- Nearly half (45%) of government employees indicate they’ll consider looking for a new job if their agency mandates returning to work in person, a survey by Eagle Hill Consulting released May 16 found.
- The survey queried more than 10,000 employees nationwide, including more than 500 local, state and federal government workers, following an April 13 directive by the White House calling for federal agencies to “substantially increase meaningful in-person work.” More than three-quarters of government workers acknowledged that team management, team building and integrating a new team member are better in person. But 45% said they were concerned about how more in-person work will affect their work/life balance, commute time (43%), costs (38%) and stress (34%).
- “Government employees know that some work is best accomplished in-person, especially work that requires collaboration or is classified,” but they don’t want rigid rules about in-person work, Eagle Hill CEO Melissa Jezior stated in a press release announcing the findings. “This means government leaders will need to focus on flexibility, perhaps allowing remote work for individualized tasks, re-imaging traditional work schedules, and having collaborative time in the workplace.
Given the lingering uncertainty about the economy, workers have been reporting mixed feelings over whether to stay with their current employer or move on to potentially more promising opportunities.
However, one finding remains solidly consistent: Employees want flexibility, according to the April Workforce Report from talent cloud company iCMS. Almost all (93%) of workers polled in the report said that flexibility was top of mind for their current job satisfaction; 63% said the top factor in their decision to accept a job offer was whether the job is remote, hybrid or in person.
HR professionals recognize the value of hybrid work, data previously provided to HR Dive showed. Nearly half (47%) of HR professionals said their organizations use a hybrid approach to address work/life balance and mental health issues; 69% said employees have used time that would otherwise be spent on commuting to the office on caregiving responsibilities.
These attributes of hybrid work have made it an effective recruiting tool and helped with retention and employee satisfaction, HR professionals reported.
A successful hybrid model has three features, according to recent research by consulting firm Gartner: visibility, which encourages the practice of sharing work preferences with team members; connection, where employers facilitate periodic in-person meetings and on-site work with managers; and flexibility, which is promoted over rigid in-person mandates.
The potential flight of employees from federal jobs if agencies start mandating more in-person work may provide a needed source of talent for the private sector. Employers are still struggling to find the right people, according to a March report from the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.
About 77% of the employers that responded to the survey reported difficulty in filling roles, marking a 17-year high in global talent shortages, the report found.