Due to the chaos triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, employers scrambled to maintain continuity by enabling employees to work from home. In many cases, employers previously uninterested in the idea of a remote workforce realized the many benefits of establishing formal work from home policies.
Some of those benefits include the reduced need for sprawling office space that could cost millions annually in lease payments, improvements in employee work / life balance and possibly most importantly, access to talent outside of the employer’s geographic area.
On that last point, employers who were once limited to hiring within a 50 mile radius from their office, can now find the best people anywhere in the country, provided they offer remote work. So they are no longer looking for the best available candidate within their area, but the best available candidate across the country.
This increase in the talent pool will help employers become even more competitive by hiring the best of the best.
What this evolution now brings into question is, does a work from home policy now count as a company perk?
There are many companies who are adamant about returning to pre-pandemic norms post-Covid. In their view, workers must return to the office in order to maintain collaboration, a sense of company culture and possibly meet the needs of those who prefer working onsite.
Employees who don’t have adequate work spaces at home or prefer the camaraderie that office work offers will gladly return to the office if for no other reason than to get out of the house.
But for those employees who prefer to work from home, seeking employers offering this option is the prime motivation.
Therefore, if employer A and employer B, both offering the same type and level of work differ only in their work from home policy, it is a reality that some employees will make a decision solely on being able to work from home.
This then becomes a perk or negotiating tool to entice would be employees to join a company. You could argue the inverse works all the same for those employees seeking an office environment to work in. Which explains why many companies are offering a hybrid or flexible work arrangement versus pure remote work.
While there are pros and cons to both working arrangements in their purest form, its safe to say that work from home is here to stay and employers who offer this as an option will maintain the competitive edge in landing the best talent from the broadest available pool.