How Employers’ Perspectives on Remote Working Have Changed

The rising acceptance of remote working by employers – and the expectation of remote working options being on the table for employees – is one of the key shifts to have come about because of the pandemic. We recently hosted a panel debate with several business leaders from a variety of industries, to try and get a better understanding of these changes. We asked our panel 5 key questions related to the impact of COVID-19 and will be serializing this session over the coming weeks.

In this third video our panelists discuss how attitudes towards remote working have evolved. To get their collective insights on this, do watch the video now:

Our thanks go to our expert panel members for their time and for sharing their insights so openly:

● Jenn Ryan – SVP Operations – Xometry

● Douglas Krieger – Director Global Sourcing – Herbalife

● Julie Bank – SVP Human Resources – Brighton Health Plan Solutions

● John Rorick – VP, Client Services – AgileOne

● Steve Lagnado – CFO – Insider Inc

How Attitudes To Remote Working Are Changing

COVID-19 has affected many aspects of our working lives and it’s still not clear what the long term effects will be on the world of work. But we can certainly say that companies have been forced to rethink their stance on remote working.

As we hear in this panel discussion, pre-pandemic there was a presumption in most larger companies that staff should work in the office. Remote work on any level was an exception, it was granted as a perk – effectively, it was something you had to ask for. But a period of enforced home working has changed all that. Companies are having to adapt to the fact that employees have become used to being able to work remotely – and now expect and demand this.

For some companies this was a scary prospect, because it’s been a worry that employees who work remotely may miss out on important interactions with co-workers or find it hard to stay in touch with the team. Indeed there’ve been concerns about whether employees would even do a full day of work if not under the constant gaze of management. However, other companies are embracing remote working as an opportunity for innovation – and recognising that remote workers can be more productive owing to a lack of interruptions and fewer hours being lost to meetings.

Some other benefits of remote working that your organization may want to factor in would include:

  • Greater accessibility for everyone in the company, no matter where they live in relation to the office or impediments they may have to getting into the office each day.
  • Enhanced inclusivity as a result of the above.
  • Better communication amongst co-workers. Contrary to the fears of some companies, moving to virtual communication channels can result in more team members being included in conversations and being party to attempts to innovate within the company.
  • Access to a far greater talent pool, as companies can now hire without the geographical constraints or relocation costs that have impinged upon hiring decisions in the past.

These are some of the benefits of embracing remote working or some hybrid working arrangement. But that’s only one element of the equation. You may have read about the “Great Resignation” – the expectation (and increasingly, the reality) that waves of employees will choose to resign from their positions and find alternative employment rather than be forced back to a full-time office environment.

Companies that are overly cautious or reluctant to embrace remote working are therefore going to face a huge talent shortage. On the one side they’ll find it increasingly difficult to attract the high caliber candidates they have been used to attracting in the past; whilst on the other side, they’ll struggle to retain their existing employees far more than has historically been the case. Add those two together and that’s a talent crunch awaiting any company that’s too slow to adapt to the new remote working reality.

This is the 3rd installment from the FPC Webinar series How Will Corporate America Approach Hiring Post COVID-19: Part Two. If you missed the first two articles, please see below:

Do you need help expanding your recruiting efforts to tap into the broader talent pool that remote working affords you? If so, please reach out to the FPC team and we’d be delighted to help.