The 2021 Tug-Of-War

Remote vs. On-Site

Tug-Of-War: Remote vs. On-Site

As the pandemic nightmare we all experienced in 2020 fades with the sunset, the light at the end of the tunnel shines brighter. But, now we’re faced with a new challenge: a logistic tug-of-war in the work force.   Do we continue working remote or return to our old on-site life at the company office?

2020 was a seismic shift in the way we work. It accelerated changes in the work force that may have previously taken years to fully support.  These changes happened over the course of a few months.  In some cases, the changes occurred in a few weeks.

The biggest change or ‘shift’ that we experienced was mandated remote work.  We started home offices, overcame the shared-work space challenges of being with our families 24/7, and now we’ve adjusted ourselves to this new remote-work paradigm.

Companies Adapted

Most companies had no choice but to embrace remote work modifications and to test the top-down agility of their organizations.  With the aid of modern tools like video conferencing many companies were able to adapt more readily than expected.  Their ingenuity fueled success.

It’s been one year since the pandemic was announced publicly.  Looking in the rear-view mirror, we have a much better understanding of the hand we’ve been dealt.   As vaccines roll-out and the immediate threat of the pandemic decreases,  the demand to return to on-site work will increase.   But what if we don’t want to return to on-site office work?   This is our tug-of-war.

There are several resources outlining preparedness for work-place safety as the world readies the reverse shift back to the office.  But, how will corporations transact candidate interviews and new-hire onboarding post-pandemic?

In 2020 many companies were reluctant to bring new hires in house once the new employees started work.  They made alternate plans and developed resources.  Many companies held off on hiring until the pandemic showed signs of recovery.   We all waited.  With many companies,  hiring was limited to  essential roles in order to avoid loss of productivity.   As companies begin to increase hiring again, we see candidates with a post-pandemic mind shift.  There is a significant increase in candidates requesting remote work.

The tug

Hiring companies want their employees on-site.

Employees Adapted.

The disruption to the pre-pandemic work routine created innovative new work standards, in a very short time.  Remote employees have discovered time-saving work processes that produce equal or better results for their employers.   The pandemic has inspired employees to re-evaluate their careers.

With a remote work life-style,  employees have traded in their morning commutes for exercise or an extra cup of coffee to start their day, instead of dashing out the door.  Employees have discovered flexibility in their workday,  creating work-life balance they never had before.

While some employees say they miss the camaraderie of working in the office, many have discovered a work-place community by utilizing video conferencing sites like Microsoft Teams,  Zoom, BlueJeans, GoogleMeet, etc. Employees are able to conclude their work days now by pushing a “end meeting for all” button  instead of dealing with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

For employees who embraced the remote work life, over the last year they have invested in their home offices with new furniture, modified living spaces,  and electronics and tools to support their remote work needs. They have adapted to their new way of life, and prefer to continue working remotely.

The tug

Many employees want to continue working remotely. At least part time.

How to choose the right path ahead?

We will soon be faced with new criteria when identifying  candidates in a post-pandemic world.   Which employees need to be onsite?  Who can continue to work remote?  There are many positions that can be performed remotely.  But, many employers will argue in favor of on-site work for a number of positions.    How to determine which positions can be remote vs. on-site will be in question for the foreseeable future.

Manufacturing Engineers for example, typically work onsite.  However with 3D printers and advancements in Virtual and Augmented  Reality (VR & AR), engineers can design and perform testing remotely.  Health Care positions are normally on-site roles.  But with tele-medicine video conferencing, careers in Health Care offer more remote work opportunities now.

A new approach to workforce development for both onsite and remote work opportunities will be key in attracting top talent. The goal for employers and employees is the same – production.

How well we manage our time and meet project or production goals is key for remote workers.   Based on feedback from employers and candidates, a hybrid model may be the most viable the solution moving forward.  A hybrid model is providing both on-site and remote work options for employees.   Shared work space at the office is an option as well, as it will provide a hybrid-work environment without over-extending facilities.

Experience the Difference

The benefits of contracting with Top Source Talent for your talent acquisition recruitment and hiring needs frequently surpass the tactical requirements of hiring regular full-time employees.

The decision to hire an employee or contractor is ultimately determined by the objectives of your company.

Reach out to us today, contact us at directly at 970-562-4891.

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