Posted on 1/04/2022 by Guy Barwell
There is a growing voice of discontent among early career employees for whom remote working doesn’t work.
“The company I joined has completely changed, it’s just not the same place, there’s no sense of team and belonging, I need a change”
“Good news! We would like to offer you the job! And better still you will rarely need to attend the office, it’s one of our amazing benefits, how does that sound!?”
“Errrr lonely, career restricting, not practical and bad for my mental health”
“You’ll be glad to know you can come into the office as much as you like”
“That’s good to hear, how many people are in at any one time?”
“Difficult to say but I hear there is usually a skeleton of staff, your manager loves working from home as it really fits with their commitments and lifestyle”
It’s time to Wake Up! Remote working isn’t for everyone!
Attracting talent is about meeting people’s needs and remote working doesn’t meet everyone’s needs. Fact.
So why do employers seem to promote remote working as the one fits all, panacea of employee attraction?
There is no doubt that remote working suits a lot of people and has and will continue to be a powerful recruitment and retention tool. But are employers who have taken it to the extreme meeting the needs of future talent who might have a different set of needs to established employees?
Are those setting the remote working policies serving their own needs at the expense of future talent?
During COVID there has been a marked increase in demand for experienced employees that can hit the ground running and require little hand holding.
That talent pool has now run dry. Companies are finding it hard to plug gaps with experienced recruits. Those with their eye on the future are switching their attention to growing and nurturing new talent.
To attract experienced staff, remote working has unquestionably been a powerful attraction tool and many of those that have not adopted it, have simply been left with vacancies and poor retention.
But is remote working as attractive to those at the early stages of their careers who may have less outside of work commitments and are maybe focused on career progression and development?
Can it be argued that pushing remote working too far is NOT INCLUSIVE?
Certainly, an element of remote working is highly attractive and hybrid working is undoubtedly here to stay but consider a graduate still living at the family home or perhaps renting a room in a strange city. It is likely they are not financially dependent and won’t have the privilege of a separate home office space and other luxuries such as super-fast broadband that create a productive and sustainable working space. Working two feet their bed five days a week!
Wouldn’t some prefer to be working in a bustling office, building friendships, confiding in a colleague over lunch, sharing a work space, getting to know different personalities, growing and developing as a person, wandering over to a colleagues’ desk to ask a question, watching how different people work, having a structured day, observing what does and doesn’t work for others, understanding work politics, learning things on the job from their Manager or Mentor, showing off their talent and socialising at the end of a hard day’s work?
The answer seems to be that early-career employee’s certainly want and expect an element of hybrid working but we have seen a growing number who want to be in the office at least 2-3 days a week.
Are those companies that have taken remote working to the extreme sleep walking into a future talent pipeline crisis?
Leaders who genuinely care about the younger generation will recognise that their needs differ hugely from their own and will have well thought-out strategies to ensure they don’t miss out on that ‘right of development passage’ that they knew as ‘office life’ and benefited from hugely…an adventure that shaped them both professionally and personally.
It’s time to Wake up! Remote working isn’t for everyone!