How Will Flexible Work Arrangements Attract & Empower Jobseekers to Seek New Roles?

Valerie is currently the CEO and owner of Valerie Martinelli Consulting, LLC. in which she offers Life, Leadership, and Career coaching for women as well as various Management and Human Resource consulting services such as program development, management, and evaluation, human resource audits, and employee handbook and other policy developments.

Are you thinking about quitting your job? You are not alone. Employees are quitting instead of having to give up working remotely or having a hybrid option. The sudden drive and urgency to get people back into the office after being remote for over the last year is motivating employees to make decisions that they may not have previously made in their careers.

Increasingly more and more workers are expecting pandemic workplace adaptions to stick. After all, many dove headlong into these adaptions for over the last year. Prior to the pandemic, many employers had a longstanding argument against remote work until there was no longer an option. Employees are now preparing to seek out the things that they value most in employment when the time is right because the pandemic has forced many to reevaluate and shift their perspectives on life and work.

According to the Pulse of the American Worker Survey: Is This Working? A Year In, Workers Adapting to Tomorrow’s Workplace, 87 percent of American employees who worked remotely during the pandemic prefer to continue working remotely at least one day per week post-pandemic. This survey polled 2,000 adults employed full-time. Among all employees, 68 percent stated that a hybrid workplace model is ideal.

It is believed by many that flexible schedules and reduced commute times have outweighed the challenges of isolation and increased work hours that was originally cited in an earlier survey.

The “War for Talent”

The survey also signaled a possible impending war for talent. 42 percent of current remote employees stated that if their current organization does not continue to offer long-term remote work options, then they will look for a new role at an organization that does. This is a signal that a “war for talent” can be looming if employees’ needs are not addressed by organizations. In addition, 20 percent of respondents said that they changed jobs during the pandemic. 26 percent said that they are planning to look for a new role as the pandemic winds down.

Amongst those employees planning to seek new roles post-pandemic, 80 percent are concerned about their career growth, in comparison to 49 percent of all employees. Most of this group- 72 percent- are reconsidering their skill sets in comparison to 46 percent of all employees.

Who will win this impending war for talent? Those organizations who are ready to declare themselves as the top workplace. To be viewed as the top workplace, they must cultivate options for flexible work arrangements, such as remote and hybrid work, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career development and advancement, and fostering employees’ health, well-being, and building financial resiliency.

Be Mindful of Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Jobseekers have a choice of job, and they will do what’s right for themselves and their personal situations.


SHRM’s Predicted “Turnover Tsunami”

In March 2021, SHRM made a bold statement that “more than half of employees surveyed in North America plan to look for a new job in 2021, according to a new report, while separate research shows that a quarter of workers plan to quit their jobs outright once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and recruiting efforts ramp up.” 

Why is this? Many are resuming job searches that they put off due to the pandemic. But does that account for everyone? No, not in my professional opinion and not according to the earlier data that points to why employees are leaving their roles. They are seeking remote work and hybrid workplaces.

Also, according to a recent Bloomberg article, employees are quitting instead of giving up working from home. If this is the case, then will that “Turnover Tsunami” take hold and create more job openings? If so, then we may see similar supply and demand problems that we saw prior to COVID. Right now, we are seeing jobseekers reassessing their options and their careers and reevaluating what is most important to them, and creating their careers and work-based around that.

Remote and Hybrid Work’s Appeal to Jobseekers

After a year at home, many have come to value flexibility. While most do miss the connectedness that they had with their coworkers from working together in-person daily, they have also learned that we can connect other new ways without sacrificing the things that we did.

My clients have cited not missing their commute and being productive at home and with their families instead of being on trains or sitting in traffic trying to get to their offices on time. Others have said that they learn what really matters. They can be flexible and spend more time with their families than when they were in an office all day long.

Remote and hybrid work is also known to facilitate more productivity as well. Are you stuck working on a problem or feeling a case of writer’s block? You have the freedom to go for a walk and come back to it. Whereas in an office, you are stuck at your desk.

Freedom is the appeal for remote and hybrid. It means that your employer trusts you and values the work that you do. It means that your employer will not and cannot micromanage you.

According to Flexjobs, the benefits of working from home are:

  • Better Work-Life Balance
  • Less Commute Stress
  • Location Independence
  • Improved Inclusivity
  • Money Savings
  • Positive Environmental Impact
  • Impact on Sustainability
  • A Customizable Office
  • Increased Productivity and Performance
  • A Happier, Healthier Work Life

Jobseekers are feeling empowered to ask potential employers about possible exposure to COVID and flexible options to do what is right for their personal situation. The bottom line? Jobseekers have a choice of job, and they will do what’s right for themselves and their personal situations. Recruiters and employers must see jobseekers as humans with needs and personalize the candidate and employee experience if they want to attract and hire the best talent.

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