The pandemic has, obviously, changed the way we work -- whether that is forever is anyone’s guess. High-level investment firms demanding a return to the office are famously facing pushback from Gen Z employees who have come of age professionally in a fully remote culture while certain technology firms, despite their sizable real estate investments in glam offices with all the perks, are allowing workers to choose their own adventure in terms of location and literal face time.
Whatever your company is doing (or not) to create near- or long-term strategies around the demand for hybrid or remote work options, the reality is you should consider finding ways to embrace it. Why? According to a recent CareerBuilder social poll, only 5% of workers say they want to return to their offices and 83% of candidates surveyed would prefer to work for companies offering flexible work schedules. Further, job postings on CareerBuilder.com for remote positions receive seven times more applicants than in-person listings.
“In the past, most employers followed more traditional work schedules of full onsite, but employers are seeing that in order to attract and retain workers, offering a more hybrid approach is preferred,” says Liz Cannata, VP of Human Resources.
At CareerBuilder, we opened our offices early in the year encouraging folks to choose a model that makes them most comfortable right now. Some teams are fully remote – and high functioning. Sara Skirboll, VP of Communications, leads one such team. “I manage people in four different states across three time zones, and you might think that would be an issue, but we all work together to build flexibility and grace into our schedules so we can accommodate the occasional before- or after-hours meetings,” she says.
Here are a few insights from CareerBuilder professionals around navigating this new world and continuing to attract new talent.
Trust your teams.
Over the course of the last two years, professionals have proven that they can get the job done in a Zoom world. “People can work from all over while still being productive and engaged, and while there is value to in-person connection and engagement, that can be balanced with flexibility for workers,” says Cannata.
Spend to set people up for success.
We’re a far cry from fumbling around on Zoom at the onset of the pandemic, but it’s a good idea to continue to ensure people have the tools they need to succeed. Says Amy McNealy, CareerBuilder’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, “Employers may have to invest in technology where they didn’t before.” Stay on the leading edge of technology and allocate spend to ensure workers feel properly resourced.
Provide the supportive perks needed to make hybrid and remote work actually work.
Life happens. Managers need to check in with their team as to how they can accommodate the challenges that can arise in the world of remote and hybrid work. Someone’s child may have changed schools to a less-than-convenient location. Or they could be starting a family. “Offer scheduling perks to entice new hires, like flexible hours, which can reduce childcare costs,” says McNealy.
Create connections among your team.
Skirboll encourages her team to check in with one another on not just work issues but everyday happenings in their personal lives. “Of course, we’re laser focused on results, but we take time – on team calls, on our chat channel, to celebrate all the good things happening in our lives, be it a vacation or someone’s child’s accomplishments. And we stay connected on pop culture and trending news to share perspectives.
Build micro communities across the organization.
Motivate employees – especially those spread across the nation or the world – to use channels like Slack and Teams to start micro communities that foster a greater sense of connection. Caroline Potter, Content Manager, says, “I relocated from New York to Idaho and was feeling a bit unmoored, so I was thrilled when a colleague started an Idaho-focused chat for those of us here to connect about everything from the ever-changing weather to just celebrating the fact that we’re in the same time zone.”
As the world of work – hybrid, remote, in-person – evolves, CareerBuilder will share tips and best practices for navigating the new now.