Gartner: Risks Associated with Returning Employees to an Office
As more organizations explore returning to work after Covid vaccinations are more widely distributed, executive leaders must consider how this presents significant risks to retention, performance and diversity/equity/inclusion (DEI).
As executives decide when and how to return employees to physical workplaces, some still favor a “hard return” — a mandatory return to an on-site location for most of the work week. For many, health and safety has been the initial priority, but executive leaders must also consider the potential risks to retention, performance, and DEI.
“Forcing employees back into nonflexible work arrangements could leave organizations vulnerable to talent being actively poached by employers that offer the kind of flexibility employees have come to expect during the pandemic,” said Brian Kopp, Chief of HR Research at Gartner. “Employees have proved they can be productive when remote and are now challenging employers to articulate why they should return.”
Most employees favor flexible work conditions. Over half of employees (55%) say that whether they can work flexibly will impact whether they stay at their organizations. Among employees who are currently working remotely or in a hybrid arrangement, 75% say their expectations for working flexibly have increased.
Today, more employees have work method flexibility than temporal and locational flexibility. For instance, around 71% of employees indicate that their job allows them to use personal initiative or judgment, but only 25% say that their role allows them to work from anywhere they want.
Gartner research shows that performance improves when employees are given flexibility over where, when and how much they work. Additionally, 76% of employees report that there has been an overall improvement in culture since the shift to remote work. Business leaders are urged to create a more human-centric work design to help employees sustain high performance while minimizing remote work fatigue in the hybrid world.
“In the long term, though, many organizations will gravitate toward hybrid work environments, moving away from location-centric ways of thinking and incorporating a human-centric design that provides the kind of radical flexibility that can fuel performance,” said Kropp.
Companies both in the channel and outside of the channel should develop a strategy based on the specific circumstances of their companies and customers. Partner with IT and real estate to deliver the value proposition of the on-site location. Collaboration is key to leveraging the value of an on-site location.
CompTIA: Employer Hiring Activity for Tech Jobs at Highest Point in Nearly Two Years
Employment in the U.S. technology sector grew in May and employers’ search for new tech talent reached a level not seen in nearly two years, via an analysis done by CompTIA, a suburban Chicago-based industry association.
According to the association, working with data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, technology companies added 10,500 jobs in May: a combination of technical and non-technical positions. Tech sector employment has now increased for six consecutive months and has grown by more than 61,000 so far this year.
Meanwhile, employer job postings for open IT positions surpassed 365,000 in May, the highest monthly total since September 2019. Software and application developers, IT support specialists, systems engineers and architects, IT project managers and systems analysts are among the positions in highest demand.
At the occupation level across all industry sectors, the latest employment report also shows a loss of 78,000 IT positions. The unemployment rate for IT occupations was 2.4% in May, about half the national labor market rate of 5.5%.
“The strong employer hiring activity for technology positions coupled with a loss of jobs at the occupation level suggests a disconnect,” Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “However, it is not uncommon for factors such as hiring timing or an increase in workers seeking new employment opportunities to affect labor market data in the short-term.”
May’s impressive IT job positing numbers were dispersed across metro areas around the country. Large markets such as Washington, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, San Jose and Seattle accounted for about 36% of all IT job postings for the month.
Though somewhat conflicted, the data suggest a substantial hiring spree may be poised to begin.
Arctic Wolf Introduces New Tiers and Benefits to Channel Program
Arctic Wolf, a Minnesota-based security operations company, has announced enhancements to its channel partner program, focused on investing in top-performing channel partners.
The update features two new partnership tiers.
Authorized Partners have access to foundational benefits that include access to the Arctic Wolf Partner Portal, opportunity support, deal registration, internal purchase discounts, and eligibility for incentives. Additionally, Authorized Partners have access to on-demand training courses, campaign kits, co-branded collateral, and a full suite of enablement and demand resources.
Wolf Pack Partners gain access to a suite of additional benefits that include a named channel account management team, access to executive leadership, quarterly business reviews, invitations to exclusive training summits, priority access to marketing support, and demand gen programs.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Solution Provider partners qualify for both tiers.
“Our channel partners are critical in helping us execute on our mission to end cyber risk, and we want to reward our most strategic solution providers with a program that drives growth together and helps them earn the most reward and investment back from Arctic Wolf,” said Bob Skelley, senior vice president of Global Channels at Arctic Wolf. “This program evolution will accelerate growth for partners who demonstrate success and commitment with Arctic Wolf. We’re excited to offer this enhanced, world-class program to facilitate better planning and engagement with our channel ecosystem.”
The improvements were designed to create enhanced channel relationships pursues a 100% partner-centric go-to-market model.