Why Everyone Wants to Work from Home – And What Your Organization Can Do About It
By Christina Greenberg
It’s no secret that employees who can work remotely are rejoicing in the fact they no longer have to sit through rush hour traffic, hold hours of in-person meetings, and participate in obligatory after-hours events—and can instead work comfortably from home. The pandemic has many employees ditching the 9-to-5, so they can design schedules that work for them.
Our data at Edgility shows that the volume of applicants for remote and hybrid positions dwarfs the amount of applicants for in-person roles. It’s easy to see why—remote positions are available to an entirely new pool of candidates since they aren’t tethered to a specific geographic location. But for in-person roles, both the number and quality of candidates have dwindled. Interviewees are making it increasingly clear they want to prioritize flexibility and would be willing to take a pay cut or receive fewer benefits to work remotely.
So what does this mean for organizations trying to hire the best talent? And what about organizations that can only employ in-person roles, such as schools, healthcare institutions and other place-based employers?
Aligning employee values and work culture
Many organizations assume ‘The Great Resignation’ is due to low wages and lack of benefits. However, according to a recent study done by MIT Sloan Management Review, the number one reason people are no longer coming back to work is due to toxic work culture. This can include poor practices around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that can leave workers feeling deflated, unrecognized, and mistreated. By conducting an Equity Assessment, organizations can gauge where employees stand and how they regard the organization through qualitative conversations and quantitative data collection. Then, they can customize an environment where employees feel safe and valued.
Publishing salaries to expand the applicant pool
Salary transparency is essential for expanding the applicant pool of open positions. 61% of employees say they are more likely to apply for a job if the salary is published. Whether a position is remote, hybrid, or in-person, publishing salaries creates a sense of trust between applicants and employers. For some organizations, this practice is not just recommended but required. Many states and cities have established salary transparency laws in an effort to help reduce gender and race wage gaps and build transparency amongst employees.
Reimagining in-person workspaces
The competition for remote jobs remains high while in-person jobs struggle to find the best candidates.
In 2020, PwC surveyed 1,200 US office workers and 120 executives. It was revealed that 73% percent of executives surveyed found that working remotely has been a success. The PwC survey also found that 72% of those surveyed would like to continue working from home for at least two days a week even when they can go back to the office full time, and 32% said they would like to work from home permanently.
Some companies are using this perplexing and unprecedented time to reimagine what it means to work at an office. For example, Salesforce created a ‘ranch in the redwoods’ to foster a more meaningful way for employees to interact with their colleagues and nurture their own well-being. While this type of solution might not be accessible to most nonprofits, there is a clear opportunity for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to meet employee needs and recognize their humanity. Acknowledging that people have families, want to prioritize their health and well-being, and prefer a sense of flexibility can go a long way for employers.
The volume of applicants for hybrid and remote roles doesn’t seem to be slowing down. However, organizations that need in-person workers can use this opportunity to assess what employees really desire. Does this mean including a babysitter, laundry machine, and lunchtime television breaks? Probably not, but clear job descriptions, salary transparency and candid conversations with current and potential employees are great places to start.