Echoing reports of ongoing labor shortages, a new survey confirms that a vast majority of organizations are facing extreme difficulty finding and retaining qualified workers. But, the survey reveals, these challenges are no longer being driven solely by a lack manual services workers, as previous trends have indicated. Rather, office workers are now significantly harder to both find and retain than just one year ago.
Indeed, The Conference Board survey found that 84 percent of organizations hiring professional and office workers are struggling to find talent, an increase from 60 percent in April 2021. And the percent of organizations struggling to retain office workers more than doubled in the last year, from 28 percent to 64 percent.
The survey of more than 175 US Human Resource executives also underscores the staying power of remote and hybrid work, including the use of these work models to address hiring challenges. For example, organizations willing to hire fully remote workers have increased six-fold since the start of the pandemic.
This marks the fourth survey in the Reimagined Workplace series, which explores the long-term impacts of the pandemic on both the workforce and workplace. Insights from the survey include:
Office workers are becoming harder to find and retain.
There's been a six-fold increase in the hiring of fully remote workers.
Just four percent of companies are requiring full-time, on-site work.
"Over the last few years, we've seen headline after headline focus on the dwindling supply of manual and trade services workers. But our most recent survey reveals that office and professional workers have become a scarcer commodity," said Robin Erickson, PhD, Vice President, Human Capital, The Conference Board. "To remain competitive, companies should further leverage hybrid and fully-remote work arrangements, the latter of which has increased six-fold over the last year."
Productivity has increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic—especially with remote work.
Burnout has skyrocketed.
"Since the outbreak of the pandemic, employee well-being has declined and burnout is on the rise," said Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President, Human Capital, The Conference Board. "To retain workers, HR leaders will need a strong focus on improving the employee experience. That includes both allowing and encouraging employees to integrate their work and personal lives in a way that works best for them."
Company culture is rapidly changing.