Perhaps the biggest silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that companies across the globe have been forced to adopt a remote work policy for staff who aren’t essential to performing work on-site. For millions of workers, this has meant the attainment of a long-standing goal to have the flexibility and freedom of working from home.
As the remote work paradigm has stretched on for over a year and a half, however, many employees are finding that remote work isn’t necessarily all it was cracked up to be. Whether it’s a longing for the office camaraderie or a desire to remove themselves from the productivity-sapping distractions of a home office, a significant proportion of workers are itching to get back to the office.
What this means for employers is that the ability to work remotely isn’t necessarily going to be a tremendously attractive perk for all workers; however, data suggests that the flexibility to choose that option remains an important factor for jobseekers.
Workers Crave Flexibility
New data from Jobvite’s 2021 Recruiter Nation Report highlights the perspectives of recruiters today as they tackle new hiring challenges as a result of the pandemic. This year’s report, based on input from more than 800 recruiters and HR professionals, reveals how a lack of remote work options turns off candidates:
- In the past year, 54% of recruiters have seen candidates turn down an interview or a job offer due to a lack of flexibility and remote work options.
- 57% believe the lack of work-from-home policies makes it harder to attract potential candidates.
- 60% believe organizations will lose employees if they do not transition to a hybrid, fully remote, or remote-first culture.
The ability to work from home has been a highly coveted perk for many workers for years, but the reality of that arrangement has left a significant number of employees longing for the structure and camaraderie of the office. Nevertheless, recent data suggests that even if a large proportion of employees would rather be sitting at their old desk, the flexibility to choose remote work is still a big enough draw for employers to boost engagement and retention.
Recruiters and HR professionals need to take note and incorporate messaging around flexibility, autonomy, and choice into their talent acquisition processes.