The days of working five days a week in an office are over. In the last two years, employees have learned to work in entirely new ways. They’ve proven they can engage and be productive anywhere, and there’s no going back.
Many employees plan to use flexible work models in the years ahead, including fully remote work. Yet despite the clear benefits that remote and hybrid work can deliver, many employers remain skeptical and continue to push for what they see as normal: all employees in the office all the time.
That’s a problem. Employees aren’t looking to return to the past. They’re seeking a new, more flexible future in which they are empowered to work when, where, and how they work best.
[ Planning to hire in 2022? Read: IT talent: 6 ways job expectations have evolved. ]
5 hybrid work tips to retain IT talent
If companies hope to attract and retain talent in the tightest labor market the world has ever seen and gain the agility needed to move forward in what continues to be a dynamic and challenging environment, they should consider these five tips.
1. Stop thinking of work as a place
Work and the office used to be synonymous. But work isn’t a place anymore. It’s wherever people perform at their best, and that could be at home, in the office, on the road, or anywhere in between. Companies need to recognize this. Instead of focusing on physical office locations, they need to create work-from-anywhere experiences powered by digital workspace solutions that give employees the space and tools they need to succeed, wherever they happen to be.
2. Be flexible
Success is rarely driven by mandates. This is particularly true when it comes to hybrid work. While many companies will try to prescribe a set number of days in the office versus working from home, a better strategy is to give employees the freedom to choose where and how they work based on the outcomes they need to achieve. Given this trust, they’re likely to make the right call.
3. Think differently about productivity
Managers who think they need to see their teams in person to believe they’re working need to shift their mindset. According to research by global staffing firm Robert Half, 45 percent of remote workers report putting in more than 8 hours a day, with 68 percent saying they work the weekend. Another study suggests that working from home even one day a week could boost productivity by 4.8 percent. In the world of hybrid work, productivity can’t be viewed in terms of time spent in the office and visibility to others. And it needs to be measured on outcomes, not output.
4. Learn from the crisis
The fully remote work model and the technologies used to support it have removed many of the inequities from the workplace that have prevented some employees from advancing their careers. In a digital workspace, everyone has the same access to information: in virtual meetings, for example, participants are given an equal box on the screen.
As companies move toward hybrid models, they should leverage these same technologies to provide a common and transparent environment in which employees have equal access and opportunities to contribute, regardless of their location.
5. Keep things simple
Whether working at home or in the office, employees need tools they can use to engage and collaborate with their colleagues, customers, and partners. In the rush to enable remote work, companies delivered them – including some that are difficult to use or that make work more complex. To remedy this problem, companies should focus on technology that eliminates the friction and noise from work and adapts to employee work styles rather than forcing them to learn new ways of doing things.
Employees have spoken: Hybrid is how they want to work. Employers who create opportunities for their employees to do meaningful work on their own terms will be poised to win the battle for talent and propel their business forward.
[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]
What to read next
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Keep up with the latest advice and insights from CIOs and IT leaders.