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How to Build a Successful Hybrid Workplace

How to Build a Successful Hybrid Workplace

After the initial shockwave generated by the pandemic, many companies are going hybrid – a mix of working from home and working from the office. This concept is new for many employers, and companies are scratching their heads on the best route to provide a healthy employee experience. Here are some tips to help build a successful hybrid workplace for your team and foster an attractive company culture.

Empower your employees (and listen!)

Every company’s hybrid workplace situation will look different depending on your team, location, industry, and many other factors. Some initiatives will work well, while others may crash and burn. Supporting a hybrid team will take some experimenting, and most importantly, communication. Communicate with your team often and empower them to provide feedback. What works for one team member may not work for another. It will take lots of discussions, tweaking, and testing to find a good balance for your hybrid workplace.

Review your company policies

As your company starts to shape your hybrid workplace, now is the time to review your company policies. Your pre-pandemic policies may not be suitable for your employees’ needs today, and it’s essential to review them and update them accordingly. A big policy update is likely your PTO structure. Many companies are using the pandemic to review their PTO policies and make them more appropriate for today’s needs. Other things to look at are safety protocols, mental health check-ins, and increased flexibility. These policy changes will keep your employees happy and help attract new job seekers during this competitive market.

Give team what they can’t get at home

When building your hybrid workplace, it’s important to understand that you must provide your employees what they cannot get at home. LinkedIn’s Brett Hautop, VP of Workplace, described this well when he said, “Many people don’t want to feel like they’re leaving the house just to go sit at another desk.” What is the point of bringing people into the office? What advantages can the office deliver to your employees that they can’t get in the comfort of their homes? For most, this is in-person collaboration. Some companies, like LinkedIn, are redesigning their workplaces to offer more collaborative environments – something most employees can’t get at home. As a result, they are removing desks and repurposing furniture to build spaces better suited for a hybrid environment.

This is just an example of what your team can do to foster collaboration while physically in the office. The whole point of a hybrid schedule should be giving your employees the best of both words and capitalizing on what they can do well at home and what is better suited for the office.

What Employees Want in A Hybrid Work Environment

What Employees Want in A Hybrid Work Environment

Today, we face a completely different work culture than what we are usually used to due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these work culture shifts includes having the option at some places to work from home or in a hybrid environment. 46% of employees are likely to make a career transition to find an opportunity that supports remote work. To combat this, more employers are cultivating a hybrid work environment. Because of this trend, it is essential to understand how to successfully implement a hybrid workforce to keep your employees engaged and productive. Here are three things employees want in their hybrid work environment as we continue to navigate the evolution of work cultures. 

Having Trust

Regardless of your work environment or industry, there must be a significant amount of trust between your staff and management. However, having faith in your employees plays an even more substantial role in a hybrid work environment. Thus, leadership teams will have to embrace flexibility with their employees. Not everyone’s working situation will be identical; some of your staff will be working different hours or be coming and going from the office. As a result, it’s easy to micromanage your team to ensure everyone is getting their work done. Micromanagement is one of the biggest turnoffs for hybrid workers and can ultimately lead to burnout. Instead of breathing down the necks of your staff, managers can outline goals and expectations so everyone is on the same page.

Addressing Remote Work Challenges

When transitioning to a hybrid work environment, many employees fear missing out on things around the office. Work from home FOMO is challenging to overcome, but it’s essential to take the time to understand some of these challenges and develop strategies to resolve them. One of these challenges is your staff feeling isolated. Many employees will miss out on in-person interactions, contributing to your team not feeling engaged with their jobs. Employers can organize remote social interaction to help their employees feel engaged and connected when working hybrid schedules to combat this. These events can take various forms, such as virtual happy hour, team trivia, or friendly competitions.

Open Communication

To ensure your hybrid work environment is thriving for all parties, you must have open and honest communication. These conversations will stem down from your leadership team. 45% of remote workers feel disconnected from their employer because of a lack of communication. Your leadership team must have open communication with your staff (and do it often!). Your company can send out newsletters to keep your staff up to date on company changes, regular check-ins, and opportunities for your employees to provide feedback. Hybrid working environments are new to the majority of employers. Therefore, your company should be implementing changes regularly to make them more productive and healthier for your staff.

