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| 2 minutes read

Flex appeal: Which work model will be most attractive to top talent and where will relocation fit?

As companies re-evaluate how they work best and consider how employees want to work in the future, there is a lot to consider and wide-ranging ideas across the spectrum of work models. Recently, a Gartner survey revealed that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely some of the time and 47% plan to allow full-time remote work going forward. Will this make things more complex? Many are feeling that managing a hybrid workforce will pose issues that are definitely more involved, nuanced and yes, challenging!

With the future of the workplace one of the biggest current focal points for businesses, explored the thoughts of four CEOs on how they are envisioning the future of work. Here are some examples of how a few leaders are thinking:

  1. Phil Libin, founder of Evernote, has loved going 100% remote and has no plans to do otherwise. He feels he has access to a larger global talent pool since they are not tied to any specific location and this has given the company "superpowers." Additionally, not having to commute has provided each employee an extra couple of hours a day. Lastly, he notes that working remotely has freed people up to live where they want and save money or find housing in better school districts, which is not something he wants to keep his employees from having.
  2. Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp, is also "all-in" on being "all-remote," except that he wants to drastically reduce the amount of Zoom and Slack interruptions and eliminate the "immediate response" culture. That kind of distraction-inducing environment prevents employees from having solid blocks of time to focus and complete critical work. 
  3. Jonathan Notaro, founder of Brand New School (a branding agency), has found remote work more challenging as his creative employees collaborate to generate the "magic" that happens through discourse.  At the same time, having a "Zoom" lens into everyone's personal lives has made them all closer and raised the level of awareness of people's personal lives being balanced with work. They have adjusted now to be a little more scheduled and disciplined in meetings and may now be even more focused as a company.
  4. Julia Hartz, founder and CEO of Eventbrite, feels she has learned a lot since the pandemic started and while she is seeing the future of "in-person" events coming back in a big way, she is leaning to a hybrid work model where there are office hubs where employees will work and meet as needed. "If we do it right, people will look forward to coming to the office, to see each other and to collaborate."

In recent interviews with 40 of our clients, only 12.5% of companies expected all their employees to return to the office when it opened while 60% expected to adopt a more flexible hybrid model to meet their business objectives and accommodate their changing talent needs. When we asked whether employees would still be moving if the work model was remote or hybrid, the answer was a resounding yes! Regardless of the work model, nearly all respondents (97.5%) shared that relocation support will be available as a tool for talent management. But will your mobility program need some "tweaking" to better align with your updated work model? Probably! But don't tweak. We have plenty of ideas for you.

In this great experiment, it will be interesting to watch how businesses and talent manage the new normal and transition (or not) into a new (or old) work model! Want to think more about how employees are feeling? Try this recent post: "When push comes to shove, what choice will talent have?"

Founders and executives around the globe have taken lessons learned over the past year to inform their view of what their workplace will look like in the future. At this week's Collision conference, the future of the workplace was top-of-mind--though founders had a wide diversity of expectations about how their companies will work coming out of the pandemic. Here are a few of the most fascinating.


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