Remote Work, Hybrid or Return to Office
Now that Covid-19 appears to be calming down, we’re seeing companies calling for employees to return to the office (RTO). As a result, remote work could no longer be an option for the employees. However, many of these employees are pushing back against their employer. Many companies are calling for a hybrid work environment and mandating employees be in the office 3 days a week. However, employees are calling for a freedom of choice. Of course, this all depends on their role in the company. In other words, we all know that a warehouse worker can’t work remotely.
Remote work benefits
Remote work is full of benefits to both the employer and the employee. The obvious benefit to the employee are things such as no commute, money savings with regard to fuel, tolls, clothing and lunches. Covid-19 taught us that people are placing more value on family time and driving to a physical office eats into that family time. That is lost time an employee can never recover. There is also an upside to the employer. The employer can save money when it comes to electricity, office space and less of a need for a physical presence ( real estate). This means a smaller footprint.
The demand for remote work is here to stay. Employees crave it. Employers can’t deny it. The result is is that if an employer forces employees to return to the office they face the potential for increased attrition. The unsatisfied employee can most likely “go down the street” to another company that does offer a fully remote and flexible work schedule. Again, work-life balance is no longer a buzzword. It’s a way of life.
What can you do?
You may be thinking, “What can I do to combat attrition due to return to work policies?” First and foremost, perform an analysis of the roles that require a full time in person presence. Roles that come to mind in this category are warehouse workers, some customer service functions and manufacturing (direct touch labor) roles. The employees in these roles most likely worked through the peak of the pandemic so they expect to be full time onsite. Next, determine which roles can be full time remote. Roles that most likely fall into this category are HR functions such as Recruiting and Talent Acquisition, Marketing, Sales, and some Engineering. Give employees in those roles the CHOICE of full time onsite, fully remote or a hybrid schedule. Employees feel empowered when they are given choices and have the opportunity for input. No one likes to be “forced” into a box based on a mandate. Follow this guidance, listen to your employees and value them. If you do this, you’re less likely to experience increased attrition and will even steal some high caliber talent from your competition!