My friends and family are constantly asking the question that’s ringing around the world – when do you have to go back into the office?
I always reply that my company embraced flexible work schedules pre-pandemic. While I’m looking forward to returning to the office and being around my colleagues again, having the choice to do what I’m comfortable with isn’t something I take for granted – especially as I hear from my friends and family who are less-than-excited about their return-to-office schedules and new protocols.
It wasn’t surprising to then read that the drive to get people back into the office is, in some cases, causing people to quit and look for new jobs that provide greater flexibility. This Bloomberg piece shared that a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work; among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News.
So many businesses and individuals are talking about “getting back to normal,” but we should be focused on adjusting to a new norm. The pandemic forced us to change the way we live and work, and provided the opportunity to reevaluate what and who is important to us. It’s been a rollercoaster (to put it lightly), but there’s also been some positive change, and it’s because of greater flexibility.
Organizations need to recognize this shift – and I’m lucky to be at one that has. Our own Heather Kernahan, CEO, North America, recently shared with Fortune that “every CEO has to think about making their organization a place where people feel safe coming and talking about what they need now. We can be more flexible. It’s a different kind of resource management. We need to challenge ourselves to make new deals.”
The businesses that don’t acknowledge this shift or ask for input from their employees on return-to-office timing, processes, etc. – or worse, ignore the feedback they do receive – now risk losing good talent. This last year has proven that the world will keep on spinning and the work will still get done, even if we’re all at home. It’s time to get comfortable with the practice of long-term hybrid and remote work.
PS – If you’re reading this while in search of a new job with a flexible work policy, we’re hiring. :)
This last year has proven that the world will keep on spinning and the work will still get done, even if we’re all at home. It’s time to get comfortable with the practice of long-term hybrid and remote work.