Whether it’s returning to the office with precautions, going 100% remote, or adopting a hybrid work model, the reality is that companies must now offer more flexibility in the workplace. 62% of energy and utilities employees find flexibility in when they work remotely to be very or extremely important. While field energy and utility employees are accustomed to working during crisis situations typically caused by weather, the pandemic heightened the need for increased focus on health and safety precautions to ensure these employees felt safe.
Flexibility included sending field workers out in different vehicles to allow for social distancing and implementing rotating teams to isolate potential exposure to the virus. Some utility companies now offer bonuses for workers who engage with the public. For office workers and dispatch teams, the industry adopted remote operations when possible.
Adopting flexible work options applies to more than just where, or even when, employees work. It also means letting employees have a voice in deciding which type of work they do at home vs. in the office. Research from the O.C. Tanner Institute’s 2022 Global Culture Report found tasks that require focus or creative thinking are easier to do at home, while tasks requiring collaboration and connection are easier and more productive in the office.
Moving forward, employees expect increased flexibility in many aspects of their work lives and will change jobs, if necessary, to get it. But when employees have flexibility in how they work, outcomes improve:
WHAT ORGANIZATIONS CAN DO:
To successfully incorporate flexibility, focus on three key areas:
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