Head of Badenoch & Clark
This question needs to be asked. Both candidates and employees deserve an answer. We are in limbo at the moment.
Vaccination programmes are now well underway in Switzerland. It’s also no longer mandatory to work from home. Yet there is still so much uncertainty.
Some candidates I’ve spoken to have vocally announced they will leave their jobs if they have to return to the office 100%. What’s interesting is that most of them don’t mind going to the office. They just want the flexibility to work from home.
Adecco carried out a survey recently on this subject.
They found that 77% of candidates surveyed wanted both a mix of working in the office and working remotely. Only a minority wanted to be either 100% working from home or 100% working in the office. Added to this, eight out of 10 C-level executives believed their companies would benefit from more work flexibility.
So there appears to be plenty of goodwill on both sides for embracing a hybrid working model.
What else do workers want?
In that same survey carried out by Adecco, 69% of employees believed that contracts should be based on results rather than the hours worked. Earninga salary, therefore, shouldn’t be about turning up to work to be seen.
Instead, we can improve the flexibility to work, which would allow employees to work less and achieve more results. There are also some other benefits from the hybrid model. The problem with the old system of working 100% in the office is that it favoured certain individuals over others.
For instance, if you are a working mother who needs to pay for childcare, you would be at a distinct disadvantage in an office environment. There is also the social aspect. Offices can penalise certain personality types, such as introverts or those not adept at office politics.
The hybrid model of working feels more inclusive because it offers flexibility. There is a strong likelihood that most companies will adopt some aspects of this type of working arrangement in the future.
I believe that this change will be driven strongly by candidate demand. Workplace flexibility will be an important part of a company’s employer brand in the future. And, in a country like Switzerland where there is a shortage of talent, there’s a really strong chance of this change happening.
Unfortunately change is not always easy to achieve
There is a problem though. Some people don’t like change.
We have already heard some strong worded comments from Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and JPMorgan’s Jamie Diamond who appear strongly opposed to working from home. David Solomon even went as far as to describe it as a “aberration”.
I think this is more reflective of their fears that their top talent will not return to the office. I do, however, believe that this is not the right approach. If you fail to accommodate the wishes and needs of your employees in this modern digital age, they can quite happily move and join your competitor.
The economic recovery could accelerate change
There is a lot of pent-up demand following the pandemic. We are about to enter a fast-paced and robust economic recovery. When this fully develops, the competition to secure talent will be even fiercer.
What’s interesting is that many candidates are still not willing to move roles. Even though the worst of the pandemic is behind us, many candidates still feel insecure about making career altering decisions.
Meanwhile, we are about to enter a fast-paced and robust economic recovery, and companies are already feeling this change. In a country like Switzerland, where there’s always been a shortage of talent, the competition to secure this talent has suddenly got a lot more intense.
Switzerland is a candidate’s market
This is my advice. It’s never been a better time to be a candidate in Switzerland.
Candidates have an incredible amount of negotiating power right now because the supply of talent is scarce. I understand that some may feel that there is too much uncertainty to move right now. But I think this is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.
Right now, you have the incredible ability to not only negotiate a better pay package but also define when, how and where you want to work with your next employer.
I believe this is going to happen especially in Switzerland.
It’s not that times are changing. Times have already changed.