During what has come to be known as the Great Resignation, we’ve seen one of the largest shifts in the way we work since the Industrial Revolution. Unsurprisingly, the many reasons behind this seismic shift and how to best move forward are still being determined by a slowly recovering workforce.
The pandemic upended our world in many ways, with our workplaces demonstrating just how fragile the static way of doing business really was. All of a sudden, employers and employees alike needed to figure out how to navigate our new reality while staying effective, connected, and relevant in the work they produced.
Perhaps the best term we can use to characterize this singular moment in time is the Great Reset, symbolizing this unique opportunity to rethink and revitalize the why, how, and where we conduct our work lives.
The most resilient organizations among us will recognize this once-in-a-lifetime occasion to create work structures and settings that truly serve their employees in the battle for attracting and retaining top talent in today’s volatile labor market.
The power of choice
Meaningfully managing human capital is the chief concern of many employers today and rightfully so; some 69 million workers quit their jobs last year.
On the flip side, an unexpected upside of the pandemic is that many workers suddenly found more agency over their career decisions and development and largely decided that finding enhanced purpose and flexibility to foster more life-work balance was the key to their satisfaction and happiness.
The man behind the term the Great Resignation, Texas A&M professor and organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz, said it best: “People are finding jobs that give them the right pay, benefits, and work arrangements in the longer term. There’s now a greater ability for people to fit work into their lives, instead of having lives that squeeze into their work.”
Klotz also predicts that flexible work arrangements will become the norm, not the exception. In fact, data from the WFH Research Project reveals that the freedom to work from anywhere is as valuable as a 10 percent pay raise to the majority of respondents.
The new employee mindset
In a headline-making move, former Apple Director of Machine Learning Ian Goodfellow famously left his post for the lack of adaptability demonstrated by the company. In a memo to his team, Goodfellow lamented that “more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team.”
Goodfellow was not the only high-profile exit at Apple; several execs frustrated with the company’s strict return-to-the-office-or-else policy handed in their resignation. For his part, Goodfellow has decided to return to his former employer Google, which has been more open to allowing its employees to explore flexible work options.
We’ll see if a similar scenario plays out at Tesla now that Elon Musk has made his feelings about remote and hybrid work matter publicly known.
These real-life examples illustrate what’s at stake for both employers and employees when there is a lack of communication, collaboration, and vision for what’s possible in this new era of work.
How employers benefit from flexible workspaces
By literally breaking down the walls of the traditional office and incorporating more flexible options like coworking spaces, employers receive insurance against the uncertainty of the future.
Flexible workspaces empower employers to bring workers back together again and feature the spirit of community, collaboration, and connection of communal spaces — without the risk and expense of a long-term lease.
The advantages of having an established office space — up-to-date technology, administrative support, room for teams to grow — meet the growing employee demand for more flexibility in their day-to-day.
Offering flexible working arrangements has become a major factor in attracting and retaining talent for organizations of all sizes. LinkedIn research shows that flexible work arrangements are the fastest-growing priority for both current and prospective employees since the pandemic.
The bottom line: As companies reimagine their post-pandemic employee experience, it’s important to build intentionality into organizational decisions. Workers want to come together to build social bonds, amp up creativity and productivity, and feel supported by their employers — but they want to do so on their own terms.
Is coworking right for your organization?
To remain competitive in the marketplace, employers need to look beyond the power of the paycheck to attract and retain talent — a successful relationship with employees goes beyond the transactional. The evolving world of employee benefits, including such desirable options as flexible work arrangements, are reshaping the future of work in real time.
First and foremost, talk to your teams to find out what they need to create greater engagement and satisfaction in their roles. Is it shorter commute times? The ability to work in a variety of places when at home and on the road? An adaptable setting that encourages growth? Coworking offers a streamlined solution for how the world works today.