By Spencer Pipkin
Most employers and education administrators oversaw a massive shift from in-person work to remote working during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. While many businesses are still weighing the options of remote, hybrid and in-person workplace situations, employees and jobseekers have shifted their attitudes and views about remote and hybrid work.
Staffing companies have been on the front lines of confronting these trends. Isabelle Melvin is the operations coordinator and consultant care specialist for The Intersect Group, a recruiting and staffing firm based in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Melvin and her colleagues focus primarily on accounting, finance and information technology leadership roles, assisting companies with their hiring processes.
“There has been a sharp increase in demand for remote jobs. Even since starting six months ago, I have seen several prospects refuse jobs just for not being remote,” Melvin said.
Melvin and The Intersect Group are not the only ones to see shifting attitudes. Studies and polls from Gallup, an independent consulting and analytics firm, also support Melvin’s findings. Recent reports released by the company show that 91% of employees are in favor of keeping some form of remote working. The findings also noted that 30% of respondents working remote currently would seek other career opportunities to continue working remote.
The World Economic Forum has published interviews and data suggesting remote working will “transform economies.” Economist Adam Ozimek said the economic transformation is in part due to the effect remote work has on employees, allowing for more mobility, flexible schedules and savings on transportation costs. Ozimek also said they experience a decrease in the overall cost of living when working remotely because they chose to move to less densely populated areas.
The changing work philosophies and attitudes of employees is being seen and felt during the holiday season. The Los Angeles Times even posted 16 gift suggestions for remote workers.
“Remote and hybrid positions seem to be extremely popular with candidates that are also parents, but mothers in particular are seeing this as a benefit for their families,” said Melvin.
Working from home has a vast amount of support from employees, but there are some downsides to working from home that employees are being forced to consider. Certain companies have cut remote workers’ pay, like Google. Others are being forced to tackle heavier workloads, as with a New York professor seeing an almost 75% increase in class size due to the online formatting. These are some of the trade-offs being weighed, along with reduced transportation and childcare costs.
“I like the concept of hybrid working and the flexibility it could give me when I start working,” said Abby Rasmussen, a junior at University of Georgia.
The changing attitudes and philosophies regarding remote working and its impact on the overall employee experience is mainly driven by “time preservation,” according to Gallup. Additionally, about 66% of full-time workers believe that allowing remote or hybrid work options are positive or have no effect at all. With changing work philosophies that remote working has ignited, Gallup also noted that employers could be in danger of losing talked prospects or current employees to companies offering remote or hybrid work options.
Spencer Pipkin is a journalism student at the University of Georgia.