business with talent from just about anywhere.
Flexibility is going to be the norm and based on your needs, you could start with a hybrid model for your employees meaning, some days people are required to come in, some they are not and some may stay completely virtual depending on their tasks. If you decide to take advantage of virtual, this would expand your choices in finding staff and contractors, because they could live anywhere. Not sure about keeping accountability? By staying in touch with regular check-ins and department video chats, setting up a dashboard of goals and holding everyone to those goals, you will be able to see quickly who is struggling and who are your rockstars. Turning check-ins and goals into a weekly virtual event, you’ll check in with everyone and keep communication open, even though they are out of sight the rest of the work day …and maybe even working a few odd hours to make it work for both of you.