Shift in Talent Strategy for Work from Anywhere, at Anytime Policy in the New Normal
It has nearly been a decade now since the Fourth Industrial Revolution came into light. With the rapid changes in the techno-advanced and dynamic world, and the ongoing transformation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, combined with the latest smart technologies, the main focus of the global industries is to create value enabled processes to ensure sustainable and profitable growth.
Looking at the business dynamics, the pandemic has accelerated such changes to a much higher level than what was expected to happen in the next five years. This has not only led the industries to be certain of their survival during these times but has changed its long-term vision to ensure sustainable development.
“As soon as the pandemic engulfed the countries globally, companies had no other alternative than to shift towards a work from home culture in order to ensure employee safety and survival.”
Though the remote work culture was already gaining prominence as a future trend adopted by various multinationals and IT companies, now the realization has shifted towards the needs and benefits of adoption of such a policy across every sector.
According to an article in Harvard Business Review, 43 percent of American employees have performed some part of their job remotely. Case studies of the effects of allowing employees to work remotely suggest that their productivity may increase by anywhere from 4 percent to 13 percent, generating billions in additional economic value for the U.S. economy each year. This also brings into perspective the fact that organizations can shift their spending on creating long term value for their people instead of other overhead costs which in turn increases the engagement and retention levels of the employees leading to higher productivity rates.
Talent & Skills Requirement
Talking about the shift in talent preferences while strategizing on remote working policies, there has been a boon in the talent pool for high-demand skills, which companies can benefit from. The future skills for work such as AI/ML, data science, emotionally intelligent and cognitive workforce will certainly enjoy the first mover advantage when organizations start to hire or deploy talent to work from anywhere. This will also accelerate the speed and amount to which the top management will work on the upskilling, reskilling and redeployment of their people.
With the changing preferences in the place of work for both the management and the people, remote working organizations will have supremacy of overcoming these locational barriers. Employees on the other hand can achieve a better balance by working from wherever they wish to. This leads to a more ‘Independence at Work’ culture by providing them with the benefit of flexibility of schedules. With a technologically advanced and updated infrastructure, this relationship will emerge out to be a powerful driver for the organizational success taking it to a new high.
Business & Recruitment
Post-COVID era as recession hits the job market, businesses like Ed-tech, Gaming, E-commerce, and Pharma have acted as a silver lining for the job seekers. For example, Amazon has plans to increase its American workforce by 25% and has been driving initiatives to absorb the workers laid off by other sectors. Covid-19 has changed the face of recruitment over-night. Work from anywhere policy has removed the geographical barriers and has opened up a greater talent pool, allowing recruiters to hire the most suitable candidates irrespective of where they are located. Although the initial screening process remains the same, the in-person interview has been replaced by virtual interviews. Recruiters are able to assess gestures, body language, expressions, and thought process with the same level of ease. However, the candidate experience during the recruitment process, which was considered crucial for employer branding is now at stake due to the lack of a more personalised approach.
Organisational Readiness, Benefits & Shortcomings
Although a lot of firms still struggle to adapt work from anywhere, at any time policies, companies like Siemens (a leading industrial manufacturing organization in Europe), is taking steps to further improvise their work from home policies by changing their leadership style to the one that allows greater flexibility, and focuses more on results rather than the time spent on activities. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter made an announcement stating that twitter employees could continue working from home forever, followed by similar other announcements made by companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, etc., thereby extending their work from home options.
Remote working has also provided financial relief to the organizations to a larger extent, as the expenditure incurred on infrastructural facilities, commute, electricity and certain other miscellaneous expenses have been reduced significantly.However, at the same time organisations have started bringing policies and investing a great deal to increasing the server capacity and bandwidth, allowing employees to procure routers, wifi connections and reimburse the cost for the device, etc to keep employees engaged while work from anywhere and anytime shift.
Though this tremendous shift in the work culture has proven to be beneficial, it comes with its own set of shortcomings.
- Organizations are facing an increasing number of challenges when it comes to handling and resolving the work-life balance problems of its people.
- There has been a significant amount of escalation in the percentage of employees who are dealing with anxiety, stress, and mental health-related issues, on an everyday basis.
Sustenance & Effectiveness
But at the end of the day, all that matters is, to what level will the organization extend its resources and support to its people to address such challenges. This can be fairly dealt with the right assistance in the form of trainers/coaches/mentors provided by the management to its people. Even so, many Americans have now started to include their children and families in virtual meetings, to accept and respect the fact that their personal life is now apart of their new workspace.
As various countries have started moving towards their unlock phases, businesses have gradually started resuming their brick-and-mortar model with considerable amount of safety, precautions and social distancing norms which are being followed by them. But as the fear of stepping out continue to persist, organizations are still struggling to deal with a level of comfort and the changing mindset of its people.
The most adaptive and agile organizations have started to realise the true meaning of the ‘New Normal’. This pandemic has also caused a 360-degree shift in the perception of the industry to view the human resource department as a crisis and change management function.Any time Learning (ATL) concept was a paradigm shift in the learning and Development area and both Organisation & its employees have adopted this extremely well and made it sustainable. “Necessity is mother of invention”, I am pretty sure work from anywhere and anytime is going to stay here and is sustainable. With the right set of beliefs and values, mutual trust, and clarity both organizations& employees will embrace this new trend with a greater force and enthusiasm to ensure its holistic development in the long run.