When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, many workers found themselves in a new environment: the home office. For some, this suddenly meant no commute and more time to relax after work. Others struggled to focus and felt disconnected.
With the pandemic still a looming presence in our lives, it seems less and less like people are willing to go back to work. In fact, a recent Harvard Business School survey found that nearly 80 percent of workers don’t want to go back to work at the office.
What’s preventing people from returning to their jobs, and is there a solution?
Keep reading and we’ll take a look at what’s stopping Americans from going back to work and how staffing agencies can help.
Who Wouldn’t Want to Go Back to Work?
As it turns out, a lot of people don’t want to return to regular old office life. In fact, 30 percent of workers would quit their job if they had to return to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to USA Today.
While a significant number of lower-income workers reported their tasks could not be performed from home, many white-collar workers shifted into a new rhythm.
Pros of Working from Home
Working from home ushered in flexibility for many workers according to the Pew Research Center. Nearly 50 percent of workers felt they had more flexibility to choose when they put in their hours. What’s more, 38% of employees felt it became easier to balance work and family life after beginning to work from home.
Of the 1,500 people surveyed by the Harvard Business Review, 27% of respondents hoped to continue to work from home full-time following the pandemic. 61% hoped to mix working from home with going to the office.
The United States government has issued several rounds of stimulus checks throughout the pandemic to lessen the financial burden on employees who were furloughed or lost their job due to the pandemic.
While this has provided much-needed financial support to many Americans, it has also introduced a unique issue for some employers. Some have been met with resistance from employees who will make less money returning to work than they would from their stimulus checks.
Not surprisingly, many workers are worried about whether or not it’s truly safe to return to the office.
One January 2021 study by Honeywell found that nearly 70 percent of employees do not think their office is safe. A third of employees would consider finding a new job before returning to their current one.
Many employee concerns center around air quality and the reality of shared workspaces.
“Workers are going to demand more from buildings in the future,” said President of Honeywell Business Technology Vimal Kapur. “Creating a healthier and safer environment will be a differentiator for staff retention and recruiting.”
The US vaccine rollout is in full swing in many parts of the country. Many are predicting that this will speed up the process of returning to the office.
This has many employees wondering if vaccines will be required for them to go back to work face-to-face.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this has left many workers feeling wary. Some workers are hesitant to receive the vaccine itself due to reported side effects, safety concerns, and a distrust of the government. but the CDC has continued
The Future of Work
The pandemic forced many companies to face the fact that their employees could (and were required to) log on from their home office. That big shift is bringing even bigger changes with going back to work.
As Brian Kropp of Gartner explained, the option to work from home will be an expectation from potential employees.
“They feel they should be able to decide where and when they work,” he continued. “And if they are not given that choice, some will look for other employers that do offer that.”
Can a Staffing Agency Help?
In the past, you may have had the help of a staffing agency to fill an open position with your company. Staffing agencies are still hard at work during the pandemic.
While some have experienced resistance, research suggests there is no correlation between higher unemployment pay during the pandemic and people not wanting to return to work. In fact, a Yale study concluded that expanded benefits did not reduce unemployment.
Instead, some have observed that there has been a low availability of jobs during an especially challenging time.
Staffing agencies have been the bridge between employers and their prospective employees going back to work in the past. And they’ve continued to during the pandemic. This even includes workers willing to relocate to pursue a new position. One worker retold how she was laid off from her retail job and then applied to an Alaskan fishery as a temporary job.
Is a Staffing Agency a Smart Solution?
In the past, and especially now, working with a staffing agency can provide big benefits for your company.
For starters, filling your permanent and temporary positions takes time and resources from your team. Staffing agencies help support the job search process.
You may be thinking that staffing agencies have to be expensive to provide that kind of support, but you might want to think again.
In the long run, partnering with a staffing agency can save you time, money, and help you discover a solid candidate for your job.
Where to Start Your Staffing Agency Search
Innovo Staffing is a full-service employment agency in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. We connect leading employers with top-notch talent for a synergistic relationship based on value and growth.
Our job is twofold: to fill your organization with innovative and creative workers who will take your business to the next level, and to ensure all of our talent is placed where they will feel excited, passionate, and valued every day.
If you have a permanent or temporary position you need to fill, contact us today, and let’s get back to work.