Need more help navigating this labor market?

Those are three ways your team can provide a more attractive hybrid working environment for your employees. At JSG, we understand that hybrid working is becoming a staple for employers across the world. If your team is looking for more ways to attract and retain your staff during this difficult time, take a look at our blog! We have tons of resources to help your team offer a better atmosphere for your employees in this competitive market.

How to Help Your Employees Succeed Remotely

How to Help Your Employees Succeed Remotely

When the pandemic first hit, how long did you think you would be working from home? A couple of months tops, right? Most of us that are still working remotely didn’t think we would be doing so through the end of the year (and maybe permanently!). Well, with the holidays rapidly approaching and end of the year projects wrapping up, your employees might be feeling a little overwhelmed. If this resonates with your team, here are a few tips to help your employees succeed remotely.

Help them establish their work-from-home setup

Many employers have stepped in to help their teammates get comfortable with their new working environment. Whether that be hooking them up with some necessary office supplies, sending them a little gift basket, or even just supplying a budget for meals and coffee, these are a few things employers have done to make this adjustment a little smoother. If your company has missed the mark on this trend, it’s not too late to help your employees establish their work-from-home setup!

Everyone’s home situation is different; some employees may need more help than others. Does one of your team members need a new office chair? Does one of your teammates need a second monitor? These are relatively inexpensive ways to help your employees be more comfortable, more productive, and ultimately, help your employees succeed remotely.

Check-in often (but don’t micromanage)

An easy way to help your employees succeed while they work from home is to check in often. Don’t just send them a list of tasks and leave them by the wayside. Check-in often to see if they need help or if there is anything you can do to support them. How can you help your team succeed if you don’t know what their struggles are? Check-in often, but don’t micromanage. Nothing is more frustrating than a manager that interrupts you every few minutes to see what you are working on. Trust goes a long way, especially during these challenging times.

Encourage camaraderie

To give your team a boost in morale and help them succeed remotely, encourage camaraderie. When everyone is working from the office, it’s much easier to build relationships and feel like you belong to a team. However, there are no breakroom conversations while working from home, chatting in the hallway, or Friday afternoon happy hours. This feeling of isolation is especially prevalent during the holiday season. To help everyone have a little fun, encourage camaraderie. Schedule a virtual happy hour or holiday party with your team, watch a movie together over Teams, have some friendly competitions, or simply send them some holiday swag. Even the smallest gesture will help restore the feeling of belonging among your team, which will help them succeed remotely while we wrap up this crazy year.

work from home distractions

How to Avoid Work From Home Distractions

Working remotely first came to play in the 1970s, but really didn’t gain traction until the 1990s.  Telecommuting, as it was known, was given as a perk by many companies and tended to be on an as-needed basis. Fast forward to today, and we see companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon adopting this as a new norm for their office workers.

Working from home can be a great thing, but not everyone can do it. Distractions with kids, spouses, pets, and just being in the house can make it difficult to focus on your work. So how does one stay motivated and avoid distractions? Here’s how to avoid work from home distractions.

Have a dedicated area just for you

Having a bedroom or office set up where you can close the door and work without distractions is ideal. Don’t have an extra room? Get creative and think about your garage, sunroom, or mudroom. The attic should be the work refuge of last resort!

Set boundaries

Many people are working from home with spouses and significant others, and this can be a serious distraction. Make sure that you set boundaries and enforce them! Set lunch dates and make lunch together, but otherwise, between those certain hours, you are in the “do not disturb” zone. Kids are a little more challenging. If you have kiddos at home, try and have activities for them, such as movies, games, and snacks available.

Pets

The most lovable family member and the most challenging when working from home. Raise of hands from everyone who has been on a Zoom video call to see a cat run across the desk, or jump on a lap, or a pooch who sticks its head under your arm for a scritch. If you have a video conference call, make sure you remove all pets from your work area.

Some work from home distractions are inevitable

You will inevitably encounter a potentially embarrassing moment while working from home! Here’s a hilarious example:

When that happens, just move on. Everyone is in the same boat! As for motivation, do your best to secure a work area and set those boundaries and expectations. Having your own space will allow you to focus and get the job done!

