Multiple studies confirm a high percentage of employees want to keep working from home after the pandemic. Most show 25 percent to 40 percentof employees are willing to find another job if they can’t work at home at least some of the time.
That mindset creates a potential double hit for businesses, says Jeanette Coleman, Axcet HR Solutions’ director of human resources.
“At the same time, some of your employees are inclined to leave if you insist on having them work on site and a certain number of candidates won’t even consider working at your company if you don’t offer a work-from-home option,” Coleman said.
While a complete or partial work-at-home shift could be challenging for small businesses, Axcet HR Solutions, a Kansas-City-based certified professional employer organization, suggests companies remain open to exploring options with their workers.
“Your best employees represent the future of your small business and it’s costly to replace them,” Coleman said. “It’s best to engage with your employees to find solutions that work for both of you and show your company cares about their job satisfaction and work-life balance.”
Coleman suggests four steps smaller businesses can take to retain good employees who want to keep working at home:
- Figure out how effective telecommuting was for your employees, your managers and your company. Did managers interact effectively with their teams? Did working from home raise or lower productivity?
- Ask your employees what they want and why they want it. This will help you decide which structure best meets their needs and the company’s.
- Consider which roles may lend themselves to remote work. A role-specific evaluation will result in better decision making.
- If you need or really want all employees back in the workplace, consider sweetening the pot. Offering new amenities could make coming to the workplace more appealing.
“The pandemic has given companies a new opportunity to reimagine the fundamentals of how and where work gets done,” Coleman said. “The decision to continue remote work policies completely or in a hybrid format is highly individualized, but companies need to recognize employees – especially those in the millennial and Gen Z demographics – may now have an expectation of flexible work. It will be in businesses’ best interest to listen closely and work to find compromises that benefit the company’s ability to retain and recruit top employees.”