Remote Workers are Happy to Stay that Way
Despite the much-publicized limitations of remote work such as lack of collaboration and diminished corporate culture, many workers have adapted well and say they want this work dynamic to continue as the pandemic eases.
Many workers have discovered unexpected benefits of working from home. Advantages such as the lack of a commute, better work life balance, or even the opportunity to dress more casually, have left many employees less interested in returning to the office.
A recent LinkedIn poll conducted by MATRIX confirmed this sentiment. The poll of 882 workers showed that 50% of the respondents to the question, “How do you want to return to work after the pandemic?” answered ‘full-time remote’ as their preferred choice, followed by 46% preferring a ‘hybrid approach’, while only 6% said they want to return to the office full time.
A PwC survey found similar results. According to Entrepreneur Magazine,
“With COVID-19 changing everything about daily life, remote work has become the new normal. PwC recently surveyed 133 executives and 1,200 office employees. The results found that while most executives want to get employees back in the office as soon as possible, employees are in no rush: 75 percent of the executives anticipate having at least half of employees back in the office by July of 2021, but only 61 percent of employees expect to spend half of their working hours in the office by then.”
MATRIX Recruiting VP Justin Thomason said that despite employers’ desires, remote work is still featured in many job orders.
“At MATRIX, in the second half of 2020, we saw a remarkable 469% increase in the number of jobs we staff for our clients that allow for remote work over the same time period in 2019. In 2021 so far, more than 75% of all of our client jobs have allowed remote work; however, nearly 50% of these jobs specify the remote option as temporary. There's no question people are changing jobs and if your organization is not offering fully remote capabilities, you're missing out on great talent,” said Thomason.
With a shortage of tech talent evident everywhere, companies who offer geographically-agnostic remote work are in a stronger position to find those needles in a haystack. If you can find a great developer who lives in Soda Springs, Idaho, who cares?
Why do workers like working remotely?
In a word, flexibility. Remote employees have learned that working from home gives them the opportunity to avoid a stressful morning rush to the office, structure their schedule around school pick-ups and drop-offs, run errands, and even fit in breaks for workouts in the middle of the day.
More importantly, employees have proved an ability to get their work done and collaborate while working remotely. A FlexJobs survey of more than 2,100 people who worked remotely during the pandemic from March 17, 2021 through April 5, 2021. found that 55% said their productivity increased while working remotely, while 33% said it stayed the same.
Many companies, especially Agile, values-driven organizations with strong cultures, are realizing that a fully in-person workplace is not necessary to run an effective business. These are the ones who understand that remote work is here to stay, and that if they want to retain their top employees, they will have to accommodate this new normal in some form.