36% of Companies Willing to Hire Remote Workers Living Anywhere

Released on November 3, 2020, (re-posted from MRINetwork, Pulse)

remote workers increaseMore companies are now willing to hire remote workers from anywhere, according to research released Monday by The Conference Board.

The September survey of more than 330 HR executives — primarily from large US companies — found more than one-third, 36%, are willing to hire workers who are fully remote living anywhere in the US or internationally. This is up from just 12% who were receptive to that approach in a similar survey conducted in April, before the full impact of Covid-19.

Companies are now far more willing to hire remote workers in general at 88%, up from 52% before Covid-19. However, half still prefer that employees live within commuting distance of the office location. And looking forward, more than one-third of respondents expect that at least 40% of their employees will work remotely at least three days per week 12 months post-pandemic; that is up from 5% in the survey prior to the pandemic.

Additional findings include:

Skills shortage. Finding qualified workers remains a challenge, despite high unemployment and a willingness to hire remotely — about 75% of companies report difficulty overall both pre-pandemic and now.

Productivity gains. Almost half of September’s respondents, 47%, believed that productivity had increased for their workforce, up from 23% in April. This productivity increase could be due in part to employees working longer hours since the Covid-19 outbreak, according to The Conference Board.

Declining employee well-being. Sixty percent of companies surveyed in September reported that their employees are experiencing increased work hours; 63% are spending more time in meetings, 42% are suffering more burnouts, 46% decreased work-life balance and 40% more mental health problems.

“These sobering statistics beg the question of whether increased working hours are sustainable in the long term,” said Robin Erickson, principal researcher at The Conference Board and co-author of the report.

Wages. One quarter of companies that implemented salary/wage cuts during the pandemic had fully reversed this action by September. Companies were likely to reverse wage cuts as quickly as possible; one quarter had fully reversed them by September, and another 23% had partially reversed this action.

Cost-cuts head. Despite some wage and salary restorations, cost-cutting measures are still planned for rest of year. From October through December 2020, 13% of surveyed companies plan to restructure the organization and 11% plan to cut bonuses. In addition, 9% plan to conduct permanent layoffs and 8% plan to defer pay increases and bonuses.

Return to workplace. About 60% of companies have either already returned or are currently planning to return to the workplace by March. However, this date could change based on the severity of the second Covid-19 surge. A quarter of respondents are more uncertain, either awaiting a vaccine or noting other determining factors, such as trends in Covid-19 cases in the geographic area. Only 19% of companies had remained open or returned to the workplace by the end of September.

Original author: Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) | Daily News


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