- Employers are already in the process of implementing hybrid work models, West Monroe’s quarterly executive poll for Q2 2021 revealed; nearly 1 in 5 already have done so while almost half of those polled said their programs would be ready by the summer.
- Hiring also has increased since Q1. Sixty percent of those surveyed said they expect to hire more people in Q2, compared to 49% in Q1. The percentage of those who expected "little to no change" in their hiring plans also decreased.
- However, remote onboarding remains a challenge, polled execs said, and nearly 3 in 4 execs said they are handling requests from workers for permanent remote work. Maintaining company culture in such an environment is a challenge, West Monroe said.
While the adjustment to remote work may prove a challenge for company culture, employees have said they may leave if employers remove the option entirely, according to a March survey by Morning Consult for Prudential. Eighty-seven percent of respondents who were working remotely said they hope to do so at least one day a week even after the pandemic subsides.
Employees also said in the Prudential survey that they don’t want to work remotely all the time — and West Monroe’s poll noted the potential culture cost of hybrid work. Other analysis, including a March report from ExecOnline, noted the barriers of remote work that could damage employee relationships and culture.
Remote work is likely here to stay, however; a Gartner study from January noted that hybrid work will be a key component of 2021 HR strategy and even called for a review of work and location policies, saying that "[o]rganizations must decide what their corporate offices can offer employees that other spaces cannot."
Despite the culture difficulties, experts have said that remote work could create more opportunities to recruit underrepresented groups since location would no longer be an obstacle.
"With flexible work environments, including a mix of remote, physical and hybrid, becoming a long term strategy, companies have the opportunity to reimagine their sourcing strategies and recruit talent from more diverse talent pools wherever they are in the world — not just based on a single location,” Jennifer Shappley, vice president of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn, previously told HR Dive.