Remote work is here to stay — but only if you meet the requirements

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Remote work continues to play a key role in the tight labor market, as 63% of U.S. companies will allow existing employees to work remotely once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and 60% agree that a rise in this trend is making it more difficult to attract and retain employees.

This is according to a new survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

The majority of U.S. hiring decision-makers (70%) agree onboarding employees remotely requires more time and money than doing it in an office. Despite the extra resources required to hire remotely, more than half (55%) say their company hired and onboarded new employees remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a similar proportion (51%) report their company plans to do so once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

This shift may be in response to employee desires and recruitment challenges, as a survey by Owl Labs found that 59% of employees would be more likely to choose one employer over another if offered remote work.

Of those, hiring decision-makers are split as to whether they will use specific criteria to determine which employees can work remotely (51%) or if all existing employees will be allowed to work remotely (49%). For those who will choose which employees can work remotely, the most commonly cited decision criteria include job responsibilities that can only be completed in a physical workplace (67%), successful completion of goals as measured through key performance indicators (47%) and job title/level such as only employees above a certain level can work remotely (44%).

Around 1 in 3 say factors such as geographic location (i.e., if employees are near a physical workplace they must go) (36%) and/or length of time employed (i.e., only employees who have been at the company for a certain amount of time can work remotely) (32%) will play a role in the decision.

Until the labor market begins to settle at some point and the COVID-19 pandemic retreats, companies may have to offer employee flexibility to entice candidates to join their workforce.


William H. “Bill” Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals, which serves the River Parishes from its Gonzales office. For more information, visit