Have you thought about partnering with a recruiter?

If you are looking for great talent or a new job opportunity, reach out to Johnson Search Group. Companies are hiring, and candidates are looking. With over 35 years in the staffing industry, JSG is here to help! Give us a call.

recruit remote workers

How to Successfully Recruit Remote Workers

Before the pandemic flipped the labor market upside-down, remote work was gaining popularity. Fast forward to today, and millions of Americans are working from home (and likely well into the future). In fact, even as hiring growth has slowed for many companies, there was a 12% increase in remote job listings from July to August. Thus, if you want to be competitive in the post-pandemic labor market, you must be able to attract job seekers searching for remote opportunities. Here is how your hiring team can successfully recruit remote workers.

Use appropriate keywords

To attract the right candidates, you need to use appropriate keywords. This will help weed out candidates uninterested in remote opportunities; the right keywords can also help job seekers find your job posts easier on job boards. Consider adding the word “remote” or other keywords in the job title.

For example, your job title could be “Cloud Engineer – Temporarily Remote.” This helps job seekers know right off the bat that this is a (temporarily) remote opportunity. Some other useful keywords are:

  • Work from home
  • Work from anywhere
  • Virtual
  • Remote
  • Remote Opportunity

Be transparent about what “remote” means

If you want to recruit remote workers, you have to be transparent about what “remote” means to your company. Is this job temporarily because of the pandemic? Is it only remote for a specific amount of time, say six months? Or is it remote permanently? To attract the right candidates, you must clarify this in your job descriptions.

If this position is just remote due to the pandemic, specify what the transition will be like afterward. Just because the job description says “remote,” it does not mean the job is 100% remote. Whatever the opportunity is, define it clearly to ensure you are not deceiving candidates.

Specify location requirements

A common misconception for remote opportunities is that candidates can live or work from anywhere. This is likely not the case for several reasons, such as employment laws, taxes, travel, and so on. Do you require your remote workers to come into the office once a week? If so, they have to live close enough to commute. Does the role involve a lot of travel? If it does, you may need candidates close to metro hubs for easy access to transportation and airports.

If there are location requirements, even if the position is mostly remote, you must clarify that in the job description to successfully recruit remote workers.

Partner with a recruiting firm

Working from home is a new concept for thousands of employers and employees alike. As a result, it will be challenging to recruit remote workers in the post-pandemic era. If your team is struggling to hire strong candidates in today’s market, partner with a recruiting firm. Johnson Search Group has connections all over the country with talented candidates ready to get back to work. Reach out today, and let’s discuss a partnership.

Job Market Trends

Q4 Job Market Trends Amidst the Pandemic

January, February, Quarantine, October. This year has felt like a blur for many as we adjust to a new way of life. Surprisingly, we are already at the tail-end of the year, leaving many of us concerned about the rest of 2020. Although this has been a tough year, both economically and emotionally, the labor market is finally starting to rebound. Employers are slowly starting to lift their hiring freezes and bring back workers that have been on the sidelines for months. Other companies have been on a hiring frenzy to keep up with new demands and consumer lifestyles. Here are some Q4 job market trends to keep an eye on amidst the pandemic.

The competition will be tight

Even though the U.S. economy and the labor market are still in recovery mode, jobless claims rose 4,000 to 870,000 in the week ending September 17th. That puts the total number of claims to over 12.5 million. This is the lowest level of continued claims since mid-April but is still much higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As a result, millions of Americans are still out of work and will be competing for the same jobs as they slowly open back up. As competition rises, job seekers in every industry will have to be on their A-game. That means tailoring your resume, doing research, reaching out to your professional network, and putting yourself out there if you want to secure a new position by the end of the year. Employers are now in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future, and job seekers will have to be resilient in their job search.

WFH migration

The work from home migration has been a heavy topic of discussion this year. Many employers embraced remote work, while others were resistant. Regardless of your stance, working from home is here to stay. Job postings for remote positions are skyrocketing as the pandemic lingers on, and it is encouraging a work from home migration away from big metro areas. Workers in markets such as Seattle, New York, and Silicon Valley are relocating to markets with a lower cost of living. After all, why work from an expensive, densely populated big city when you are working remotely?

