TECH TALK: BILL MAGEE says it’s wise to take on board employee demands for how they work
Digitally savvy and highly mobile Gen Z and Millennial job seekers are increasingly serving recruiters notice they expect their contract of employment to “flex” in harmony with their personal lives. C-Suite executives, in turn, are warned they risk losing their most talented employees and hurting the business if they ignore growing calls, especially for more hybrid work practices.
A Deloitte report says 66% of those two key age groups look for remote and hybrid working as integral to their employment terms and conditions. The study further reveals 77% of Gen z and 71% of millennials would look for a new job if they were expected to be at their workplace in person all the time.
Deloitte partner and lead (human capital) Kate Sweeney reports the first question recruiters are being asked by job applicants is about hybrid working arrangements.
It’s understandable organisations, forced by the pandemic to opt for working remotely, are asking themselves: should it be “back to normal” or embrace hybrid working?
For some this doesn’t apply as there are roles requiring daily attendance. Like call centres, factory lines, supermarkets and the emergency services.
The Law Society of Scotland reports that before COVID 12% of the UK workforce were involved in flexible working. This rose to 50% during the pandemic, and currently sits at around 22%.
Vlerick Business School suggests a number of advantages to employers contemplating hybrid.
Increased productivity is likely, as remote working can energise employees. Then there’s significant cost-savings where the physical office may start to feel like an unnecessary expenditure.
HSBC identifies a number of hybrid models and suggests the most effective involves employees required to alternate remotely and on-site, with selected team members fully working at the office for a week then rotating with other team members every other week.
Above all listen to your employees. In a time when employee burnout is reputed to be high, it’s crucial for the employer to understand their work experience with an eye on their mental health.
ROI Institute, operating in 70 countries with business, non-profits, governments, NGOs and educational organisations, claims return-on-investment analysis from flex working is non-existent.
What checks do exist typically employ the traditional “cost versus benefits” approach but ROI claims this proves inadequate in today’s digital economy.
Chief executive Patti P Phillips says most decisions around remote working/returning to office have been based on polls and employee feedback.
Such an approach misses job satisfaction, work-life balance, worker engagement, convenience all round, removing stress and ensuring higher recruitment levels.
ROI says it’s absolutely essential such work-based “intangibles” are taken into account as they have a direct bearing on that precious bottom line.
Exception’s tip: At the heart of agile working is to bring people, processes, technology, time and place closer together.
Of course remote work practicces are not without their challenges.
The aim is to discover the most appropriate and effective way to deliver impactful outcomes.
To deliver projects on schedule and to budget.
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