Competing for the limited number of qualified U.S. job candidates is a crucial problem for employers; offering flexible office space can help a growing firm position itself as employer of choice.
Job candidates have more choice in 2017. Not only candidates are harder to lure to your firm, but they’ve become more difficult to retain as well. Perks such as salary, benefits, and vacations are standard, and won’t make your firm a standout in the eyes of a job candidate.
Flexible office space will.
Why Remote Work Appeals to Workers
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 24 percent of all U.S. employees (full-time, part-time, occasional) work from home, or from a mobile or remote location.
For these employees, remote work appeals for two primary reasons:
- Reduction in the time and cost of a work commute
- Higher productivity as they avoid non-work interruptions and the noise of a crowded office environment.
Telecommuters are primarily looking for a better work/life balance. They understand that the fewer miles and time spent on getting to and from work – and completing the work itself – translate to more hours with their family and friends, and in their leisure activities.
What if the Candidate Can’t Work from Home?
There are millions of additional workers, however, that wish to work remotely but are unable to do so. In some cases, they haven’t found an employer willing to offer that type of arrangement. Or worse, their current employer has outright refused to allow for it.
For many, however, their home environment is not conducive to work productivity. There might be noisy youngsters around, or their home might just be too small to accommodate a home office. Additionally, some workers can’t afford the required digital and communication tools and equipment. More often, however, these folks are not technically confident – that is, they wouldn’t want to rely on their own troubleshooting skills should problems arise.
Why Flexible Office Space
For candidates intrigued by a growing company’s job opportunity, unable to work from home, but unwilling to make a tedious, lengthy commute, flexible office space near their home could be very attractive.
Companies can rent these spaces specific to their particular remote workers’ space and service needs.
For example, in Canada’s Greater Toronto area, a Hamilton-based company might:
- Rent three private offices in downtown Toronto for three remote workers;
- Occasionally rent a meeting room at this location as well, so these staff members could conference with staff at headquarters in Hamilton;
- Choose a co-working environment in the same area, so that remote workers collaborating on a specific project could work together.
What would this accomplish? First off, the pool of candidates now grows to anyone east of Toronto, all the way east to Oshawa, and north to Barrie. Basically, anyone within an 80 minute train ride to Toronto could be included in your candidate pool. Most of the people within those limits are within 40 minutes of downtown Toronto as well. At these flexible office locations, workers would have administrative assistance, IT support, VoIP phones with voice mail, printing, scanning, and an office receptionist.
Clearly, flexible office space is the ideal option for growing firms who need to expand their choice of job candidates and retain their best employees. In the long run, this ability for companies to remain agile in their practices will benefit them growing their business and even offering opportunities to ad clientele from larger, metropolitan areas.