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Want to Compete? Offer Remote Work

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It’s no secret that today’s job candidate is looking for a different work-life balance. The pandemic and the subsequent onset of the Great Resignation has pushed employees to re-evaluate everything. Amid the pandemic fatigue and feelings of being overwhelmed and stuck, one thing emerged: employees want more.

And organizations should be paying attention. As about 4 million workers quit their jobs monthly (US Bureau of Labor Statistics), employers need to find ways to not only attract new hires but also keep the employees they have.

That’s created a virtual feeding frenzy among companies across the country. In many cases, it’s an unfair fight – smaller organizations are left with finding ways to compete with big-city salaries and perks while still trying to operate on very local budgets.

Yet while salary is the main reason employees are leaving for greener pastures, employees want more. According to Jobvite data, remote work flexibility ranks right up there with flexible work days and company culture as the things most important to job seekers.

That means your company, no matter what size, can easily compete for the best candidates. By offering remote work and a flexible workday (allowing employees to work during the hours when they’re most productive), your organization can keep the valued talent you have and attract talent from anywhere in the country to your operations.

But there are other reasons for wanting to offer remote work. Researchers in Houston analyzed the data from 264 employees to understand the impact of remote work on the business. The company was closed due to hurricane flooding. Researchers found that during a seven-month period of remote work, employees work behaviors matched the pre-hurricane production levels, even though they were not logged on to their computers as often. The study also revealed that both company and employee resiliency improved as a result of remote work.

As many of us discovered when forced to scale back (or close) operations amid the worst of the pandemic lockdowns, remote management can work. Our own company, WAHVE, has been fully remote since its inception. It takes reimagining your operations – and your approach – for remote operations to be successful.

We suggest restructuring the workday to fit the employee’s best hours, not the standard eight-hour, nine-to-five drill. Measure by outcomes achieved, not hours put in. Set goals and expectations with employees, and trust them to deliver.

Above all, provide open channels of communication. Your employee should be able to reach you and feel able to discuss issues, struggles, and receive performance feedback as well as any training or mentoring support.

As your organization looks to compete in a tight labor market, you can attract candidates and even retain key employees by offering remote work and flexible work arrangements. Organizations everywhere have discovered that remote work is possible. Giving job candidates and your talent the option to work remotely gives them an important component of a healthy work-life balance, and allows you to find top talent no matter where they are located.

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