January 5, 2022
As Featured in Mobility Magazine
Sterling Lexicon Shares Insights on Managing Remote and Hybrid Work
By now, it’s clear that remote and hybrid work arrangements are likely to be the norm for many organizations for some time, if not permanently. Businesses are embracing the new norms and defining policies to support not only their current employees, but as part of their strategy for attracting future talent looking for location and work flexibility as well.
In “For the Long Term” - the cover story of the December/January issue of Worldwide ERC®’s Mobility magazine, Sterling Lexicon’s Leah Johnson joins several industry experts to share insights around what it all means for the future of the workforce and talent mobility.
Before getting into the current landscape, the article sets the stage with some data Sterling Lexicon collected on return-to-work incentives in cooperation with RES Forum, gleaning insights from 45 multinationals around the globe. “When we asked whether their organization allowed a work-from-home approach during the pandemic, 18% of respondents indicated a simple ‘yes,’ and another 42% indicated ‘yes’ with additional details describing the specific circumstances, such as a dependence on location and/or job function,” Johnson shares.
When exploring whether organizations offered any assistance to employees who voluntarily opted to move due to the flexibility of remote work during the initial stages of the pandemic (and not as part of a formal company-sponsored relocation), nearly 70% did not. Of the few that did, the article notes, support was determined on a case-by-case basis and ranged from some allowances for purchasing home office equipment to some level of assistance for assignees to repatriate to their home countries due to COVID-19 conditions in the host location.
Now, as companies set parameters around the types of jobs suitable to ongoing remote work, invest in the technology and security to support it and determine how to best integrate hybrid models, the lessons learned during the rapid shift to remote during the beginning of the pandemic are proving quite valuable.
“Our IT department, like many others, worked day and night to keep our company’s operations running smoothly and our networks and data secure.”
Leah Johnson, Director of Client Solutions, Sterling Lexicon
While initial struggles like unpredictable internet connectivity and long hours of video conferencing frustrated many remote workers at the outset of the pandemic, now challenges tend to center around how to help employees set barriers between work and personal time, and how to keep remote workers fully engaged and contributing to the company culture.
To be successful, companies need a robust work-from-home policy, and appropriate levels of management training to encourage regular communication and healthy, open conversations around work and wellbeing. It also requires a greater appreciation for some of the new challenges that non-office-based employees may be having, especially as workplaces begin to return to greater levels of occupancy. Global talent mobility professionals can be tremendously helpful as advisors to the business in this area, as they are well versed in helping assignees stay – and feel – connected.
The challenges are not contained to remote workers, however. As the article also shares, “even with the move to remote work, offices haven’t gone away.” Managing a return to work on a hybrid scale of such magnitude can also pose unique difficulties and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Sterling Lexicon’s parent company, Suddath, has prepared a Hybrid Workplace Roadmap to help companies ask the right questions and set their spaces and teams up for success. Things like assigning desks or opting for a “hoteling” model and determining whether days in the office need to be consistent from week to week or can be flexible are important considerations, as are the steps that will be taken to keep employees safe.
The bottom line, as the article states, is that remote and hybrid situations are here to stay, and “in times of disruption, competitive advantage goes to leaders who can approach challenges as opportunities – and to companies that are agile enough to leverage them.”
Learn more about how our teams can help you navigate the new world of work, and fully support your remote, hybrid and mobile talent with solutions customized to your needs. Contact us today.
As Marketing Manager for Sterling Lexicon, Lynsey brings over ten years of experience working within the B2B and B2C markets throughout the EMEA and APAC regions, designing and executing successful strategies and campaigns. She brings a deep understanding of the competitive landscape, market data and consumer behaviour to her role, serving as a liaison between the marketing and sales teams and project manager for multiple lead-generating and brand-awareness-raising initiatives. Lynsey leads and reports on the ongoing enhancements and improvements to the Sterling Lexicon website in the areas of market research, content development, translation, and optimisation for improved user experiences, external rankings, and conversions. Lynsey can be reached at email@example.com.