- Silicon Valley exec: ‘Remote work is definitely here to stay’
In 2023, that RTO tension may finally dissipate, according to Danny Wen, co-founder and managing director at Quarry Ventures, as well as head of strategic partnerships at Findem, a tech firm in Silicon Valley.
“Remote work is definitely here to stay, but I believe in the hybrid approach,” Wen told HRD. “A lot of the talk I’ve been hearing is creating that equitable workplace environment, where no matter if you’re remote or if you’re close to headquarters and you’re coming to the office day in and day out, it’s creating that same experience across the board.”
Some technology firms like HubSpot and Zoom have invested in redesigning workspaces to meet the needs of the hybrid world.
Wen says these archaic rules and philosophies create an opportunity in a highly competitive market. “Employees and candidates who desire staying remote, well, now there’s a better opportunity for startups and growing companies to compete for that talent,” Wen says, adding that providing flexibility will give savvy HR leaders and recruiters an edge over the established competition. After all, employees’ desire for greater work-life balance is unlikely to cool off in 2023 and beyond.
2. Want to work from home? These European countries are the most open to hybrid or remote work
The Netherlands is the European Union country with the highest proportion of workers working remotely, according to new research.
The research showed that on average across the EU, 30 per cent of workers regularly worked from home last year (either fully remotely or in a hybrid model), compared to just over 15 per cent in the United Kingdom.
Using data from Eurostat and Statista, Remote also revealed that 65 per cent of the working population in the Netherlands worked at least partially remotely in 2022.
The Netherlands is way out in front, with Luxembourg coming in second place with 54.4 per cent, and Sweden third with 51.8 per cent.
Here is a look at the top 10 countries with the highest share of remote workers in the EU.
The company predicts nearly 10 per cent more workers will work remotely this year in the Netherlands – bringing the total to 73.5 per cent, while Luxembourg’s share of remote or hybrid workers will rise to 60.6 per cent, and Sweden to 56.4 per cent.
Ireland is predicted to see a large rise to 61.6 per cent, as is Belgium, to 56.1 per cent.
Last summer, the Dutch parliament approved legislation to establish working from home as a legal right, making the Netherlands one of the first countries to grant remote working flexibility by law.
With the new legislation, employers must consider requests for remote working and provide a reason for denying it.
The report by Remote highlights that the Netherlands already had a relatively high number of remote workers prior to the pandemic, with 28 per cent working remotely, which at the time was one of the highest rates in the EU.
3. Gen Zers and millennials split over the appeal of remote work
More than one in three employees want fully remote work this year, but that sentiment isn’t shared equally among generations. Workers also feel pay hasn’t kept up with inflation.
Older employees want to work fully remote nearly twice as much as younger ones, according to a new study by job search site Joblist.
The study found that about half (49%) of millennials surveyed want to work fully remote, whereas only 27% of Generation Z (Gen Zers) feel the same way; they’re much more likely than average “to be seeking in-person” work opportunities. Oddly, Gen X and baby boomers felt less impassioned about remote options. Only 40% of either group indicated “their ideal workplace setting” should be remote.
More important than a simply offering remote, hybrid, or onsite work options is ensuring employees have flexibility around their schedules, according to Jamie Kohn, a Gartner research director.
“In our data, we see that flexibility in working hours is more important to people than flexibility in where people work. People are really looking to shape their jobs around their lives. If you can offer that, even if you have onsite work, you’re probably going to keep a lot of people,” Kohn said.
For example, baby boomers and millennials are more likely to have older parents who may require care, and younger employees will have small children.
“People are less committed to jobs they have because changing jobs doesn’t carry as high a cost as it used to,” Kohn said. “It’s swapping one laptop out for another.”
Overall, the current job market remains extremely strong for most job seekers, especially for technology workers.
Source: Computer World
4. Amazon and Microsoft to Slash Tech Workers. But Uncle Sam Is Hiring
The US Office of Personnel Management, the agency that manages civilian government employees, is expanding efforts to attract tech industry talent into the federal workforce amid continuing layoffs at companies including Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook parent Meta.
Most dramatic among OPM’s initiatives is plans to issue new pay guidance to agencies, giving them flexibility to hire tech workers across the government at higher rates.
“As the tech sector continues to see layoffs, the federal government is going to make a concerted effort to attract these individuals,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said in a statement Wednesday. “The federal government works in every sector and every industry, offering thousands of opportunities for those with tech experience like energy, transportation, health care and national security.”
For unemployed workers, the overall job market appears healthy, driven in part by demand from the government, which has been unable to fill about 2,500 jobs over the past three years.
