J. P. Gownder, VP, Principal Analyst and James L. McQuivey, PhD, VP, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

The abrupt shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how many employees view their workplace. Half of workers polled say they want to continue working remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic, yet 44% are eager to return to the office when it is safe to do so. How are organizations dealing with this?

In this episode of What It Means, Vice Presidents and Principal Analysts James McQuivey and J. P. Gownder discuss the anywhere-work strategy as a solution. Remote work means the employee does the same job from home, and technology and management practices remain similar. An anywhere-work strategy means employees and managers acknowledge that work can and should be done from a variety of locations, including the office or corporate campus at times.

“[Anywhere work] is an evolution from what is typically a reactive policy,” says Gownder, adding that it seeks to produce better customer outcomes via improved employee engagement.

“It shouldn’t be a ‘favor’ the company does for you; it should be a function of your role,” says McQuivey. The analysts detail some of the guidelines needed to ensure that an anywhere-work strategy will work no matter where the firm sits on the spectrum of options.

One of the biggest questions firms face in an anywhere-work strategy is adjusting compensation for cost of living. Gownder points out that while it’s a fairly common hiring practice to adjust compensation based on the employee’s location, his research shows that many firms are less inclined to do so out of concern for attracting and retaining top talent. “There’s no one right answer on this one,” Gownder says.

Other topics discussed in this episode include the impact anywhere work has on hiring diversity, management practices, and overall company culture.