During the last year, employers have learned more than they ever bargained for about managing remote workers. What was once an uncommon work arrangement in many industries has now become preferred. Various surveys are reporting that over 65% of employees would choose to continue working remotely, and 30% would like a combination of remote and in-office hours.
This leaves HR professionals asking themselves, “Are we an appealing employer to remote workers?”
REMOTE EMPLOYEES REPORT HIGH PRODUCTIVITY
We came across one survey from FlexJobs that asked employees about changes in their productivity levels. 95% of the respondents said their productivity has been the same or higher while working from home. 51% report being more productive when working remotely.
Is it possible that employees feel more productive in a flexible environment? Our advisors at Peel & Holland is hearing a resounding “yes” from many clients. They cite things such as these that improve personal productivity:
- Quieter work environment
- Fewer interruptions
- More focused time
- Not being involved in office politics
- More comfortable workspace
REMOTE WORK IMPACTS MENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS
Let’s take the list above one step further. In partnership with Mental Health America (MHA), FlexJobs asked over 800 employees how flexible work impacts their mental health and wellness. The majority agree that work flexibility increases overall quality of life.
Remote work options help employees take better care of their mental health (80%), decrease stress levels (83%), and make time for more exercise (67%). 92% think having a flexible job makes them (or could make them) a happier person in general.
We rarely recommend an employee benefits program to our clients that doesn’t include a thoughtful approach to mental health needs. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are standard and a good first step, but you should do more. Layering additional innovative programs into your employee benefits will show employees and job candidates that you care for them beyond basic healthcare issues.
Ask us about our work in addressing mental health and boosting employee engagement.
EMPLOYERS ADJUST TO APPEAL TO REMOTE JOB SEEKERS
As remote work is rapidly becoming one of the most desirable benefits an organization can offer, employers are discovering that they are competing for top candidates not only locally, but globally.
For some employers, this can widen the pool of candidates and boost their recruiting efforts. However, if an employer isn’t offering a strong employee benefits program – one that includes flexible work options – competition just got all the more difficult.
If you’re recruiting more remote employees than ever before, be prepared for unique challenges. First and foremost, organizations should already have virtual recruiting and hiring processes in place. But what else should employers offer to keep the people they have and to compete with others for job seekers?
Strategies We Recommend
- Reevaluate where you’re posting job openings. Employers may consider advertising and recruiting for open roles on job boards and social networks that are dedicated to remote work.
- Boost your social media presence. If you’re going to recruit virtually, your organization should show up strong on social media. Take time to spruce up your profiles. Post engaging content about your culture and employee engagement. Don’t neglect to interact with followers. Sell your job openings on social media channels. Remote job seekers will be especially interested if a role offers a good work-life balance, so employers should consider authentic ways to demonstrate that as a core organizational value
- Manage your brand’s reputation. Potential employees have many channels available to them as they search for and discover information about your organization. Reputation is all about public perception, fact or not. Seek reviews from your fans, both internal and external. Employers who seek to transform their brand can do so, but it takes time and diligence.
- Claim online profiles and post on employment websites. This allows an organization to add some of the data job seekers consider before applying for a position. They’ll want to know the basics: number of employees, company mission, employee benefits, workplace perks. Photos are always good to include as well.
- Participate in virtual recruiting events. Employers should connect with candidates through online job fairs and offer virtual interviews. And don’t forget the candidate experience. Don’t skimp on technology. This says a lot about an organization when talking to potential hires online. Candidates will appreciate a smooth recruitment process without having to navigate a poor technology set-up.
- Offer a competitive, innovative employee benefits program. Employers must highlight what makes them a preferred workplace. Competitive and innovative employee benefits should be designed to attract and retain the best talent. The fundamentals are always important (Medical, Dental, Life), but you can’t stop at that. Find ways to stand out. That’s where Peel & Holland comes in. We have access and expertise to build a benefits program that is good for you and good for your employees.
Each organization is unique, and its employees will naturally have a mix of opinions regarding which benefits are most attractive. However, workplace surveys from the past year highlight commonalities among remote workers who value flexibility more than ever before.
Let’s talk about the latest trends and what might work for your organization. Peel & Holland is working with employers to introduce innovative employee benefits that will meet the life/work expectations of job seekers. We would love to tell you more.