Today’s corporate work models look vastly different than the classic in-office work model of year’s past. While many of these changes were accelerated by the pandemic, today’s changes are being driven by the modern worker looking to create more flexibility in their everyday life.
While fully remote work models have decreased since the height of the pandemic, it is still in high demand by today’s workforce. For any business vying for top talent in today’s challenging labor market, creating the type of work model and culture that drives top talent to your company is the key to winning the staffing war.
Today’s modern worker is seeking an employer who keeps up with the changing times and allows a work environment offering flexibility, a work and life balance, and the autonomy to do their job. While not all positions can offer as much flexibility as others; as a leader you must ask yourself where the work physically needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how it needs to be done to determine if the modern structure suits your business.
The Remote Worker
Whether an employer offers a fully remote or hybrid remote work model, working from home is in high demand by workers and job seekers at all levels.
Benefits of Remote Work
- Better employee health and wellness: most workers are happier when allowed to work in a remote capacity than those required to always be onsite every day.
- Increased Productivity: many workers and employers believe productivity increases with remote work because there are less unwanted interruptions.
- Increased talent pool for fully remote positions: there are larger and more qualified talent pools to hire from when geographical boundaries are increased.
- Reduce employee burnout: by simply eliminating long commute times, workers can use that as more personal time each week which can often reduce the feeling of being burned out.
- Need for smaller office space: less office space reduces administrative overhead costs for employers. Hybrid roles can allow for plug and play workstations versus individual workstations for each worker, reducing the need for additional workspace as companies grow.
- Less commuters on the road: means less greenhouse gas emissions, which is environmentally friendly.
- Cost Savings to workers: in addition to the cost savings by not commuting to an office, there is also a decrease in spending on work attire, dry cleaning and the purchasing of meals.
Disadvantages of Remote Work
Creating a remote work environment can be challenging for some organizations. Here are your disadvantages:
- Workflows and processes need to be augmented to accommodate those working remotely.
- An updated IT infrastructure is required to support remote work.
- In-person collaboration is eliminated on work from home days.
- Workers have less access to office technology that may be needed to work on projects.
- Loss of spontaneous communication and learning through other colleagues
More About Flexible Work
What is it? Allows workers to choose when and where they work.
Benefits of Offering Flex Work
- Better work/life balance: workers can best align their professional and personal work schedules to be more focused on work during their work hours and better manage their time and stress.
- Reduces absenteeism: when workers have more flexibility, they can more easily balance personal appointments outside of work hours.
- Empowers your employees: autonomy over how and when they work.
- Increases employee retention: reduces absenteeism when workers are happy and feel trusted to do their job.
- Shortened work week: there have been recent studies showing that a person can work their full week over fewer days in the week can lead to better production.
Disadvantages of Offering Flex work
- Difficulty in managing work schedules: collaborating with team members, and having team meetings could be more difficult.
- Decreased feeling of being part of the team: workers may feel more isolated and not supported.
- Delays in obtaining information: challenges of communicating between internal teams working various hours.
- Potential Impact on Customers: varying work schedules can impact customer service levels.
- Less collaboration: can lead to a decrease in company culture and employee engagement.
- Workers may feel less support: those working different hours may feel more disconnected.
If we learned anything over the past few years is that change happens and how we pivot and adapt will determine our future success. No solution is perfect for any business but if offering a Fully Remote or Flex Work model doesn’t work for your business, there are ways to meet the demand of the modern worker and still drive business results.
Hybrid work models can offer some flexibility and autonomy to workers while helping keep company cultures intact. By requiring teams or departments to work in-office on specific days and allowing remote work on the others, you can create an opportunity for better team building and collaboration while still allowing workers to find a better work life balance.
Offering total flexibility regarding when the work gets done may not work for your business. One solution is mandating that everyone work specific days and hours during the week and then offer the flexibility to work the remainder of their week on a schedule that best suits them. As leaders, it’s important to find alternate solutions to balance both employee and business needs to help drive our future success.