Workers have a variety of reasons for relocating—they may want to move to an area with lower cost-of-living expenses, be closer to parents or extended family, or live in an area with a different climate or better access to activities or hobbies, such as outdoor pursuits. Of course, most of these things were true before the pandemic pushed many companies into embracing telecommuting. The difference is that now employees feel they can leave a geographic area without leaving their job, and they have the productivity to prove it.
The difference is that now employees feel they can leave a geographic area without leaving their job, and they have the productivity to prove it.
In fact, flexible work arrangements have already been in the hearts and minds of our employees for years, if not, decades. In a pre-COVID LinkedIn article, 82% of employees expressed interest in working from home at least one day per month and 57% wanted to work 3 or more days from their home. In Deloitte’s February 2020 pre-COVID survey, 94% of employees indicated that they would benefit from flexible working options. The pandemic is causing greater urgency for employees to work remotely, especially those living in big cities and other high cost-of-living areas.
82% of employees expressed interest in working from home at least one day per month.
In a recent study by Just Capital, 89% of employees expected their companies to rethink work as a result of the pandemic. Are employers prepared to deal with this new employee-driven paradigm?
Do we understand what our employees really want and need from us? I am not sure we do and, at the moment, the stakes are higher than they have ever been. What is at risk for companies is a quality relationship with our talent – current and future.
Companies that take the time to rethink “what work could be” with an employee-centric lens
will be the winners in the “war on talent.” We must use this moment to break from the inertia of the past by tossing out biased mindsets, habits and systems. This kind of change will require transformational thinking, grounded in data, with a focus on the employee. And re-thinking physical space is just the tip of the iceberg – yet the decisions we make there will impact a new way of thinking about every aspect of the employee life cycle.
Re-thinking physical space is just the tip of the iceberg.
Whether people are working remotely, or in some form of hybrid (part-time in the office) we
must reimagine about how to keep our culture alive, how best we equip our leaders to lead
distributed teams, how we deliver employee development and training, how we promote
equitably with no bigger weight to ‘face time” (in a hybrid work environment) and how we
measure productivity. Perhaps most importantly, though, is how do we outfit our companies
with systems to allow everyone the ability to work and collaborate optimally.
I don’t think we have many of these answers yet, but our environments have accelerated the
need to get working on them. That’s why Palo Alto Networks, Splunk, Box, Uber and Zoom have joined forces to form FLEXWORK, a consortium that has made a commitment to collaborate to accelerate the development and implementation of employee-centric work practices.
As we approach the one year mark of this unexpected work-from-home experience, I have been reflecting on the successes and next steps in how we shape the future of work, particularly from how technology has enabled us to do things many of us thought impossible before. We’ve seen great success in helping employees onboard and […]
A recording of our panel presentation from the FLEXWORK coalition discussing virtual experiences for employees.
Long gone are the days of leaving work at work. Without the physical commute many of us used to shed the day’s trials and tribulations, and the constant “on” of technology, social media and more, the boundaries between our personal lives and our professional lives have blurred beyond recognition. Zoom and video meetings can be […]