You’ve probably heard of the “Great Resignation”, a phenomenon happening in America and in many other parts of the world as people grapple with work and lifestyle choices in the wake of the pandemic.
In a recent 60 Minutes story, the show highlighted this topic and interviewed a number of people impacted, including our very own founder, Kenzie Biggins, and one of our fantastic EAs, Melissa Williams. (It’s a great story - watch it here!)
The pandemic has thrown work choices and the balance between work and life to the forefront for many people, and this is one of the biggest reasons so many employers have seen mass resignations and struggled to hire new staff when they’ve needed them.
Worxbee is on the flip side of that trend. We’ve seen growth in demand for our services, and in the number of top quality administrative professionals who want to work virtually. Could more flexible and remote work arrangements provide an answer to those who are struggling to find workers to fill their vacancies?
Kenzie’s Brain Spark
When Kenzie sparked the idea for Worxbee several years ago, it was well before remote work arrangements were common. In that sense, she was well ahead of the curve!
“I got a lot of crazy looks for a very long time,” Kenzie says. “You know, walking into places and saying, "You should have a virtual administrative professional." People looked at me like I had five heads. They were, like, ‘What?’"
From humble beginnings, Worxbee has since grown from strength to experience unprecedented demand since the start of the pandemic. That brain spark may have been ahead of its time, but it’s serving people well now.
Offering Workers Choices
One of the facts the 60 Minutes interview uncovered was that workers want choices. They want a fair balance that allows them fair compensation while still having time to live life on their terms.
American workers are now two and a half times more likely to apply for jobs that offer remote work than a job that does not. One in seven jobs advertised now offer remote work options, compared to one in every 67 pre-pandemic.
Remote work attracts highly-qualified workers looking for more choices in how they make a living. Worxbee EA Melissa Williams left an office-based marketing role during the pandemic. As she described it, she had hit a wall; she was looking for a way of working that gave her more choices and balanced with her home life.
Fortunately for us, Melissa came to Worxbee, and as an administrative professional for three different organizations, she enjoys the work and her ability to design her schedule. “Honestly, there is no office that could offer me what I have in my house. It's just not possible,” she says.
Choices for Employers
Remote work models also offer employers more choices. If you’re among the many who have been struggling to find workers, any role that can be done remotely provides you options for how you fill it.
Administrative professionals are hard to find, especially those with high-level experience. As a business, Worxbee spends a lot of time finding and recruiting the best administrative professionals, including those like Melissa, who want to move away from being at the office.
Through our more comprehensive recruiting work and conversations with organizations, we’ve found that EAs are hard to come by in any capacity. If you live in a big city, all the top EAs get snatched up by companies with the biggest wallets. If you live in a smaller area, you’ve got far less local talent from which to choose.
The remote environment offers alternatives for employers to go beyond the traditional, 9-5 employee. If you need someone for those hours, you can generally find those online too, but otherwise, you can choose to have a fractional EA - two part-time employees that fill your full-time need.
You can also employ people who don’t live locally! Many remote teams are built from employees across the United States and even worldwide. Our administrative professionals are all US-based but serve organizations across all the US time zones.
In short, remote positions can help you to find those highly qualified workers that want the choice of remote work. It’s a way to find top talent, even while your competitors struggle with labor shortages.
Prioritize Company Culture
One thing Kenzie often mentions on the subject of remote work is that “innovation will only get you so far.” Company culture plays a massive role in whether or not you can attract and keep the best talent. Employees are looking for more than just financial compensation; they’re looking for a company culture that values them as a person and offers an environment of mutual respect.
Carl Sobocinski, a Greenville business owner, highlighted that during the 60 Minutes interview. “The employees, they want flexibility. And if you're an employer that won't-- that won't work with your employees to-- to be flexible with them, then you're gonna be-- you're missing out.”
Company culture is something that all employers should put effort into determining. A culture develops at work, whether you intend it to or not, so it’s important to take deliberate action to establish a culture that supports your business as a whole, your customers, and your employees.
Being flexible where possible, offering remote work, and recognizing that different demands in their lives often pull employees (especially during a pandemic!), are all actions that many highly talented workers will require. It can take some planning and set up of policies and procedures, but our experience has been that it’s very much worth it for growing a thriving business. (And side note:administrative professionals are brilliant for helping pull together policies and procedures!)
In a recognized, country-wide labor shortage, we can confirm something important: that shortage is not felt as keenly by businesses that offer remote work. There’s a demand for it from employees, and job data has shown the preference toward remote roles above others has only grown.
In a sense, Kenzie and her big idea for Worxbee were well ahead of the curve. That’s why we have a deep understanding of what it takes to be successful as a remote-based business and what remote employees need to be successful.
If an administrative professional is on your vacancy list, consider hiring remotely. Here at Worxbee, we’ve found some top administrative professionals and work to pair them with the right organizations. Talk to us today about how we can help you.