Businesses that don’t shake up the 9-to-5 office routine may be destined to lose employees and profits.
If you asked people three years ago to define a work day, most would have said they spend eight hours in the office, with maybe a lunch break and a variable commute.
That was then. Now everything has changed – where people work, how long they work, how they interact with colleagues and how they tackle life’s challenges.
In the new reality of today’s workplace, companies must experiment with flexible working arrangements or risk losing employees to companies that do.
“Unless companies have at least one test and aren’t doing anything different than before, they don’t really understand the nature of the changing workforce,” said Greg Barnett, chief people scientist at Energage. a national employee survey company.
That could mean having employees work four days a week. Or unusual opening hours. Or promoting different forms of cooperation. Better Technology. Additional perks, new benefits.
“Other companies will find the solutions,” Barnett said, “and … they will also find the talent.”
Hybrid working solutions – a collective term for flexible working arrangements – mean different things to different people. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It varies by job role, industry and location. Every industry has its own hybrid journey to some degree.
For example, those who work in healthcare, retail, construction and education are less likely to work from home. And while most workers may be local, that doesn’t mean all are. That’s part of the challenge.
“People have to start thinking creatively,” Barnett said, “and asking their employees, ‘What would make your hybrid experience great?'”
An analysis of 3 million employee surveys by Energage shows that employees who work entirely remotely are more engaged than employees who work only on-site (59% vs. 52%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, senior leaders prefer to be local while team members prefer to be remote.
Especially in this tight labor market, employees want more choice. Therefore, employers must understand the needs and desires of employees. As companies expect workers to return to the office, will some employees refuse to resume a long daily commute?
Employers also need to understand the costs and benefits of remote work. Who can work from home? Who can’t? What is the cost of bringing employees into the office instead of letting them stay at home?
Organizations committed to returning local employees should think about goals. How will they benefit from investing in their infrastructure? Is the goal higher productivity? More innovation? More inclusion? Employers should focus on the actual things they are most concerned about.
When organizations care about work-life balance so people don’t burn out and stay engaged, they need to think about what behavior they reward, including compensation and promotions.
Companies today must have the courage to say that what used to work no longer works.
Bob Helbig is director of media partnerships at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey company. Energage is a survey partner for Top Workplaces.
https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/11/04/hybrid-work-if-youre-not/ Businesses that stick to traditional 9-to-5 workdays risk losing employees and profits