A "hybrid" work environment is no longer an employee perk or benefit – it has become the modus operandi of the modern organization in America. It took a global pandemic to usher us into the modern age of the hybrid office environment, but any organizational leaders still scoffing at the Great Resignation and imagining that things will eventually return to normal just haven't been paying attention.
The hybrid workforce is here to stay.
A majority of organizations in the U.S. have currently adopted or have plans to adopt some form of a permanent hybrid work model in the future. But before we start reading tea leaves, let's define what we're talking about.
Hybrid work is a model or work schedule that gives employees the opportunity to work from home (or "offsite") 2 or 3 days per week with the expectation that they will return to the office for the balance of the workweek.
Here's where things get interesting: In the waning days of the pandemic, organizations that maintained their hybrid workforce models and didn't immediately demand that all employees return to the office discovered just how remarkably well a hybrid work environment seemed to be accelerating production, and it was also being used very effectively as a recruitment strategy.
The outlook for hybrid work in the U.S. can be described in one word: growth.
Below we examine a few of the key factors behind the rapid adoption of hybrid work in the U.S.
Hybrid Work as a Business Driver
Before Covid-19, scarcely more than 5% of Americans worked from their homes. The hybrid work environments brought on by the pandemic gave employees a newfound sense of freedom and flexibility – two elements that are crucial to retaining Gen Z and millennial employees. With this new sense of freedom, employees can feel empowered by their new autonomy, which in turn boosts productivity and drives business growth.
How Hybrid Workforces are Impacting Recruitment Strategy
Hybrid work environments have had a distinct impact on how modern organizations recruit new talent in this wildly competitive job market. The most important thing that HR professionals in the U.S. are learning is that remote or hybrid work has risen to the top of the list of "perks" for people actively seeking new jobs.
In fact, there's research to support that society's priorities have shifted so much in favor of a hybrid work environment that they're willing to forgo a 10% pay rise if it meant they had the option.
The fact is that having a hybrid work model in place opens up a whole host of new options to recruiters when they're trying to attract new talent. Hybrid work all but eliminates any need for a recruiter to keep their talent search narrowed to a specific zip code or geographic area. Recruitment strategies with the backing and support of a hybrid work environment can be opened to candidates that may not be within a drivable distance of the office.
Technology is also playing its most crucial role. To genuinely maximize the opportunities that can come from building a hybrid workforce, organizational leaders must be persuaded to consider leveraging the latest innovations in HR technology. Early adopters of HR tech have been winning the war for talent because of their technology-enabled ability to amass global talent pools and use AI-powered screening tools.
For the modern hybrid workforce to excel, organizations must make strategic investments in the right HR technologies.
Hybrid Work Policies
Developing a hybrid work policy establishes a clear understanding of what "hybrid work" means in your organization and will serve as a roadmap when recruiting new employees. Here are a few great examples of the hybrid work policies that have been adopted by major corporations in America:
Google (2-Day Flex Policy) - Most of the workers at Google are expected to be in the office no less than three days a week. For the remaining two days, they can work "wherever they work best."
Salesforce (4-Day Flex Policy) – The majority of Salesforce's employees are expected to be "on-site" one day a week. In fact, if the job allows for it, an employee can choose to be 100% remote.
Ford Motor Company (As Needed) – Ford shook up corporate America back in March of 2021 when it announced that it would be the first major American car manufacturer to offer an incredibly flexible hybrid work environment to its employees. The company's "staffers" are allowed to work offsite indefinitely, needing to come in only if they prefer to (or as-needed for in-person meetings)
Regulations for Hybrid Workers
While we've hopefully demonstrated how permanently adopting a hybrid work environment can be a boon to any organization in America that wants to achieve higher levels of profitability and production, it's a model that isn't without its need for regulatory oversight.
Your hybrid work policy should be formally documented with an outline of all parameters and expectations that new employees need to follow. Two key areas to consider are discrimination and accommodation. Discrimination essentially means that remote work is offered based on the duties of the position and not on an employee's race or age, or any other protected class.
Accommodation means that if an employee is offered remote working options, an employer bears a degree of responsibility for providing the resources needed to work remotely. In most cases, that means providing the office equipment that is required to get the job done.
In addition, there are certain regulatory measures that U.S. organizations need to consider:
- Clearly indicate which positions qualify for remote work (not every position may qualify)
- Explain that certain positions must remain in the workplace and why
- Establish expectations
- Ensure two-way communication
- Define how performance will be measured
Modern Recruitment Trends for a Hybrid Workplace
In the post-pandemic marketplace, hiring remotely using virtual interviewing techniques with the help of modern HR technology is the new standard in America. We already mentioned how a hybrid workforce allows any organization in the U.S. to recruit talent from anywhere in the world, but there are also virtual job fairs that now allow recruiters to connect with a wide selection of potential candidates across the globe, letting them build relationships for filling future jobs.
Social media is also playing the largest role than it ever has in modern recruiting. One survey revealed that over 90% of U.S. companies this year are using social media sites to attract new workers, up from 78% in 2007.
Organizations in the U.S. are leveraging their company brand to connect with candidates where they are congregating online to promote themselves as remote-friendly. The best job candidates are scouring social media to get a sense of your organization's culture before deciding if it's a fit for them.
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If your organization is considering adopting a hybrid workforce, the following statistics clearly demonstrate how these trends are expected to develop:
- Gartner found that over 80% of business leaders plan to implement hybrid work
- Almost 7 out of 10 Americans say the ability to work a schedule that is a blend of remote and on-site is the perfect work model
Embracing New HR Technologies
Many U.S. organizations are continuing to accelerate the performance of their hybrid workforces by embracing new innovations in HR technology and centering their HR professionals and recruiters around these powerful software solutions.
One of the companies leading the way in the development of modern HR technology is industry leader Manatal. We provide technologies that have consistently solved the many challenges associated with attracting and retaining the best talent for a hybrid workforce.
We offer the leading cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS) on the market, and it comes absolutely loaded with powerful applications that automate a wide array of tasks that have historically taken up hours of a recruiter's time and workday.
Start your 14-day free trial now and explore Manatal's innovative features that could help you glide through the age of hybrid work with ease.