It’s no secret that recruiting and retaining in-person employees is difficult right now. People have grown accustomed to working remotely, and they’re reluctant to return to traditional office settings—especially with the widespread availability of fully-remote positions. But it’s even difficult to hire for positions where in-person work is still the norm. The demand for labor exceeds the current supply of workers, enabling prospects to be picky about who they work for.
Here are some ways to make your workplace more appealing in this competitive labor market.
People want to know that an employer will take care of them. Want prospects to feel like they can trust you to meet their needs and provide a quality experience? Prove it with your current employees. As potential employees vet your company, they’re already looking for reviews and feedback from past and present employees. And happy, satisfied employees make the entire hiring process more compelling.
Compensation is obviously a key component of employee satisfaction, but countless other factors contribute to how people feel about your workplace. And if you don’t ask, you might never know what your employees really need from you. Distribute employee surveys, seek their input on workplace decisions when appropriate, and incorporate their feedback into your workplace management strategy.
Are they feeling taken care of and provided for? How’s their work-life balance? Do they have the tools and tech they need to be successful? How satisfied are they with your company campus? What about your company culture? Do they share your beliefs that time on campus is critical to their job, or that your campus is a key component of your culture?
Whether it’s to promote collaboration, to inspire creativity, or to foster your unique workplace culture, you have your reasons for wanting employees to return to the office. But employees are increasingly disinclined to feel the same way. A 2021 study from Future Forum found that only 17% of employees wanted to resume daily on-site work.
A continued openness to remote work is attractive to current and prospective employees, and some studies have shown that remote work can improve productivity. It can also decrease overhead costs. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. A hybrid workplace gives you the best of both worlds.
You can allow employees who work remotely part-time, and have them come into the office for in-person meetings or collaborative efforts. And by carefully alternating schedules, you can reduce your overall occupancy levels and de-densify your workplace.
If you’d like to pursue this, consider crafting a work-from-home policy that reflects your organization’s goals and establishes guidelines to keep things running smoothly.
Remote employees can change where they work throughout the day. With activity-based working, your in-person employees can do the same on campus.
Rather than having a dedicated workstation for each employee, an activity-based working model provides a variety of spaces optimized for particular kinds of work. For example, you might have open areas for general work, isolation booths for dedicated quiet work or important calls, collaboration rooms, treadmill desks, outdoor workspaces, café areas, and lounge spaces with comfy couches.
Some people struggle to focus early in the morning and can be more productive when they start their workday later. Others with obligations in the afternoon may prefer to start work earlier. In a remote environment, employees can often choose the best schedules for them. Replicate this flexibility on your company campus, and your workplace will look a lot more appealing to prospects.
Giving employees more flexible work hours doesn’t have to be a free-for-all. But a little flexibility can go a long way toward improving their work-life balance, and it can be an attractive benefit to include on job listings. In fact, flexible work hours and greater autonomy have been cited as the most desirable benefits of remote work. And when people have the freedom to work at the times they work best, studies show it can increase productivity.
One of the first things prospective hires will notice about your campus is how it looks and feels. Through design, you can influence how comfortable and productive people feel on your campus—and it’s especially important to consider this now that so many workers have grown used to the comforts of home.
Design your space according to the culture you want to foster and the kinds of employees you hope to hire. (Do you lean more business professional or start-up casual?) Fill it with appropriate decor, comfortable furniture, and amenities like espresso makers and snack stations. And be sure it’s effortless to navigate by using effective wayfinding signs.
The way we work is changing. Whether your employees are fully in-person, fully remote, or somewhere in between, the last couple of years have forced your workplace to evolve.
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