Shifting Return-to-Office Policies Present Remote Work Challenges

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Shifting Return-to-Office Policies Present Remote Work Challenges

One of the most significant shifts from the pandemic has been the widespread adoption of remote work. What was once considered a perk for a select few suddenly became the norm for most employees across the country. As employers tried to quickly adapt to the necessity of remote work, they discovered that, contrary to previous beliefs, work could indeed be accomplished outside the confines of a traditional office space.

For employees and job seekers alike, the appeal of remote work lies in the freedom to live where you choose. An added benefit is the ability to tailor your work schedule and environment to suit your specific needs. 

With the pandemic easing and work evolving, employers are re-assessing the future of work. This includes where and how work happens, as well as what their return-to-office philosophy should be. Employees face a new challenge: the uncertainty regarding organizations’ return-to-office (RTO) policies, which have shifted sometimes more than once in the past few years.

Shift the Focus from Remote Work

Job seekers, too, have the added consideration of remote, hybrid, and onsite work to think about in addition to role, responsibilities, salary, and preferred work culture. Rather than focusing on whether you’ll be working from home or in an office, consider what you need in terms of flexibility and autonomy from a job.

When thinking about which organizations to consider, you may want to explore employers that offer the flexibility and work culture conducive to individual success and well-being. The job search process can feel unkind and unfair. Remember to prioritize what you need most from a new role, focusing on the what instead of the where and how.

Transparency is Key

For those job seekers who relocated during the pandemic because of the flexibility of remote work, there’s an additional layer of complexity. You shouldn’t be discouraged from applying for jobs. But you must also be transparent with prospective employers about your need for remote work. This discussion can occur later in the interview process, once the employer has had the opportunity to assess your skills, value and fit. Job seekers need to recognize that what is currently a remote role may shift to an onsite role in the future.

Navigating the job search amidst shifting RTO policies requires a combination of foresight, adaptability, and clear communication. By assessing your needs and preferences, focusing on job fit and work culture, and being transparent about your remote work requirements, you can position yourself for success when organizational policies continue to evolve.


About the Author:

Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 13 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. Karen couples seasoned counseling skills with a solid business acumen. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reaching that next point in their career.

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