Since March of 2020, we’ve been bombarded with articles, news alerts, discussions, opinion pieces and content of all kinds in regard to the drastic shift in the once typical workplace. Well, here’s another for you!
We’ve all heard about the increasingly high demand for a flexible work environment, and the myriad articles, news alerts, discussions, opinion pieces and content of all kinds seem to indicate that the trend is not going away. LinkedIn reported a 60% increase in searches for ‘remote work’ and for ‘work-from-home’ opportunities. Providing the option, assuming the position can allow it, for flexible working arrangements is not only essential for recruiting talent, but also for retaining existing talent as well.
Over 70% of employees have stated that they would be less likely to resign from a role if given the opportunity to work from home. I’m not suggesting, however, that offering flexible working arrangements will solve all of your recruitment and retention problems. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. Remote work brings its own challenges (but as with all challenges, there are ways to overcome them):
- Fight Isolation: Just because a team isn’t physically together in an office from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday, doesn’t mean team bonding is out the window. We all need professional human interactions. Maybe not 8 hours a day, 5 days per week, but a sense of camaraderie & rapport building is extremely important, even in a virtual environment. So, while meeting that demand for a flexible working arrangement is paramount, it cannot be offered in isolation.
- Schedule Some In Person Meetings: If the option for an in-person meeting is available, take it. Even if it’s only for a few hours! That in-person gathering or one-to-one can make all the difference to an employee. If it’s not an option, then there’s always our good ole’ friend Zoom to help bridge that gap.
- Manage Fear: Just because a company offers remote work, doesn’t necessarily mean flexibility is promised. They don’t always go hand-in-hand. Many employers tend to have a fear of losing control over productivity when their employees are working from home. That sense of fear then trickles downward, and nobody wants to work in a fearful environment.
- Manage Work/Life Balance Expectations: The main reason so many people want the option to work remotely is that they desire true flexibility. They want to be able to work when they’re most productive, they want the ability to pick up their kids from school, to do a load of laundry in between meetings, and to start earlier & finish earlier when able to do so. In other words, people desire a true work/life balance.
In 2022, it goes without saying that most employees want some sort of flexible work ability. However, that doesn’t mean they want to be left alone. Only offering a flexible working environment won’t win you the top talent and it certainly won’t ensure you keep it. It’s what comes along with your workplace flexibility that counts. It’s the communication, the chance to connect with others, the continued support from colleagues, and yes the increased freedom, that will make all the difference in not only recruiting talent but retaining it as well.
To learn more about how PEAR can assist with your recruitment and retention needs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Michel Lukas, SHRM-CP