This migration has a significant impact on companies’ hiring strategies and will likely impact salaries going forward. The five cities with the biggest gains in net arrivals are:

  1. Jacksonville, FL (+10.7%)
  2. Salt Lake City, UT (+9.6%)
  3. Sacramento, CA (+7.6%)
  4. Milwaukee, WI (+4.5%)
  5. Kansas City, MO (+3.9%)

The mid-west is also a hot spot for migration as workers look for a better quality of life and cheaper cost of living. However, are employers willing to pay their staff the same salaries if they move from the Bay Area to Sacramento? Job seekers will want to be conscious of this job market trend when relocating or searching for new remote positions.

Industries with the most robust outlook

Some industries were hit harder than others throughout the pandemic, while others are thriving with a new customer base and a change in consumer habits. The pandemic hit retail trade, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality the hardest. However, these are now the industries with the fastest growth and recovery rates.

Education and health services also are on the rise as many Americans are more reliant on these services. Additionally, transportation and warehousing have gone through tremendous growth as Americans shift their buying habits from brick and mortar stores to online purchases.

If you are looking for some of the hottest jobs right now, check out this article highlighting the jobs with the most demand.

Take your career to the next level

The country is still recovering, and there are still a lot of unknowns for the rest of 2020. However, these are a few job market trends that will happen in the last quarter of 2020. We asked Perry Paden, Senior Vice President of Johnson Search Group, his thoughts on hiring in Q4 and he said, “Budgets for 2021 are currently in full swing. Many companies are finding out that they have a considerable amount of their 2020 hiring budget remaining this quarter. Even though the hiring process has changed, hiring top talent has not. Many of our clients and prospective clients are struggling to find the best candidates on the market, and Johnson Search Group is here to help.”

If you are a job seeker looking to secure a new opportunity before the end of the year, look at our job board. We have hundreds of jobs available across the country, with clients looking for excellent candidates like you! Or if your department is in need of great candidates this quarter, we can help find the talent you need to end 2020 on a strong note. Partner with JSG today, and let’s take your career to the next level.

Take Vacation Time During the Pandemic

Why You Should Take Vacation Time During the Pandemic

Have you taken any vacation time or PTO during the pandemic? If your answer is no, then you are not alone. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of employees believe it is almost impossible to take time off because they have too much work. Another study found that workers utilize less than 25% of the vacation time that they have earned on average. And these shocking statistics are under normal circumstances. Of course, during the pandemic, it can be even more discouraging to take time off. There are millions of people unemployed, revenue is down for many companies, and you might feel awkward requesting time off if you are working from home. However, taking a few days off right now might be more beneficial for your productivity than ever before. Here are a couple of reasons why you should take vacation time during the pandemic.

You may be overworked

Many of you are probably working longer hours during the pandemic. If you are working from home, the days are possibly blurring together; it’s easy to respond to an email or answer a call “after hours” when your computer or phone is at arm’s length. According to the National Bureau of Economy Research, the average workday is 48.5 minutes longer than usual. The survey also found that the number of meetings increased by 13%, and people sent 1.4 more emails per day to their colleagues. If this extra workload has been going on since mid-March, you can start to feel the burnout.

These new work patterns are causing many people to become overworked during the pandemic. As a result, it’s essential to take time off when you can. If you’re on the verge of burnout, your work will start to suffer, and so will your mental health. It’s in yours, your company’s, and your customers’ best interest to take time off to rest and recharge.

It isn’t easy to take time off right now

It is really easy to convince yourself not to take vacation time during the pandemic. You might feel guilty asking to take a few days off. If your company is struggling and has looming layoffs (or already had some), it can be discouraging to take time off that you need. Plus, there isn’t much to do right now for a vacation. Many places are closed down or have restrictions, air travel might feel too dangerous, and you may just be tight on funds right now. These are are all concerns, but they should not stop you from taking time off to relax and rejuvenate yourself.

Have a conversation with your manager. Express how you feel and how some time off will make you a more productive employee in the long run. You might be surprised how that conversation will help your manager better understand what you’re going through and how it might positively impact your work-life balance. Even if you are just staying home, it’s essential to take vacation time during the pandemic to take a step back from work and return with a renewed sense of purpose and motivation!

second half of 2020

What Will the Second Half of 2020 Look Like?

