On Our Minds

Working with so many organizations across multiple issue areas gives us a unique view into what’s happening in the social sector. This is where we share our insights and ruminations.
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Pandemic workplace trends that are here to stay

In 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many people to rethink their priorities and change their expectations about work. Three years later, it's clear that some of the shifts around hiring and workplace expectations are here to stay. Here are three pandemic-era changes that we’ve seen become the norm.

1. Less willingness to relocate

The pandemic showed us that employees don’t actually need to be in the same office—or even the same state—to successfully work together. As a result, most candidates we work with are unwilling to relocate for a job unless they were already planning to move. Employers should consider what geographic parameters are really necessary for a position and if a job can be done remotely. 

2. Expectation of a work-from-home option

Work from home is no longer a perk—it's a requirement. Candidates are looking for positions that will allow them to work from home some, if not all, of the time. Some may still be interested in working from an office (if the organization has one near them) a few days a week, but they want it to be their choice whether or not they go into the office, rather than a requirement. 

And, because so many organizations are offering options to work from home, candidates and employees see a lack of this option as a deal breaker and they’ll just go apply somewhere else that has it. To attract and retain high-quality talent, employers should really think about whether or not working from the office is truly required to be successful in a role. 

3. Zoom interviews 

Although finalist interviews have, in many cases, resumed in-person, early round interviews have remained on Zoom—and that’s a good thing. Virtual interviews are more personal and interactive than a phone interview, and they’re easier to schedule because they don’t require the candidate to take a half day from their current role or commute. In today’s fast-paced job market, that level of efficiency and accessibility is key. (Iif putting your faith in a remote interview feels daunting, we have some tips.)

The takeaway

The pandemic raised many people’s expectations around work. To attract and retain top talent, employers must rise to those expectations. That means more flexibility, reconsidering old requirements around where employees work from, and expanding options for remote work. 

But while the workplace is increasingly remote, it doesn’t have to be distant. Organizations are finding new ways to onboard new staff and build community virtually.