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What's the future of remote work?

September 6, 2022

Conversation about the future of work - and especially remote work - has been booming since the beginning of widespread work-from-home. While many companies have adopted work from home policies, some are beginning their return to the office. Apple employees will be expected to come to the office three days a week, the Verge reports. Companies like CVS and Walmart are making similar plans.

There are still many remote-first companies out there (and our team recruits for some of them!), but current trends differ from the early days of pandemic-driven remote work. Keep reading for some of our recommendations as your organization puts 2023 hiring plans into place.

Employees will stay with companies that have an appealing work-life balance.

Many people have enjoyed working from home because it allows them more time with family and friends, the ability explore new hobbies, or even more time to relax. It’s no secret that cutting commutes shaves hours of the workday every week.

So it stands to reason that employees who have grown used to this flexibility will continue working at companies who can support their work-life balance, even after they’re called back to the office.

For example, Goldman Sachs and Patagonia are among the companies that offer childcare services - and Patagonia says this benefit has been a huge boon to employee retention. Employers who support working parents (in whatever way is feasible for their organization - whether it's more schedule flexibility, or other perks) may see similar results, as well as a more satisfied workforce.

Hubs, satellite offices, and co-working spaces will rise as alternatives to a traditional campus.

Large companies may start to close their offices in favor of having smaller satellite or co-working offices throughout the country. For example, Netflix is subleasing one of their campuses and Chevron is selling their 1.4M square foot space.

But co-working spaces are still popular, and many companies have maintained their smaller offices. We predict that many companies will continue to hire talent regardless of location, but may give preference to employees who live in their hub cities, so the teams can meet in-person as needed. Amazon has stated they want employees close enough to  come in within a day’s notice - and other companies may implement similar guidelines.

Austin, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami still serve as headquarters for many tech companies - and preference may be shown to workers living there.

Being in a physical office may allow more opportunities for connection (and fewer opportunities for burnout).

Slack messages, emails, notifications, calls - employees are connected to their employers in more ways than ever before. While the constant communication serves quick answers, fewer miscommunications, and building coworker trust, many employees report working more when they work from home.

For those who feel like they are constantly “on call”, a return to the physical office may help reduce stress. Employees can power down when they leave for the evening and abandon the expectation to continue working.

However, employers need to help set these expectations - and help workers feel like they have the ability to flip the “off” switch when they leave for the day. Employers who make it clear that when the workday is over, so is the expectation to continue working, may have an easier time attracting their teams back to the workplace.

Employees won’t want to come to the office to sit on video calls - and companies will need to plan for this.  

One criticism of return to work has been employees sharing how they’ve come to the office only to immediately open up their computer and begin video calls (working the same way they would have worked at home). Combined with a commute, it’s easy to understand the frustration of employees who feel that office life doesn’t provide meaningful changes to the work they’d be doing at home.

If you’re asking your employees to return to work, make sure that you have a plan to set up their days for success. Will other members of their team be in the office at the same time? Will they be able to meet with them in-person? Taking additional time to work with your employees on how their work will be different in the office can help them feel like this was a thoughtful decision, and they’ll be more likely to reap the benefits of in-office work.

While trends may change, the need for top talent beats on the same. Need help hiring? Reach out to sales@recruitingfromscratch.com to set up a call.

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