Tech employees and employers clash over remote working

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, there’s a major mismatch between the remote working expectations of US technology employees and employers. The same trend has been identified here in the UK. HR professionals on this side of the pond are paying close attention to the evolving situation.

The key points raised in the article are:

– After months of return-to-work starts and stops, many US technology companies – including Google, Apple and Microsoft – are telling remote workers it’s time to come back for good. At the very least, they’re being told to show up for a few days a week.

– Employees who have acquired a taste for remote working are faced with a tough choice – fall into line or look for another job.

– According to a global survey of more than 32,000 workers by ADP Research Institute, two-thirds of the workforce said they would find a new job if required to return to the office full-time.

– No longer tied to a physical office, many people moved away from expensive city areas during the pandemic. The prospect of a much longer commute is fuelling return-to-work resistance.

– Office mandates provide fertile hunting ground for recruiters. When Airbnb announced that employees could work from anywhere without taking a hit on their salary, visitor numbers to its careers page rocketed.

– In the last two years, flexibility has become an essential recruitment and retention tool. Workers have come to view it as a right rather than a privilege. Companies have in large part accommodated their workers’ demands and, in some cases, u-turned on in-office directives.

We’re all watching this space to see how things play out. How many technology workers will issue ultimatums? How will their employers respond? The HR industry’s keen interest extends well beyond the technology space. If these highly skilled, in-demand employees have trouble flexing their market value, how much leverage do remote workers from other sectors have?

Please let us know your views on the subject. And, if there are any other topics that you’d like us to explore in future articles, please let us know. ABL, your expert multilingual recruitment partner, is as always here to help!