- There seems to be a huge disconnect between what workers want and what employers are demanding.
- Many large companies, entrepreneurs, and politicians are trying to put an end to remote working, which has led to panic over whether remote working is soon to be obsolete.
- Allwork.Space asked three workplace leaders about their thoughts on the future of remote work.
As of late, there has been a push from employers and companies to get workers back into the office.
The newfound flexibility many workers experienced amid the pandemic made a huge impression on society; the ability to work remotely is highly valued and sought after. In fact, 32% of workers surveyed by Owl Labs said they would quit their job if they were not able to continue working remotely.
There seems to be a huge disconnect between what workers want and what employers are demanding.
Many large companies, entrepreneurs, and politicians are trying to put an end to remote working, which has led to panic over whether remote working is soon to be obsolete.
The question is, is the remote work window about to close?
Allwork.Space asked three workplace leaders about their thoughts on the future of remote work.
Amanda Hahn, Interim CMO at HireVue:
“Contrary to some leaders’ beliefs, remote work is the future.
While the chaos of the last two years has caused unforeseen turmoil, it has opened a door toward a better future for work. We’ve proven that in many cases, the 40 hour in-person work week is a concept that fails to recognize the importance of flexibility for so many people.
The turn to increased flexibility has proven to be necessary, and in our HireVue 2022 Global Trends Report, 88% of our respondents said flexible work opportunities have significantly improved their work-life balance, and that they want it to continue.
Our team at HireVue works 100% remote, which has opened the door for collaboration between coworkers across different time zones. Our global team has experienced deeper connection with an all-remote workforce that was not possible before.”
Dr. Lisa Severy, Career Advisor at University of Phoenix:
“One of the many unexpected outcomes of the pandemic must be the re-examination of our relationship to work. The ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘Big Quit’ has been the result of that examination as workers consider the question of what work does and should mean in our lives. Now, that also includes where we work. Apart from jobs that require an on-site presence, both employees and employers have considered the utility and art of working remotely.
Although research tells us that productivity is higher when people work from home, the collaborative innovation factor is influencing many leaders to start planning for and requiring fewer work-from-home situations.
Elon Musk has been navigating this within all his organizations and is requiring most of his employees to return to the office, especially those in high profile positions. He has mentioned that the highest performing individuals may be able to spend some time working at home, which may turn out to be an incentive for workers.
Those required to return to an office may seek special dispensation from their current company or may look for a new job with more flexibility. As workers have seen the volatility of the work world, they are taking more ownership over their own career management.
Some organizations may find a hybrid model – some time in an office and some time at home – a good compromise. Either way, the future of work will look physically different now that we’ve seen what’s possible.”
Gilles Raymond, CEO/Founder of Letsmeet:
“The pressure regarding WFH (work from home) is understated. I believe companies are not feeling comfortable to talk about it, as they are facing significant push backs from the employees regarding the back to the office.
The expectations from the management on this subject are such that Tim Cook had to write a letter to explain Apple rules. Elon Musk does direct straightforward communication about it. As a consequence, most of the push backs are done under a kind of passive resistance with real rationales.
Companies that are offering full remote mention it in their ad to attract talent. Companies that are not offering it (like Google), list their offices from which you can work. It is clearly an important element for recruiting talent.
But WFH has to be in the same country for a few reasons:
- Legal reasons: your U.S. working contract is not enforceable outside the country, and if you decide to work in Europe, you will need a legal entity in Europe and a working agreement respecting European laws. As an example, in some countries, you will also need to prove that the person you have recruited has unique skills that you will not find in Europe. In France, the notice period is 3 months.
- Tax reasons: employees and even more companies need to pay different taxes and different social contributions to different organizations per country. As a reminder, in Sweden, social security costs 30% of the employee’s salary and is paid by the company. In France, it’s 42%.
- Cybersecurity reasons: some countries will be more risky in terms of IT.
At a time where employees and a new generation are looking for a more balanced life, WFH offers a significant amount of time saved by not commuting, flexibility in their agenda, and increased availability for family, kids and pets.
Even if WFH opens many issues (how to be sure the person is really working), the quality of life offered by this approach, the traction of companies that offer this mode, and the passive resistance faced by the ones not offering this opportunity shows the power of the trend of remote work. It will take years, and it will be offered under specific conditions, but the trend is there and it is unstoppable.”