Employers are “letting go of remote work” in favor of hybrid models in an effort to retain valuable workforces and ensure junior team members have better opportunities to learn and progress, according to a new report’s findings.
Robert Half’s Ask for Tech Talent Report, who surveyed 750 tech hiring managers in the UK found that many companies working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic had begun to return to offices.
While this might have been expected, the report also found that 28% of companies that had a fully remote workforce before 2020 had switched to a hybrid arrangement that combines remote working with working from an office – indicating a trend shift” that then goes a return to normal”.
According to Robert Half, more and more employers are recognizing the value of a central workspace as they struggle with: hiring and retention issues, especially within technical teams. Seven in 10 (69%) tech hiring managers reported that it had become more difficult to retain valued employees in the past 12 months.
According to the report, young employees are disproportionately affected by remote working. According to 73% of tech leaders surveyed, remote working affects the opportunities for younger team members to develop new skills because they are less able to learn from or control work with more experienced staff. Sixty-five percent of employers said it held back the flow of junior talent, impacting loyalty and retention.
Craig Freedberg, regional director of technology at Robert Half, said: “The progression and development of junior employees’ skills is something for organizations to watch. When your most ambitious employees are unable to acquire skills or progress in line with their expectations, they will look for new roles that can offer more opportunities, rather than risking stagnation or being held back.”
Managers are also concerned about the impact of remote work on culture-building processes and do not feel equipped to properly identify ‘pastoral issues’, such as burnout and layoff, when they cannot see their employees in person.
Seven in 10 (69%) employers surveyed by Robert Half said working from home made it more difficult to spot potential employee problems, such as mental health problems or staff dissatisfaction, while 67% are concerned about the suffering of the company culture.
Together, these issues cause leaders to somehow encourage their staff to go back to their desks: three-quarters (72%) of executives surveyed by Robert Half said they were trying to get employees into the office, while 60% work hybrids. as the new normal’.
While Robert Half’s report contained no findings on employee sentiment, employees generally did appear receptive to hybrid working models. But they also like it return to the office on their own termsand are motivated to do so by incentives that often differ from those of their bosses†
For example, work-life balance remains a primary driver for employees who want to divide their time between the office and home. Conversely, employees less likely to worry about workplace culture than business executives, and generally want to limit their office working days to just once or twice a week.
Freedberg acknowledged that employees did not want to return to the office full-time, adding that hybrid working was “a good compromise that gives employees the balance and flexibility they want while allowing employers to more effectively address retention issues, which is essential in today’s rental market.”
Of the employers surveyed by Robert Half, 72% admitted they suffered from technical skills shortages, with IT security, software development and cloud computing talent being the most in-demand. According to the report, employers have hired an average of 151 new tech positions in the past 12 months.
Other strategies to prevent tech leaders from losing staff include increasing salaries and revising pay packages (38%) and promoting employees (35%). Similarly, 24% of the 67% of employers who had hiring difficulties said they emphasized career advancement opportunities, while 15% increased the paid vacation time they offer or offered sabbaticals.