As many countries have entered the post-pandemic phase, in theory, it should be easier for businesses to recruit and retain employees. However, in reality, companies are facing strong resistance to returning to offices and having a hard time recruiting new employees.
Still, many companies are committed to returning their employees to the office and claim that in-person collaboration is more effective and efficient than remote collaboration. We think that’s a shame because even as remote work becomes the new norm, embracing a mobile mindset is critical to making business operations work for both businesses and employees.
What Causes the Return-to-Office Resistance?
Before COVID-19 happened, working at the office was a norm and a common-sense practice – if you work, you work in the office. But why do more and more people now feel reluctant to return to the office?
Several factors contribute to this change during the pandemic that can help us understand this phenomenon:
People start to value work-life balance more
The pandemic has not only changed how people work but also how people perceive their careers and, most importantly, their life. After experiencing a year of anxiety, loss, and sorrow, more people prioritize their physical and mental health before work and money. More people are willing to take a break from their careers to search for something else that allows them to live a balanced lifestyle.
Working from home saves more time
Working and earning from home gives more autonomy to employees. They can manage their time more freely for a better work-life balance. Notably, working from home saves them substantial to dedicate to their family, physical and mental health, and personal growth. Working might sound more efficient to many if they can get up and start their day immediately instead of giving up two hours of sleep in the morning to commute to the office and feel tired for the entire day, especially if they have to apply their workout routine and exercise.
Fear of getting sick and doubts about the company’s health policy remain
Even though vaccines have proven effective toward COVID-19, unfortunately, so far, no vaccines or measures can completely prevent COVID-19. Namely, it is still possible for people who had COVID or were vaccinated to be infected again. Therefore, without complete health precautions, many employees fear that returning to the office will risk their and their family’s health.
These factors combined have considerably changed the power pendulum from employers to employees.
Workplace Mobility is the Future of Work
“The labor market remains sick with the virus […] The virus reduces the value of jobs to workers — by making many jobs riskier for workers and their loved ones, and reduces the value of jobs to many employers because they haven’t been able to serve as many customers per worker,” stated Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist at the New York Times.
How can businesses overcome this resistance? Being more attractive to employers becomes a crucial question. Workplace mobility is the answer, obviously.
Adopting workplace mobility is almost an inevitable step for businesses if they want to keep attracting international talents and ensure the loyalty of their employees. Here is why the future of work is mobile:
Gives Businesses the Access to the Global Talent Pool
The challenges are more complex and demand a more diverse team to tackle difficulties head-on. That approach means looking beyond the city and even national borders to find the right people who can do the job. But relocating them to work under the same office is becoming more impractical and costly as competition and rentals reach all-time highs.
The workplace mobility option allows talents from all over the world to work for any company. Likewise, businesses can overcome the hurdle of long relocation times or even apply for work visas and hire talents from all over the world.
For current employees, workplace mobility offers excellent flexibility to maintain their physical and mental health. Once the employees’ needs are addressed, their loyalty to the company will also increase.
Workplace Mobility is a Great Push to Environmental Sustainability
Under the impact of pandemic and climate crisis, customers expect businesses and corporations to provide more carbon-neutral options, and investors also prefer companies with higher environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. Moreover, 49% of millennial millionaires make investments based on social factors. Thus, regardless of the company’s size, starting to implement ESG initiatives will only benefit the company’s future development.
Workplace mobility is a quick win or an easy first step for companies that haven’t taken it. Studies have shown that work-related mobility negatively impacts employees’ well-being if the commute is long. Furthermore, more than 50% of transport emissions in 2019 are linked to people’s movement. So if the business can implement workplace mobility, it will be an excellent first step.
Mobile Work Inspires Digital Transformation
The pandemic drastically impacted the business ecosystem; thus, companies had to be flexible in location, policies, and even business models to cope with the sudden changes. In addition, traditional companies had been hit by the shock waves of digital transformation, which had given rise to more digitally-savvy firms. Many traditional business had to adjust to the new reality and started to offer digital service with the help of live video tools to give customer’s assistance online. Additionally, many businesses had to adapt their office spaces and incorporate mobile based security methods in order to to accomodate for a hybrid environment.
Workplace mobility requires companies to undergo culture changes and implement remote working technologies. In other words, businesses follow the first three steps of digital transformation, which come with benefits such as growing revenue-saving budgets and achieving sustainability goals.
Millennials are Mobile
One of the most crucial reasons why the future of work is mobile is because millennials will drive a culture of people who are steeped in a mobile mindset. The value of employers who understand work ethic and skillset does not depend on their ability to clock in and out at fixed times, at a fixed office.
Millennials also appreciate that with the right mobile document tools, there’s no reason to shackle themselves to a desk (whether at the office or home). For them, a future where you can take your devices anywhere with you and get serious work done is not just liberating; workplace mobility is the new norm.
Learn more about how Kdan helps businesses accelerate digital transformation for a mobile workplace.