Are employers back in power?

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Are employers back in power?

Post COVID and the Great Resignation, we saw a swing toward employee power as they resisted going back to the office and sought out flexible or remote working opportunities, leaving traditional work environments in droves.

Now, with looming economic instability and global tech layoffs, bosses are ordering their workers back to the office. Does this mark a permanent return to in-office working?


Now that the power has swung back to employers, what are they doing with it?

Globally, some major corporations have pulled back on workplace flexibility. Across sectors, companies including Starbucks, Twitter, Microsoft, and auditing firm KPMG are mandating more in-office days, or even a return to full-time office working arrangements.

CEOs cite the need for in-person collaboration, camaraderie, and mentorship as reasons for returning to the office, while studies show that what many employees value most is flexible work arrangements.

Clearly, there is a mismatch between what employers want and what their workers want – yet ‘ the big bosses’ are forging on with bringing their employees back in.


The good news for SMEs

Fortunately, this places SMEs in a perfect position to attract and retain excellent, highly-skilled talent because they are often able to offer more flexibility in terms of work-life integration than larger organisations. SMEs also tend to have less hierarchical structures and afford more employee learning opportunities across different facets of the business.

To be sure, flexibility and well-being are vital for most workers these days, creating a reinvention of company culture. Some 63% of job seekers called work-life balance a top priority when picking a new job, according to LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report. The report also revealed that there was an 83% increase in job postings that mentioned the word ‘flexibility’ and a 147% increase in job postings that used the word ‘well-being’.

Still, the return to more in-person settings is an important development in the changing world of work, given that workers had the upper hand when it came to bargaining for flexibility during the hiring crisis.


Advice to business leaders/founders

RecruitMyMom's outlook on 2023 is that employers will continue to aggressively compete for qualified talent and scarce resources.

There’s no turning back. Economic cycles happen. Workers will continue to benefit from the renewed focus on employee engagement caused by the pandemic, and positive work-life integrations will continue to be a major drawing card for high-calibre talent.

The hybrid and remote ways of working that rose to the fore during and after COVID only serve as proof of the future-fitness of RecruitMyMom's own core values and services.

Let us help you, Future-Thinking Employer, to figure out what the best flexible work model and mix of flexibility is for your business, for the job you have at hand, and to attract the best person for the job.

Discover more about what makes us the right recruitment partner here.