What is the Future for Remote Work?
A decade ago, most employers would have balked at the idea of employees regularly working from home. One major concern most employers had for working remotely was a loss of productivity. How productive and efficient can an employee be when they're not under constant supervision by co-workers and supervisors? Well after almost two years of working remote, studies have indicated that employees are actually more productive working from home with logging more hours and being more responsive to work emails around the clock and weekends. There is also significantly less distraction from other co-workers.
While the flexibility and increased productivity may encourage both employees and employers to implement a work from home strategy, remote employees also reported higher levels of stress and difficulty in finding a work-life balance than office-based workers. Other professionals may not have the needed home set up to accommodate a work from home environment. On the flip side, employers have also expressed concern that a remote workforce also impacts the workplace culture, collaborating with new employees, and team building, especially for those organizations who prioritize in-person interactions. Organizations that are completely remote may run into trouble maintaining their culture and completing certain tasks, much like online colleges have much lower graduation rates than in-person colleges.
Now many organizations are returning to the office with limitations (Kastle (an office security company) reported an occupancy rate just under 39% on November 22, 2021) and they are challenged in appeasing to the shifting expectations among the workforce while also remaining competitive in staffing needs. Employees expect flexibility more than ever before. Here are some stats below.
According to a BCG study nearly 90% of professionals want to work from home some or all of the time.
Global Workplace Analytics reported that 37% of remote employees would take a 10% pay cut to continue working from home. Because of this increasingly popular trend, some refuse to accept an onsite position, knowing they can find a more convenient and flexible gig elsewhere.
Almost three-quarters (72%) of tech workers surveyed by Hackajob cited remote working as one of the key perks they looked for as part of a jobs package, while 67% said they had broadened the scope of their job search due to the possibility of remote working.
Meanwhile, one in five (21%) respondents said they were looking to leave their current job because of a lack of flexibility from their organization, with 21% citing a lack of remote working options specifically.
Although remote job postings have increased, they only represent about 16% of the job listings on LinkedIn.
The expectations between employers and employees are definitely not aligned. And, while there are a few organizations who have announced a permanent remote workforce strategy - many organizations are opting for a hybrid model with 2-3 days in the office per week. A majority of our clients are also embracing this same workforce model, which is viewed as that perfect compromise to allow for employee flexibility while also maintaining workplace culture and collaboration. This hybrid model also helps organizations to still be competitive in attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, McKinsey estimated that 20-25% of the workforce could work from home 3 – 5 days per week without any loss to productivity, but the ability to work semi-remote and how often will depend on many factors, including industry, company, and your role within the organization. While it’s unclear how much office work will be done remotely, the prospects are at least much brighter than they were pre-pandemic, when less than 5 percent of the workforce worked from home.
Fortunately for Business Continuity/ Resiliency professionals, the potential for a hybrid to remote option is quite high. There are several tasks that can be accomplished remotely without any productivity loss, such as updating or writing plans, processing, analyzing and interpreting data, administrative computer tasks and creative thinking. On the other hand, there are tasks that can be accomplished via WebEx on-line meetings but are likely more beneficial when in-person such as collaborating among several departments or different employees, influencing others across an organization, training, and conducting exercises.
So what does this mean if you are seeking a new job now? First and foremost, be sure to review the job posting to see if it indicates an on-site, hybrid model, or 100% remote. And although our data indicates that 100% remote options are less common in the Business Continuity profession, these roles are even more challenging to interview for and secure a job offer. Remote job opportunities are incredible for those professionals based in rural areas; however, they also open up the candidate pool to thousands and thousands of potential candidates. Another point to consider is that many companies are not authorized to have employees based in every location. As an example, organizations in the USA need to have all the legal paperwork in place (by state) before they can onboard an employee in that respective state. This can be tricky to keep up with as each state has it’s own regulations and processes for filing as an employer and maintaining their employer status.
If you do apply for a job opportunity that offers a hybrid workforce model and you are not locally based to the office site, the organization will likely expect you to relocate for the role. This will present its own set of challenges in competing for the role with candidates who are already locally based, as well as interviewing and relocating during a pandemic. This is why it is well worth your time and energy to understand the company requirements before applying or early on in the process.
It is important to note that the competition for Business Continuity, Resiliency, and Crisis Management professionals is the highest it’s ever been due to building programs from the ground up, revamping current programs, addressing program gaps, and keeping up with recurring activities. The longer a job stays open the more likely an organization will consider a remote employee. Just be cautious and ensure that a remote workforce option is a company policy. It’s difficult to predict if and when the market could swing the other direction and replace remote workers with local hybrid/ on-site employees.
As always, we are here to help you in meeting your career aspirations in any way that we can. Sign up for our BCM Career Alert notifications at https://www.bcmanagement.com/business-continuity-jobs to ensure you receive timely new career notifications matching your search preferences. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. Arrange a complimentary discussion today at firstname.lastname@example.org.