Why Employers Should Lean into Remote Work as a Perk

There is an ongoing debate in corporate America about the appropriate future for remote work. Some employers feel remote work detracts from productivity and collaboration, and many have already brought their staff back to the office for good.

Other employers believe remote work hasn’t had a negative impact on productivity and leads to happier workers, which makes it a net positive.

Remote Work Likely Here to Stay

Still others see remote work as so ingrained in the mindset and expectations of the broader workforce that it’s simply here to stay, no matter what employers might want.

ClearPath, in partnership with Remote, released a new report at the end of September with a comprehensive view on modern workplace benefits. The findings cover how employees rate their current packages, what benefits Gen Z cares about the most, and the benefits that stand out in today’s job market, and the report’s results help quantify some of these sentiments.

Workers Expect Remote Work to Be the Norm

The report found that 62% of decision-makers expect remote work to become more common over the next 5 years, and 69% of employees feel the same.

Employers that are determined to bring staff back to the office may face an uphill battle in the face of such sentiments. Expectations have a strong influence on future reality, and this data supports the argument that remote work is too embedded to go away.

Flexibility Top of Mind When Choosing Jobs

Expectations suggest a baseline requirement for workers to even consider taking a job with a particular employer. For many workers, remote work may ultimately become a bare minimum expectation of any job offer, if it hasn’t already.

But remote work addresses the life goals of many employees, as well. The right amount of flexibility can be more important to some workers than financial compensation. That makes flexibility a potentially powerful and efficient recruitment and retention tool for employers willing and able to provide it.

Workers Would Leave for Greater Flexibility

Consider, for example, the finding from the ClearPath/Remote study that 54% of Gen Z workers say they would consider switching jobs to relocate abroad. Furthermore, the report found that 57% of remote and hybrid workers who responded to the study’s survey ranked flexibility as more important than compensation.

While some employers remain skeptical of remote work, employees broadly expect the ability to work remotely to be a core requirement for a job. While this doesn’t necessarily mean employers have no choice in the matter, they should be as open as possible to remote work as an option for some employees, particularly star performers for whom flexibility is a critical benefit.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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