Business leaders at technology companies have had a bumpy ride in recent years, particularly with competition for highly-skilled professionals. Next year may present an even bumpier ride.
For some, it may be a wake-up call. a recent poll of more than 50,000 professionals from the consulting firm PwC found that those with the most specialized and coveted skills are planning to test the market.
One in five professionals reported that they were “extremely” or “very” likely to consider changing employers. And according to the report, hiring and retaining qualified professionals is the number one risk to a company’s growth.
For those companies already facing a talent shortage, the stakes are about to rise. And competition involves much more than compensation. Tech professionals of all stripes are looking for more meaning, opportunity, mobility and flexibility.
In our rapidly changing world, the idea of the ideal workplace continues to evolve. Professionals are rethinking what a good job entails and their personal work-life balance goals. Companies, in turn, are rethinking and innovating the workplace and the intangibles that make a company and a job attractive, that make working in a place meaningful and attractive. According to Deloitte92% of companies believe they need to redesign their organization to fit the evolving work environment.
Leading innovation companies offer permanent and flexible remote work, flexible hours, four-day workweeks and work-from-anywhere programs to attract and retain the best qualified professionals.
One of the most attractive and trendy programs is work from anywhere (WFA). WFA is a flexible approach to working, where a company trains its professionals to work from almost anywhere in the world, while staying connected to the company’s culture and goals. In such a program, professionals gain geographic flexibility and report a better work-life balance.
Google, Twitter, and HubSpot were early adopters of global work-from-anywhere programs, and dozens of tech companies have used them since. WFA is sure to be an option highly-skilled professionals will inquire about and eventually expect from potential employers.
Here are three lessons we learned from implementing this program:
1. Think outside the box
In the pre-pandemic workplace, the possibility that all roles could be performed virtually and remotely would never have been tested: the premise was too far from the norm at the time. Since then, we’ve experienced the biggest workplace experiment of our generation, with the majority of company-wide roles performed virtually for over 2 years. As you design your WFA program, consider starting with all departments and positions (or as close as possible) as remote eligible. There may have to be exceptions, but with a broad guiding principle, you’ll create a program that is truly enterprise-wide and seen as groundbreaking for your organization.
2. Redesign from scratch
Global mobility programs are often driven by expatriate assignments for very different purposes. Past assumptions must be set aside. Redesign your mobility program around the new driving force: the professionals themselves. Flexibility is the key new benefit employees are looking for, and a well-designed WFA program takes that to the next level. global scale. Employee-driven mobility does not necessarily require allowances and bonuses that may have been necessary in previous company-driven programs. However, employees want the option to work almost anywhere in the world.
Your company can offer the flexibility and structure to provide such an option. You can ensure employee enthusiasm for the program with possible immigration and benefits support, while at the same time ensuring global mobility compliance for your organization. Because it was initially difficult to find immigration and benefits options for employee-driven assignments, this landscape is also changing as countries see an opportunity to bring more workers to their locations and have responded with “digital nomad visas” that expedite the work permit. process.
Most WFA assignments consist primarily of reconnecting with family and friends in an employee’s home country or significant period living abroad. Engage your people’s imaginations and dreams to achieve a better work-life balance.
3. Rethink community
There are challenges for WFA programs, and one of the key challenges is building culture and collaboration with a more mobile and global workforce. But there is no turning back. As we boldly move into a future of employee-driven global mobility and virtual environments, your organization should take time to consider how your company culture and collaboration can be maintained and grown.
It may be possible to develop an even greater sense of community in this new world of working from home and anywhere. A central concept is to become more intentional about creating opportunities that bring employees together outside of their work teams so they can interact with colleagues online or in regular face-to-face experiences. We use a quarterly meeting with a mix of work content and fun team building activities. And we take this opportunity to consider how we can all reimagine a workplace that is more accessible, more inclusive, and more welcoming to all. In partnership with your ISD and community engagement teams, you can create these opportunities that build meaningful communities that matter to employees.
We are inevitably moving towards the biggest redesign of the workplace in the last 100 years. It will not be without its challenges, but it holds tremendous promise and opportunity.