Millions of employees have left their jobs due to The Great Resignation. According to data from the Labor Bureau, some 4.3 million workers quit in the first half of the 21st century.

Several elements stand out according to a survey. 18% of the study respondents didn’t like how their bosses treated them, and 17% left due to inadequate benefits.

Millions are rethinking their careers, long term goals, work environments, and how to achieve a healthier work/life balance. It shows the enormous need and opportunity for companies to transform most every aspect of their operations. Organizations that take advantage of that opportunity will be in a better position to address employee satisfaction. They will struggle to survive if they don’t.

Recasting the office

Companies assumed the situation would be short-lived when they shifted work to remote settings in 2020. Many of the working population found that they enjoyed working from home at least part of the time.

According to a survey by GoodHire, nearly half of employees would either quit or look for a new job if they were told to return to the office. Many employees said they would take a pay cut to work from home.

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Many employees have established a healthier work-life balance because of hybrid remote work, which blends in-office and remote work as a flexible routine.

Employers are hesitant to adapt to this new normal. 25% of employers are planning on their employees returning to full-time work, according to a study. Half of employers want their staff to be in-house five days a week.

There are a variety of reasons for this demand. If workers are scattered, company culture can’t be kept up. A hybrid work model has been found to boost employee engagement and sense of inclusion.

A sense of isolation can be caused by remote work. Meeting and socializing with colleagues was the most missed aspect of being in an office. 7 out of 10 employees felt more isolated after working from home.

Something needs to give. Digitalization can be a key factor in business transformation where it plays a central role. Management should help remote workers address and mitigate the issues of isolation and loneliness.

Trying these steps is one suggestion.

  • Encouraging remote workers not to work from home exclusively. Leaders can beat loneliness to the punch by advocating a variety of office-alternate work settings, such as cafes or parks.
  • Urging remote workers to unplug. Leaders can provide a routine that specifies when work ends, such as a certain time of day when emails can go unread or an office door which is closed and left behind.
  • Establish a broad network—and don’t talk about just work. Leaders can encourage remote employees to interact with people other than co-workers, and not limiting conversations with colleagues to work matters.
  • Leverage the flexibility. Leaders can make certain that remote workers vary their daily downtime. Take a walk, play a video game, or do some gardening or yoga. It’s not professional blasphemy.
  • Remind remote workers they’re important team members. Solicit input and feedback from remote workers. Routinely ask them what they would do differently to strengthen the remote work experience.

For all of it’s advantages, remote work has some things it doesn’t. It is possible to make the most of remote work’s potential by having a balanced perspective.

Flexibility is now a worker must-have

Any sweeping form of transformation that doesn’t address flexibility is missing an essential target. It’s so important that leaders don’t realize it, but their views of genuine flexibility are vastly different from that of their workforce.

According to one study, 79% of professionals want to keep their flexibility post-pandemic, and workers have experienced greater professional flexibility during COVID-19. One in three people said they would be willing to take a pay cut in order to be more flexible with a new employer.

This is where a lot of people don’t know. Three-quarters of executive leaders think they have an established culture of flexibility, according to a survey. Only a small number of employees believed that their employers embraced flexible work. More than three-quarters of executives think the business understands how flexible work patterns support employees.

Digital transformation can narrow that chasm and help cement a commitment to flexibility, which is a cornerstone of employees’ view of an engaging and supportive place to work.