5. Cybersecurity Focus: How to Make Remote Work Safer
One of the issues is that employees’ security is often sacrificed so that organizations can continue to operate as they did before the crisis. Unfortunately, this fact could not possibly stay beyond the cybercriminals’ spotlight.
Malicious actors aim to snoop on sensitive communication or plague enterprise networks with spyware or ransomware.
In response to the looming menace, security experts recommend organizations focus on upping their VPN security practices to prevent the worst-case scenario.
Here are a few tips to help a company from being a moving target:
- First, keep VPN tools and network infrastructure devices up to date. This recommendation also holds true for devices (company-issued or personal) that the employees use to connect to corporate resources remotely. Correct updates and patch management ensure the most current security configuration is in place.
- Let your teams know about the expected rise in phishing attacks so that they exercise more caution with suspicious emails.
- Ensure the cyber security team is prepared to tackle remote access exploitation scenarios through breach detection, log analysis, and incident response.
- Use multi-factor authentication for all VPN connections. If, for some reason, this rule cannot be put into practice, ascertain that your staff members are using strong passwords to log in.
- Inspect the corporate VPN services for capacity restrictions. Then, choose a reliable hosting service that can help leverage bandwidth limiting and ensure secure connections continuity when needed the most.
- An additional precaution is to test the functionality of the VPN kill switch. This feature automatically terminates all web traffic if the secure connection is interrupted. This way, you can rest assured that the data doesn’t travel via the public Internet in an unencrypted form.
Remote work security is now more critical than ever before. This needs to change if it is not your organization’s top priority.
6. Reassessing hybrid and remote work strategies
Hybrid and remote working patterns are not just a temporary result of the Covid-19 pandemic. They’ve become an integral aspect of the way that we work in our organizations.
Here are three issues and strategies that need to be addressed when it comes to hybrid and remote work, post-pandemic.
1. Employer expectations
Employers sceptical of hybrid and remote work have convinced themselves that it’s a passing fad that will soon fade back into the ‘normal’ ways of working.
Employers can no longer stick their heads in the sand and pretend that the desire for remote working will go away.
If they want to remain competitive and improve employee retention, they should readjust their expectations.
2. Employee expectations
Employees will also need to compromise on some aspects of remote work to help employers get to grips with running the strategy over the long term.
This might mean accepting a degree of office-based working occasionally, in return for being able to work remotely for the majority of the working week.
3. Create a remote work strategy
It’s obvious by now that remote working is an established part of the way we work. Yet many employers still lack dedicated remote working strategies, threatening to create disruption while trying to manage employees and their fluctuating circumstances over time.
HR professionals would be wise to start creating dedicated remote working policies in order to help them effectively manage this not-so-new way of working for the long term.
Source: People Management
7. Understanding Space in a Hybrid Working World
Amidst the uncertainty of transitioning to the “new norm” of hybrid working, there is an avenue for businesses to adapt more quickly. Effectively monitoring the use of office space in a hybrid working environment assists businesses in re-evaluating efficiency. Technologies such as IoT sensors are boosting the accuracy, ease, and success of measuring the use of space, allowing optimization and adaptation to reap the benefits of hybridity and maintain productivity.
What is Occupancy Monitoring?
Occupancy monitoring describes the process of collecting and applying data surrounding the use of space in an office, building, or complex. For example, it measures metrics such as footfall, desk use, or how frequently people use meeting rooms. These metrics can then inform various decisions, such as the layout of offices.
Understanding the Workplace through Occupancy
Understanding the dynamics of the workplace presents several important opportunities for businesses and HR departments. Firstly, they have a responsibility to care for their employees. Comprehending the implications of space on employee well-being – both physical and mental – is extremely beneficial. Secondly, they also hold responsibility for the productivity of employees. Providing a fully optimized workplace is foundational to establishing a well-oiled business overall. Thirdly, businesses and HR must maintain efficiency. This includes making the relevant adaptations required to keep their productive workspace running smoothly, not assuming that what worked previously will work again.
Transforming Understanding into Informed Decision-Making
After establishing an understanding of occupancy, businesses can apply collected data to informed decision-making. Data collection facilitates the creation of actionable, trackable, and achievable goals for office efficiency. As a result, transformations within workplace culture are pinpointed rather than approximated so that they can take tailored action.
Employees, Occupancy Monitoring, and Privacy
Businesses and their HR Departments are also responsible for maintaining employee comfort and privacy. To those unfamiliar with the technologies associated with occupancy monitoring, concerns may arise surrounding approaches such as monitoring desk occupancy. A degree of employee privacy should be maintained, especially in more private workspaces.
Exploring new data utilization in occupancy monitoring will encourage informed decisions that increase the success of adaptation to hybridity alongside minimizing disruption to the workplace.
Source: HR News