One-third of health organizations are considering a blend of in-person, hybrid, and remote work locations, a new survey says.
Nearly one-third (32%) of healthcare leaders surveyed strongly agree that employee preference is the most important factor in developing their return-to-work plans, compared to 25% across all industries.
The new survey released by PwC on the future of work provides insights into the changes executives across all industries are making as they redesign their workplace to accommodate how their employees want to work.
After a year of reconsidering their needs and ambitions, many employees want a new model of work; the survey found that 65% of employees are hunting a new job and 88% of executives are seeing higher-than-normal turnover.
Health organizations are mostly considering a mix of work locations for the fall, with 34% of those surveyed saying their workforce plans entail a blend of in-person, hybrid, and remote. Another 22% say they’ll concentrate on hybrid.
Though certain health industry roles have less flexibility, such as clinical care in hospitals, health leaders are finding areas where work can be done remotely, such as with back-office operations for insurers and health systems, according to the survey.
Other key findings of the survey include:
Concerns vary across the C-suite as executives evaluate the impact of employee turnover.
Executives are experiencing the labor market churn in different ways:
- CMOs are acutely feeling the negative impact of staff shortages on customer experience, with 40% citing it as a major issue.
- CHROs say retaining employees will be their No. 1 priority over the next three to six months.
- CFOs are split; 36% say they’re very concerned about the turnover remaining high indefinitely and weighing on revenue growth while 45% are somewhat concerned about turnover and its impact on growth, but they also expect it to return to pre-pandemic levels more quickly.
Schedule flexibility, expanded benefits, and compensation are top incentives for employees seeking new opportunities.
Companies should expect job candidates to negotiate aggressively for what they now see as table stakes: competitive packages and perks coupled with flexibility and expanded benefits such as career growth and upskilling opportunities.
Some may also see job changes as an opportunity to close pay gaps. Women are more likely than men to be seeking higher salaries (46% vs. 34%)
In good news for leaders, efforts during the pandemic to build trust and step up on social issues are showing results with employees.
Executives and employees agree almost equally that there is a high level of trust between leaders and employees—77% and 72%, respectively. Also, 79% of executives and 77% of employees say their leaders are inclusive.
The challenge ahead lies in addressing culture as companies define their work environments.
Though many executives look forward to return to an in-person environment, an all in-person workplace is no longer the norm.
One-third of executives (33%) will have a mixed model, with some in person full time, some hybrid, and some fully remote. They cite corporate culture as the biggest challenge to making hybrid work successful—36% say it’s a major challenge, and 36% say it’s moderate challenge.
New ways of working
Among employees looking for new jobs, almost one in 10 say it’s because they moved away from the office while working remotely and don’t want to go back on-site.
Almost one-fifth (19%) of all employees would like to be fully remote today even if COVID-19 were no longer a concern. An almost equal number (22%) would like to be mostly in the office (<=1 day remote per week), and 21% say the nature of their work does not allow them to work remotely. Others prefer a hybrid work setup, with some days in the office and others remote.
Faced with this new workplace reality, executives (36%) say that eroding corporate culture is their biggest challenge.
Other reasons that may be restraining companies from expanding remote work options include loss of mentoring (30%), loss of innovation opportunities (26%), and potential equity issues between on-site and fully remote workers (25%).
Health industry executives showed more interest than other industries in having a COVID-19 vaccine mandate—most likely because their employees have been on the front lines of the pandemic.
Of those surveyed, 43% of health leaders support mandatory vaccines, compared to 30% across other industries, which may indicate sensitivity to the anti-vaccination sentiment across sections of the workforce, the survey said.
Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.
Among job-seekers, nearly 10% say it’s because they moved away from the office while working remotely and don’t want to go back on-site.
Executives cite corporate culture as the biggest challenge to making hybrid work successful.
Health industry executives showed more interest than other industries in having a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.