The pandemic has changed the world of work dramatically. In fact, a Fosway and UNLEASH survey found 81% of employees believe that work has changed forever.
This belief is supported by businesses transitioning to hybrid working and altering the expectations for employees to attend traditional office spaces.
Not only that, but companies are struggling to acquire and retain talent as people re-evaluate what they want from work. This has been typified by the ‘Great Resignation’ that has seen millions leave the workforce.
In an effort to combat this mounting number of people out of work, many companies have increased wages and benefits.
Nonetheless, companies may have to commit to a hybrid working policy to attract new talent.
Rey Ramirez, the co-founder of Thrive HR Consulting, which advises companies in multiple industries about managing hybrid teams, told CNBC: “Right now, if you’re not offering flexible or remote program, you’re missing out on 50% to 70% of candidates.”
He added: “Employees are really calling the shots of what they will and won’t accept.”
Ramirez concluded that people are actively turning jobs down that don’t offer them the flexibility they desire.
The comments of Ramirez are supported by research from Ernst & Young (EY).
After speaking to 1,000 business leaders the report found that 90% of workers want more flexibility in when and where they work.
In response, 79% of companies said they intend to make “moderate to extensive hybrid work changes.”
While moving to a hybrid working model may seem like a significant change, there are tangible benefits.
Notably, EY found that 57% of leaders surveyed, as part of their Future Workplace index, said their workers were more productive now than before the pandemic.
Additionally, 83% of leaders said their culture had improved when less than half of their staff were working in the office.
This is not to say that hybrid doesn’t bring about challenges. In fact, cases of burnout and team divisions have been well documented. In these instances, managers need to work with teams to create a healthy work environment.
Speaking about the push for hybrid working, Liz Fealy, EY global people advisory services deputy leader and workforce advisory leader, said in a statement: “We know that many employees are prepared to quit if they don’t get the flexibility they need and so employers who fail to move with the times do risk losing their people.
“Organizations that want to flourish need to ensure that their plans are well defined and communicated, and that they balance business and employee priorities in refining these plans to help create a win-win for the business and the workforce.”
Amidst staff shortages, and the benefits of hybrid working many employers may now look to flexible work even if they weren’t originally taken with the idea.