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the labor market. In the first two months of 2020, the year started where 2019 left off – a red hot job market and record low unemployment rate. Fast forward to today, and there are now over 40 million U.S. jobless claims in the first week of June. Despite this horrendous downfall, things are starting to look up. States are opening back up, virus numbers are declining, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3% as people are finally returning to work. So, now that we are over the hill, what will the rest of the year entail regarding the labor market? Here is what the second half of 2020 will look like for our workforce.

Where are the jobs at?

Employers across the country are still hiring during the pandemic. And as things continue to simmer down as far as COVID-19 cases go, more employers will restart their hiring efforts. Some industries are actually doing well, and even going on hiring spurts right now. For example, hardware stores have been going through a growth spurt over the last couple of months. Have you tried to go to Home Depot or Lowes lately? If you haven’t, there is usually a line to get it inside. Ace Hardware will be hiring roughly 30,000 workers over the upcoming weeks. This is just one of many industries that experienced a boost in hiring thanks to the pandemic.

As more states open back up, these numbers will continue to grow. According to the Business Insider, only seven states are in a partial lockdown, with Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico the only U.S. territories with a complete lockdown. That means the vast majority of the country is either completely reopened or working hard to get to that point.

And if you are in one of the few states still in a lockdown period, don’t panic. You can always secure a remote position from a company located elsewhere. At the peak of the outbreak, 62% of Americans were working from home. And this trend will not be going away, even after we overcome this crisis. Many employers, such as Twitter, are allowing workers to work from home permanently. As a result, this will open the door for new work opportunities in the second half of 2020.

The key thing to remember is that companies are still hiring; however, you may have to work a little harder to find them.

The skills that employers need most right now

If you’re one of the millions of Americans looking for new employment opportunities in the second half of 2020, there are a handful of skills you will want to demonstrate to hiring managers.

Adaptability and flexibility

These skills have and always will be crucial. Now more than ever, employers need workers capable of adapting to new environments, workloads, and pretty much everything else around them. We are in unchartered waters, and depending on the industry you work in, every day may be a little different. Try and use examples in an interview to convey this to employers or use specific points on your resume that illustrate your ability to be flexible in the most challenging environments.

Creative and innovative

Employers want to see that you are not afraid to think outside the box. These are tough times, and a little innovation goes a long way. There are dozens of examples of employees showing innovation during these challenging times. One excellent example is automakers shifting their efforts from making vehicles to respiratory equipment. You can find a creative way to solve a problem, save the company money, or improve efficiency; these are things hiring managers will want to see.

Problem-solving

Day to day tasks may be more difficult now with social distancing in the workplace or while part of your team is working remotely. Simple activities may need new solutions to make them more efficient in the post-pandemic workplace. Make sure you are illustrating to your prospective employers your accomplishments and clearly define what issues they resolved.

Recruiters will be your best friends

Whether you’re a hiring manager struggling to find talented workers or a job seeker looking for their next opportunity, partnering with a recruiter will be a must. Hiring managers won’t have to sift through hundreds of resumes and hire the workers they need, fast. And as a job seeker, you can rest assured that you have a professional in your back pocket, walking you through every step of the hiring process. At Johnson Search Group, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you. Reach out to us today!

Post-Coronavirus Workplace

The Post-Coronavirus Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and every one of us. Some of us are working from home, while others are unfortunately laid off for the time being. Interviews will probably never be the same, and some employers are permanently implementing new policies to offer a more agile working environment. As a result of all of these changes, our place of work will look much different, at least for the time being. Here are just three ways the post-Coronavirus workplace will change.

Exercise more caution

Every single one of us will (or should) be more cautious going forward. If you don’t feel well, work from home, if possible. If you can’t work from home, take a sick day. If COVID-19 has taught us anything over the last couple of months, our health and the health of those around us is imperative. Even if it’s just a head cold, most people will take the precaution and stay home.

