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A Remote Work Side Effect


A Remote Work Side Effect


In this article, Jeffery Perry explores transactional work relations and workforce connectivity and how the future of work will evolve unchecked.

Accelerated by the global pandemic, the desire for workplace flexibility is more common than ever. For many employers and employees, gone are the days of working full-time in an office setting. While some organizations are demanding that employees return to the office, the rise of remote and hybrid work models persists. While employers try to adapt to this reality and employees demand it, many organizations are less connected to their employees, and many employees are less connected to their organizations, resulting in transactional work relations. Look no further than Gen Z employees changing jobs on a dime and employers firing people via email—with no human interaction. In this new world of work that includes remote and hybrid work models, organizations should create environments that mitigate transactional work relations and drive workforce connectivity.

According to a recent Catalyst/CNBC/Harris poll of employees, 76% state that they want permanent job flexibility in terms of schedule and location going forward. The desire for flexibility and remote work cuts across the generations as well. For example, many Baby Boomers and Gen X appreciate flexibility when dealing with aging parents and the implications of eldercare. Millennials value degrees of freedom as they balance young families with childcare needs. Most notably, Gen Z is driving the narrative for remote work and flexibility. While Gen Z typically does not have the responsibilities of Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials, they are crystal clear that flexibility is central to how they want to participate in the workplace. 

Gen Z represents 27% of the workforce and according to a LinkedIn survey, 25% plan to switch jobs in the next six months. Furthermore, Zurich research suggests that Gen Z could change jobs up to ten times between the ages of 18 and 34. They are often simultaneously in search of career fulfillment and greater flexibility. For organizations, while high job velocity creates opportunities to access talent, it creates challenges to build culture and develop/retain talent. The cycle of transactional work relations exists on both sides of the employer-employee equation. In addition, many employers and employees underestimate the shadow side of remote work which may include the lack of personal connection, professional isolation, and inadequate support. Consider how employees are getting fired in transactional ways as well. News headlines captured how Google fired 12,000 employees via email with no human contact. Other notable examples included Amazon, Meta, and Twitter. This is not just limited to technology companies; as more organizations operate in hybrid and remote models, this will become more common.

Do work relations have to be transactional? No, but it requires focus and intention. While organizational strategy, purpose, and leadership are of course foundational, here are a few simple things to better connect employees and employers in this new world of hybrid and remote work:


Key points include

  • Virtual meeting
  • Clear guidelines
  • In-person gatherings


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