By Jamie Zananiri

Accelerated by the pandemic, many businesses have moved some, if not all, of their staff to working remotely. Now, the vast majority of job seekers (84%) are searching for remote flexibility in their next job opportunity. The benefits for remote workers are substantial- money and time not spent on their commute translates to more time and money they can spend with their families, on hobbies, and even pet adoption. Not being tethered to an office means flexibility in where they can live, allowing them to move closer to family or to their dream locations.

Still, some businesses are hesitant to make the switch permanent, or to even test the waters.

IdealTraits began our move to a hybrid remote office back in the fall of 2019. Starting with a test group of three of our Account Managers, they began working from home one day a week, then two, then three, and so on, until they were fully remote. By the time our state shut down in the following spring, half of our employees were already working remotely. Making the switch to everyone working remotely was just a matter of routine at that point. Since then, we’ve been able to hire employees from out of state, opening up the opportunity to hire talent regardless of their zip code. Now that Covid restrictions have eased, local employees can schedule time at work stations in the office (a popular choice for our sales team!).

Retention Team Lead Faith Dawson was a part of our original work from home test group. One of the things that surprised her about making the move to remote work was the easy transition. IdealTraits provided tutorials on how to set up the equipment at home so that it was easy to set up alone. While a remote role is her preference, she does like the option to work in the office when she needs a break from working at home. Her primary concern when making the move to a remote role after working in the office was being able to maintain relationships with her coworkers once she was no longer seeing them in the office every day.  Now, she doesn’t feel that the dynamic of the relationships between her coworkers has changed, although she does stress that a conscious effort does have to be made in maintaining relationships with people you only communicate with virtually. She maintains good working relationships with her coworkers by checking in on them on occasion. When asking for help, she first asks how they are, making sure things are good both personally and professionally. When asked about her thoughts about working remotely, she shared “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to grow as a company with being able to hire outside of Michigan and to create better working relationships compared to working in person.”

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