A Brave New (professional) World
It’s no secret, the pandemic we are currently experiencing has served as an important catalyst for remote work. For many of us, work from home has been for the better. For others though, it has taken some adjustment. Fortunately, we are living in the golden age of technology with a panoply of collaboration and communication solutions at our fingertips (slack, teams, LinkedIn…) While first adopters have rejoiced in this transition, the luddites among us have found it more difficult to adapt.
Admittedly, this new professional lifestyle has as many advantages as disadvantages. Indeed, even if it allows more freedom, better work life balance, reduced time in traffic and lower overhead, it is nevertheless a source of social isolation, and has further blurred the lines between work and personal boundaries.
However, according to the latest statistics from ADP Canada :
– 14% of Quebecers were eager to return to work
– Conversely, 14% are anxious about returning to the office and 18% of Quebecers are opposed to it
– And for people 18 to 34, 61% preferred to work remotely at least 3 days a week, compared to 43% of those over 35.
In view of these figures, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we will have to restructure our professional world. Remote work is certainly here to stay post pandemic, but it will have to be rethought so that we can maximize the advantages of each medium (while minimizing the disadvantages). This new model, the hybrid model, with a week that includes both remote, in office days, and flexible schedules could certainly be more productive since workers will be able to adapt to the ebbs and flows of their lives.
In the field of recruitment, remote work also allows for more agile, competitive and global processes. As explained in an article written by the National Bank of Canada, organisations are no longer limited by geography (or road closures). With the right ressources, companies can source talent across the country without hampering productivity and cohesiveness. In light of this, remote work presents itself as an elegant solution to the labour shortages that have plagued much of the country. But having more candidates available is a double-edged sword, as it could mean increased competition and the possibility of losing talent to players that were once limited by geography. Remote work has not made decision making any easier either. Indeed, while we have seen a rapid increase in the number of mandates as agility has increased, there is still some reluctance on the part of employers. It is often in the last step of the process that everything plays out because if they do not have the opportunity to meet the candidate in person, the decision may seem premature…even rushed. Admittedly, and as with many things in life, a physical meeting is often synonymous with consensus and ultimately connection.
On the candidate side, we have noticed through both surveys and anecdotal work in the field, that flexible and remote work is increasingly being touted as a competitive advantage . In the “Old World”, questions often centered around salary, perks and benefits. Today however, candidates often ask about the existence of a post pandemic remote work policy before even considering a phone call. Therefore, allowing a flexible remote work policy has become a strategic lever in today’s increasingly competitive job market and in many cases has become the expectation.
If work life were to become hybrid or totally remote, companies will have to rethink their value proposition to be more attractive to existing and future talent. In light of this, we could finally imagine a new use for our offices: a social place where community and corporate events take place, so that workers can continue to connect with each other, delivering value to the business and each other.
Banque Nationale (7 août 2020). Innovation en entreprise : pour rester compétitif. Entreprises. Récupéré de: https://www.bnc.ca/entreprises/conseils/croissance/culture-dinnovation-en-entreprise-faut-que-ca-bouge.html
Isabelle Dubé (2 septembre 2020). Les québécois désormais mordus du télétravail. Affaires. Récupéré de: https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/2020-09-02/les-quebecois-desormais-mordus-du-teletravail.php