Regularly cleaning will be a must. It might even be part of your new daily or weekly routine to disinfect your tools and workstation. It may seem like overkill to some, but it’s better than the alternative. Some people may stop shaking hands as a greeting or congregating in a small breakroom for a cup of coffee. Some of these new routines will relax over time, but the workplace may look like this upon your return.

A leaner workforce

As of today, May 28, nearly 42 American workers have applied for unemployment benefits as the number of layoffs continues to grow (although at a slower rate). However, some teams may not build back up as they were before COVID-19. Many employers are doing fine with their new, smaller teams. Sometimes, less is more. So, as a job seeker, that means the market might be more competitive for the foreseeable future. As a result, you’ll have to be on you’re A-game and know how to navigate this environment! If you’re in that position, check out one of our recent blogs that offers helpful job search tips and tricks.

Flexible working conditions

Flexibility will be a huge change for many employers. Work from home will likely be a new perk that many employers were utterly against before COVID-19. Managers and executives alike are realizing that their workforce can be just as (if not more) productive. This shift will likely lead to better benefits, such as working from home for new parents or for when a child is sick. Millions of us are still working from home and successfully balancing our work and home lives. Therefore, your employer maybe a little more open-minded in the new post-Coronavirus workplace.

Since we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, employers will likely show more flexibility for certain situations. For example, a new report shows that many parents are reluctant to return to the office because they have kids that are home alone finishing the school year online. And with some states or counties still forcing daycares to remain shut, some parents don’t have a choice to stay home with their families. Therefore, employers across the nation will be more understanding of situations like this and allow work from home days when needed.

Avoid WFH Burnout

How to Avoid WFH Burnout in During the Pandemic

Millions across North America have been working from home (WFH) since the middle of March. As a result, many are beginning to feel the burnout of WFH. The combination of longer workdays, more family-related responsibilities, and isolation is starting to take its toll. A recent survey by Glint revealed that responses discussing burnout doubled from March to April (from 2.7% to 5.4%). As stay at home orders linger, this feeling will continue to increase, impacting our productivity, mental health, and overall attitude towards our work.

For most of us that are lucky enough to work from home, the division between work and home is looking a little blurry. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed while working remotely, here is how to avoid WFH burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Separation between work and home

One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the unclear division between home and work. It’s easy to feel obligated to continue working when you’re at home. With more effective communication, thanks to the soaring adoption of video technologies, it’s easy to overwork yourself. In fact, the average remote employee works an extra 1.4 more days per month than when working in the office. When WFH, you never really feel like you are ‘off’ of work, and therefore, continue to check those emails.

To mitigate this, create a physical divide between your work life and your home life. Try and set up a home office or workstation where all you do is work. It will help you eliminate distractions and be more productive. When you’re through with your work, try and leave the area for the day. Physically separating yourself from work will help avoid the WFH burnout.

Don’t forget to take breaks and get up from your computer. It can be easy to sit down and not get up for a few hours. If you struggle with this, set a timer or calendar reminder to get up every hour for a couple of minutes and stretch. You will feel a little refreshed if you take small breaks throughout the day.

Maintain a routine

Try and create a routine while working from home, just like you would if you were at the office. Wake up at the same time every day, shower, get ready, eat some breakfast, take a lunch break, etc. Creating a routine will help work, well, feel like work! Maintaining a routine will prevent you from feeling burnt out because it will feel like it’s a typical working day. It will also help you maintain a stricter work schedule, so you don’t overwork yourself. Whatever your routine looks like, stick with it, and it will help create further separation for your work life and your home life.

Block out some ‘me time’

It’s critical to take some personal time during these uncertain circumstances. Most of us have a lot of additional stressors and anxiety right now – finances, feeling contained, balancing work and family responsibilities, and possibly even acting as a teacher for your kids who’re finishing up the school year online. That’s a lot to take on, and it can be challenging to have some “me time.” Block out some personal time each day, even if it’s just an hour, to relax and decompress from all your responsibilities. Turn your phone off, read a book, go for a walk, watch some Netflix, or whatever it is you need to do to unwind.

If you are really feeling overwhelmed, consider taking a day off work. 31% of employees have taken a day off from work for their mental health. If you can do this, you will come back feeling refreshed and able to concentrate on your job better.