Gone are the days when millions of people traveled to their offices five days a week. In today’s employment culture, workplace approaches vary from one business to another. As organizations learn the pros and cons of remote work, many are now formalizing their long-term strategies.
Flexible work has become one of the most talked-about workplace trends, and employers are under pressure to maximize the opportunities it presents. While working from home is no longer considered an occasional perk, success for each stakeholder requires much more than simply doing office-based tasks outside the office.
5 tips for the future of hybrid work
How can employers ensure flexible working has a positive effect on their teams, culture, and business performance? Consider these five tips for the future of work:
1. Embrace remote working
For millions of people, the nature of work has changed forever. Employers the world over have shifted their approach and updated their policies to give people a choice.
[ What are today's candidates looking for? Read IT talent: 6 ways job expectations have evolved. ]
Just a couple of years ago, around one-fifth of people who could work from home were doing so, according to Pew Research. By December 2020, circumstances pushed this number to an unprecedented 71 percent and by September of last year, Gallup was reporting that 45 percent of full-time employees were partly or fully remote.
The world is unlikely to return to traditional office environments, and employers should be prepared to embrace remote working.
2. Focus on flexibility
Hybrid work can be an ideal compromise for employers and employees who feel that in-person contact is important at least some of the time. Recent research suggests that hybrid has become the dominant model among global knowledge workers. Specifically, 58 percent are now said to be working in hybrid arrangements, while 68 percent say they prefer hybrid work.
This type of flexibility is key for a generation of employees who have re-examined what they want from workplace culture. Some organizations are even taking this a step further, exploring ideas such as implementing a four-day workweek.
3. Prioritize talent retention
For many workers, remote work has become a non-negotiable career requirement. Employees working remotely may even seek out another job if their company were to eliminate this option. In the current employment market, many employers are struggling with significant skills shortages and are not prepared to risk employee turnover.
[ More IT talent retention tips: 5 strategies for becoming a talent magnet ]
Similarly, employers that are actively recruiting for key roles are eager to attract as many top candidates as possible. Given the challenges of talent acquisition and retention in today’s job market, employers should not underestimate the importance of flexible work options.
4. Go where the talent lives
One of the most significant benefits of remote work is that it enables employers to attract top talent regardless of location.
Traditional recruitment strategies were largely based on geography, limiting the pool of candidates to those based within a commutable distance to a corporate HQ or satellite office. Remote work enables employers to search far beyond their local area and even globally for top talent. This offers the added benefit of increasing the diversity of international teams. For employers, it requires a different mindset: Go where the talent lives.
5. Improve the employee experience
Clearly, remote work has made a positive impact on the employee experience for many workers. To optimize the remote employee experience, focus on improving internal communications, pay attention to employee feedback, invest in their well-being, and offer clear career development opportunities.
[ Read next: Hybrid work: 5 tips for prioritizing the employee experience ]
Remote work has become fundamental to how modern businesses operate. Those who invest in strategies to ensure its success will find themselves better positioned for the future of work.
[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]
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