Employers calling workers back to the office clash with workers who want to stay remote

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As businesses call employees back to the office, workers who have embraced working remotely are reluctant to give it up and some are even searching for new jobs.

During the pandemic, the workplace went from the cubicle to the living room for many.

“It’s here to stay for a while and if not, for a long while,” said Tom Schin, with Albany staffing firm Alaant Workforce Solutions. He says employees are enjoying the benefits of remote working, including a better work life balance, seeing family more often, and reduced commute time.

“If you could add eight or 10 hours back to your week, what would you do? It’s almost like having another free workday,” Schin said. “What is happening now, is that there are statistics across the nation where employees are actually working more by adding an extra hour or two here and there over the course of a week, over a course of a month, and over the course of the year. Employers are actually getting more productivity out of their people.”

Some employees would even consider quitting if they can’t work from home—up to 39%, according to a recent poll commissioned by Bloomberg.

“One of our main questions is: ‘Are you working remote, do you want to work remote?’” said Renee Walrath, president and CEO of Walrath Recruiting, which has offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs. She says about a quarter of the jobs she is seeing are fully remote, and they are highly sought after.

“We’re seeing candidates that are reaching out to us that, you know, if their employer is calling them back they want to see if there’s any other opportunities that we may have for them that are 100% remote,” she said.

Some companies are citing a lack of collaboration as one of the reasons to get people back in offices. Even so, more employers are willing to be flexible and lenient. For example, allowing employees to work from home if there’s a snow storm or if a family member is sick. If that’s what you’re looking for, Schin says, it’s worth asking.

“Almost create your pitch or proposal that ‘This is what I’m going to do, this is how I’m going to accomplish that, this is how you’re going to hold me accountable and I’m going to hold myself accountable to accomplish those metrics, those goals, those projects deadlines and so forth,’” he said.

Like it or not, many will be going back to the office.

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