The debate over remote work may never reach an ultimate conclusion, but one thing is clear: Working from home is now a permanent feature at many organizations around the world and remains at the forefront of talent demands.
Despite mounting evidence in support of remote work, some leading figures have dismissed it as a “failed experiment” and steered their staff back to the office. When 68% of remote employees would rather quit than return to the office, many businesses find themselves in a quandary: Provide flexibility or risk losing employees.
Fortunately, for every loud detractor of remote work in the news, there’s an equally firm supporter. Staffing.com dug into the latest work-from-home updates—and our own discussions with decision-makers from MarketWise, Yelp, New York Life, and Zoom on The Talent Economy podcast—to bring you the latest on where these influential business leaders stand on work-from-home in 2023.
Flexible Work Environments at MarketWise
As businesses continue to explore variations of work arrangements, many acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all model. In a 2022 interview with Staffing.com, Cynthia Cherry, CHRO of MarketWise, said that leaders should start an open dialogue with their employees and maximize success by taking a customized approach.
It’s very shortsighted of employers to think that people have to work one single way. Maybe there’s a business reason or a business case for having certain limitations, of course, but when and where you can, look for ways to give that latitude to people. That pays dividends in the long run.
While some of the recent job listings from MarketWise and its subsidiaries are office-based, many others offer hybrid options—including roles at Stansberry Research, Roundtable Research, and the Legacy Research Group. The differing approaches among MarketWise’s subsidiaries and sectors support Cherry’s view that companies should consider what is best for them rather than bowing to the loudest opinions in the media.
Work-From-Home Success at Yelp
Through regular employee surveys, companies such as Yelp discovered that offering remote and hybrid work is beneficial for retention and staff well-being. In an interview with Staffing.com in late 2022, Yelp’s Chief People Officer Carmen Orr reflected on how the company’s flexible policies made a big difference in the lives of its employees.
Our employees are very clearly signaling to us that they like the flexibility that comes with remote work. It works better for them. They’re able to use the time that they spent commuting on other things that matter to them: Spending time with their families, investing in their personal health, moving outside of high-cost city centers, and living where they want to.
Orr continued by praising Yelp’s record-breaking business performance in 2022, a feat that she attributed to “listening to what was important to our employees early on,” and adjusting remote work benefits accordingly.
Yelp’s continued dedication to remote work in 2023 is a clear factor in its employee engagement scores; the company’s own work-from-home surveys have found that 86% of Yelp’s employees prefer to work remotely, and 87% report that doing so has made them more effective at work.
Remote Employee Engagement at New York Life
New York Life’s hybrid model—three days working in the office, two from home—is popular among employees and job candidates. In spring 2023, the company’s Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources Business Enablement Kathleen Navarro told Staffing.com that workplace flexibility has proven to be a powerful talent attraction tool.
In terms of employee happiness, we’ve had the highest engagement scores we’ve ever had. We’re also hearing from candidates that they like this mix. I just met with somebody recently who was interviewing because her job had gone fully remote and she didn’t want to be home by herself five days a week. She wanted to have some interaction with people in the office and liked this balance of the two days at home.
New York Life continues to offer hybrid working arrangements, keeping fully in-office positions to a minimum and allowing what Navarro calls “the best of both worlds.”
Work/Life Balance for Remote Workers at Zoom
In a Mercer global talent trends survey, 51% of respondents said that what they desire most from the future of work is more time for “family, hobbies, health, and learning.” Working from home is an ideal setup for achieving that aim.
Zoom, continuing to be one of the leading lights in the work-from-home trend in 2023, maintains its proposition that “employees should work where and how they feel happy, safe, and successful.” That’s why the technology company offers employees maximal flexibility with both remote and hybrid options. In an interview with Staffing.com last year, Jodi Rabinowitz, Head of Talent and Organizational Development at Zoom, emphasized the importance of prioritizing employee well-being.
When people can talk about a work strategy while they’re petting their cat, they’re just so much happier and smarter. I don’t know what the future’s going to bring; I certainly think it’s hard to go back [to the office]. If one day we all have to go back, I hope we don’t lose what we saw. I hope the barriers don’t go back up, and that we remember what it was like to talk to somebody while they were bouncing their kid on their lap.