Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher who lived around 500 BC is quoted as saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.” This sentiment is certainly true for today’s business world, and over the past three months, each of us has navigated significant changes to our workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizations that never planned to implement a remote employment strategy did it anyway. Hiring freezes, furloughs, Zoom meetings and work-from-home strategies became topics of daily conversation. What will our workforce look like going forward? Experts agree that COVID-19 will have lasting effects on the way organizations manage their business and workforce.
According to Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, organizations need to rethink their workforce, including employee planning and management strategies, since the pandemic has reset major work trends (source: 9 Future of Work Trends Post-COVID-19). Brian Kropp, Distinguished Vice President at Gartner, noted, “Our research finds that 32% of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure.” Contingent workers allow employers to flex payroll dollars on demand.
At LBMC Staffing Solutions, we have noticed these same trends. With each passing week, we are seeing an increasing demand for contingency staffing, including temp-to-perm and contract roles. Temp-to-perm is a particularly popular option for companies that want to “try out” an employee before committing to a permanent hire. LBMC Staffing regularly places hourly contract employees to meet the needs for short-term projects that may or may not turn into full-time roles.
Companies that continue to hire full-time employees for permanent roles are navigating a new normal as well. Many employees want the option to continue working remotely. As more organizations utilize remote workforces, there may be less need for office space, and companies could find cost savings on office space rent.
However, according to Psychology Today, remote working can create other challenges. According to a study of over 1,000 remote employees by Twingate, remote employment may be causing workers to lose a sense of work-life balance during the pandemic. An article from Psychology Today noted, “A total of 45% of employees reported attending more meetings during the pandemic than when working in the office, compared to 21% who attended fewer meetings. And 40% of employees have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls while working remotely.”
It’s clear that our post-pandemic workforce will look much different than the past. As organizations pilot new workforce policies, it will be important to remain connected with employees and keep open lines of communication. Both companies and workers will need to be flexible as we all find ways to navigate the changing dynamics of the new business world.