Future of Work News

Business Leadership's Resistance to Remote Work Harms Staffing


It’s not news to anyone that companies today are struggling with staffing. Positions remain unfilled, and turnover for those workers who do show up (either in person or virtually) is high. With unemployment levels low, workers have the freedom to leave jobs that aren’t working out for them.

A new study has suggests that C-suite executives’ lack of understanding of and adaptation to new realities may be partly to blame. Achievers Workforce Institute, the research and insights arm of Achievers, an employee experience software platform, has found that companies in which senior leaders are accepting of remote work are 29 percent less likely to struggle with attraction and retention.

The study, “2022 Culture Report on Tech-Enabled Employee Experience,” found that the number one reason for changing jobs during the pandemic was for better work flexibility, beating out both career progression and compensation. Most employees (85 percent) who have the option would like to work remote or hybrid. However, two-thirds say company leaders expect them in the office at least part-time and 46 percent of remote workers worry about missing out on career opportunities.

Remote employees are equally likely to report being productive as those in the office and respondents shared that they are more engaged and more likely to advocate for their company. In addition, employees who are happy with their remote or hybrid work options are more likely to trust their company leaders. Employees are no longer willing to compromise on flexibility at work, and companies with a hardline return to office policy will lose out on top talent.

At the same time, more than half (56 percent) of HR leaders say the C-suite doesn’t understand that the world of work has changed. HR leaders (45 percent) say they do not have the support they need from the C-suite to implement policies to attract, engage, and retain top talent.

“A major concern for company leaders is fostering a culture of connection and belonging with a dispersed workforce,” says Achievers Workforce Institute’s Chief Workforce Scientist, Dr. Natalie Baumgartner. “We know that a strong sense of belonging drives a 3x return on a wide number of business outcomes. Many leaders believe that to achieve their desired culture, employees must be in the same physical space. However, the world of work has changed and so must our approach to creating a sense of belonging for employees. Employees are sharply focused on having an experience of connection and belonging, but they are confident they can achieve it while working from anywhere.”

Edited by Erik Linask

Future of Work Contributor

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