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Can Remote Work Stem the Tide of the Great Resignation?

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The great resignation of 2021 is upon us. The pandemic forced businesses around the world to adopt work from home/remote work solutions – and, ultimately, the access to remote work has forever changed the hearts and minds of employees who now realize that working from anywhere is a priority for their work/life balance.

According to data from the people analytics firm Visier, as of September, 1 in 4 people had quit their job in 2021. Visier’s latest report on voluntary departures from over 50 U.S.-based large enterprises, found that 500,000 employees across industries have resigned.

The pace of resignations is accelerating. A PwC survey indicates that 65% of people were looking for a new job in August – this while CNBC reports that 4.3 million people actually quit that same month.

Business leaders across companies of all sizes must act to avoid losing valuable employees.

Your most valuable workers will be the first to leave

While numerous stories covered the strain on frontline workers, the Visier report notes that large percentages of those resigning include people with 5 to 15 years of tenure, those aged 40 to 45 and women. In fact, women resigned at a 25% higher rate than men in August’s record-breaking resignation wave according to data gathered by Gusto.

In a recent CNBC article, Visier’s VP of people analytics, Ian Cook said, “When mid-career and experienced professionals walk out the door, organizations lose more internal knowledge and face more severe disruptions among their teams and leadership. These workers are also more expensive and take longer to replace.”

What NOT to do: take a tough stance from the old world

You can learn how not to react to the great resignation from Tim Cook. He sent out a company-wide memo in June of 2021 that told Apple employees that they would be required to return to the office by early September. Apple employees were less than thrilled and sent the executive team their own letter. They stated that Tim Cook’s memo led to employees quitting and added this: “Over the last year we often felt not just unheard, but at times actively ignored… Messages like, ‘we know many of you are eager to reconnect in person with your colleagues back in the office,’ with no messaging acknowledging that there are directly contradictory feelings amongst us feels dismissive and invalidating...It feels like there is a disconnect between how the executive team thinks about remote / location-flexible work and the lived experiences of many of Apple’s employees.”

If that is how Apple employees responded, how might employees respond at companies that are less prestigious than Apple or that operate in more highly competitive industries? “Companies should be concerned when any number of employees complain like that. It can escalate and give an impression, even if it’s a small number of employees, that this is the tone of the organization,” said professor of management at the Manning School of Business at University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Kimberly Merriman in a BBC article.

In a similar situation, employees walked off the job at Washingtonian Magazine after their chief executive  wrote an editorial that seemed to threaten employees with job loss if they did not accept a full return to the office.

In a tight labor market where companies are competing for knowledge workers, these are bad moves to make. In the CNBC article, Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor stated, "The quits are a positive signal that workers are confident there are job opportunities out there."

You really need to offer more flexibility

While many companies have tried to lure people back to the office with higher pay and nuanced messaging around advancement (a particular condition among Wall Street financial giants) that’s not necessarily the best move. "There are other perks and benefits that might be more appealing than a traditional raise," said Cook. "The most obvious example is if you can emphasize flexibility.”

Cook emphasized one major point in his interview for the CNBC story, “People are rethinking their careers, their work-life balance and how they engage in work. And that’s what employers need to be engaged in if they want to keep their employees.”

Flexibility starts with remote access and remote support

Companies that provide a telecommuting option (enabled by remote access and remote support) have delivered impressive productivity gains for years. They key to pleasing your staff in 2021 is providing work-life balance, ending horrible commutes and offering the ability to meet with customers anywhere.

Next-generation remote access and support – the kind delivered by Splashtop – adds screen-sharing and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) capabilities, enabling your employees to gain even more flexibility by using their own favorite devices to get their work done.

Imagine giving workers better support than the in-person experience

Advanced remote access and support solutions, like Splashtop Enterprise, provide both unattended and attended support. With unattended, you can support employees while they are away, or even sleeping. That’s right. Your IT administrators use permissions and detailed security protocols to resolve employees’ remote access and other technical issues without them even being present.

On the attended support side of the equation, an employee can gain instant support on any device – even when it’s not a company-issued one. The remote employee simply accesses a support app from Splashtop, sends a code to the IT help desk professional, and allows them to troubleshoot any issues remotely.

Both types of support go a long way to making remote workers feel cared for and highly productive.

Splashtop remote access and support solutions were originally designed for consumers. This ease-of-use design makes it a perfect solution for companies seeking to deliver flexibility for remote employees. To see how easy and productive your employees’ lives can be, check out our customer stories.

See how Splashtop Enterprise can help your company provide a secure remote work environment

Schedule a demo today

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