Global publishing company Wiley opened a new chapter with its November announcement that it will permanently allow some employees to work remotely or in a hybrid arrangement. Virtual work has not hindered productivity, the company said, and the new model will reduce the need for physical office space and empower employees.
"While our office culture and in-person connections will always be core to how we work at Wiley, working virtually is not a barrier and has expanded our options in ways that can benefit our colleagues and our business," Danielle McMahan, chief people officer at Wiley, told HR Dive via email.
In addition to the real estate cost savings and increased satisfaction of employees, Wiley is expecting this shift to help the company with diversity and inclusion.
"Our flexible working model [...] enables broader access to a more geographically diverse candidate pool, further enabling an environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive for colleagues, and more broadly, for Wiley’s customers and communities," McMahan said.
While leaders once debated the value of it, remote work became a widespread requirement for many employers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both Gartner and Mercer have published survey research where over 80% of employers said that they would consider implementing remote or hybrid work in some form. Wiley joins Nationwide, Indeed, and Microsoft on the list of larger companies employing similar strategies for their workforces.
"Working remotely has leveled the playing field and broken-down barriers, allowing us to be more global, inclusive, and collaborative," McMahan said. "In many ways, everyone has a seat at the table because there is no table."
The new working model was not the only employee initiative Wiley announced last month. The company also significantly expanded its workplace technology and created a revamped learning library for employees.
"Workplace education and learning has never been more important than it is today," Todd Zipper, president of Wiley Education Services, told HR Dive via email. "Many businesses are facing a once-in-a-lifetime level of change; whether it’s a digital transformation, or a need to pivot to a whole new market."
Wiley is also offering this solution to the public, noting a new demographic taking advantage of educational benefits.
"In the past, workplace education programs have been geared to professional employees," Zipper said. "This year we’ve seen a renewed appreciation of the front-line workers that are the managers and leaders of the future."
Whether it is through expanded learning opportunity or expanded flexibility, the goal is to empower employees. This principle has become more important now than ever.
"Like many companies, we are exploring what the future of work looks like for our customers, and what a more flexible Wiley looks like for our colleagues," McMahan said. "Embracing the future of work with more flexibility, we are reinforcing Wiley’s broader strategy to build an empowered colleague culture enabled by technology and fueled by some of the powerful digital learning content and services we offer our customers."
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly described Wiley's remote work permissions. HR Dive regrets the error.