Evolving workplace demands will far outlast the pandemic

Buckley Report

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — To put things as simply as possible, the pandemic changed everything.

Certainly, some of the things that are different now, vs. 2019, were changing anyway… but that change was accelerated by the pandemic. Working remotely is certainly one of them.

Rachel Allen is one of those workers. She is a digital project manager who understands the value of employees being together physically.

“Even when I would travel to Berlin or to India or to any country in the world, just being in that office, being around people certain things would happen very organically and naturally that we now have to kind of force,” Rachel says about the value of face-to-face working environments and, specifically, how creative work can be in those situations.

But during the pandemic, 4.5 million Americans left their jobs – the highest rate in more than 20 years.

For a company like Cross, which deals in manufacturing – and is particularly big in automation – it can be a challenge in these times to fill all of their roles, particularly the higher-skilled jobs.

“It’s a struggle finding people – particularly in those roles like technicians – it’s high-demand,” says Brenna Albright, the vice president of human resources at Cross Company. “[Our staff] has been out there every day, frontline with our customers supporting the critical infrastructure of our country.”

Cross is scheduled to have its team back to in-person work on August 1st but they’ve learned a lot about how to do remote working well.

“Not that it’s all about the numbers but certainly we’ve looked at the numbers in certain seams and it’s gone up,” says Albright.  “Certain teams are just happier, others aren’t. I mean, some people genuinely feed off others, they need that, there are teams that need to be more collaborative.”

That’s what Rachel Allen sees in her profession and she believes the option to work remotely will soon be a must-have for companies looking to attract the best talent.

“People want to work and create great things and we’re now approaching a time where you can do both,” says Allen. “So, I think the companies that will allow that talent pool will probably get the best out of that talent pool and companies that don’t will probably struggle a little bit.”

See more from both Rachel and Brenna in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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