Employers are facing a potential dilemma as workers seek new remote options.
Employers that mandate office work are going to have a difficult time attracting staff in the near future as more employees seek jobs that permit remote work. With gas prices increasing the price of commuting and millions of jobs going unfilled, employees are a flight risk.
“A remote work dilemma is emerging. Any company that’s less remote than its biggest competitor risks losing its most talented people to that business. Jeff Bezos said, “Your margin is my opportunity.” Today, your office is your competitor’s opportunity,” says tech newsletter Future.
Why it’s important
Employers are facing very real choices in their approaches to remote work that could affect their ability to hire new workers.
As we previously reported, major corporations like Apple, Meta, Alphabet, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are reporting the negative impact of allowing the majority of their employees to work remotely. Company cultures are suffering. Expensive rental properties are being left half-filed. Operations, internal and external communication, productivity, workplace relationships, and mentorship opportunities suffer when they’re handled over Zoom.
While most corporations are willing to be flexible or introduce a hybrid office-remote option, companies like Apple and AT&T have begun mandating employees return to the office which has resulted in public employee petitions drawing thousands of signatures to appeal to them.
With studies showing that 75% of respondents prefer remote work, employers may be placed in a position of having to choose between allowing more remote employees or risking losing staff to companies that are more willing to offer remote options.
“In the face of this momentum, management that opts for beleaguered arguments and empty, hand-wavy phrases over true organizational innovation will lose,” says Future.
“The Great Resignation isn’t happening because workers don’t want to work. It’s happening because workers are leaving companies that treat them poorly, underpay them, or hinder their quality of life due to a thinly veiled lack of trust. By some estimates, forcing employees to go back to work in-office could result in employers losing up to 39 percent of their workforce. When employees have the freedom and flexibility to organize work around living, rather than living around work, a new paradigm emerges,” says FirstBase CEO Chris Herd.
Some recent surveys suggest that 40% of workers want to quit their jobs and that 75% of those who have been happy with their decision, according to Future.
Remote work expanded between 2008 to 2018 by 400% and is expected to expand that 50 to 80 million desk jobs will be majority remote.
An AT&T research study from March found that hybrid remote-office work will be the industry standard working model by 2024, with 56% of work done offsite.