A client whose workforce is 100% in-office recently came back to us for help. We had just placed someone there, but that person received another offer that was hybrid and took it.

We see this all too often.

Jobs that are hybrid or remote receive far more applicants than jobs that are fully in the office. When clients come to us with a fully in-office position, it will take three to four times as long for us to staff the position. And often, even then, when we do staff it, the company comes back to us eventually because the placed candidate left for a company that offered better flexibility.

Understand the domino effect of inflexibility

If you are a hiring manager, you are wasting valuable time and money by requiring five days in the office if the job can be done from home. Here’s why:

  • The position will remain vacant longer, and you will spend more on expensive job ads and lost productivity.
  • You will overwork your current staff by making them pick up the work left undone by the vacant position. (You’ll probably pay more overtime, too.)
  • You will then spend time and money training the new hire.
  • The new hire will then leave for a hybrid or remote role.
  • And then you will have to repeat this process over again.

Eventually, your overworked staff will leave. We see this all too often, as well.

Options that can provide a lot of upside

If a position can be done remotely, companies have two choices:

1. Offer remote flexibility.

Remote flexibility doesn’t have to mean fully remote — candidates simply want the freedom to work from home a few days a week. They feel more respected, and they appreciate employers acknowledging that this flexibility makes it easier to manage work-life balance. It humanizes the employer-employee relationship

2. Pay significantly better than the competition.

This will help make it harder for employees to leave for remote or hybrid opportunities. Even then, though, better pay isn’t guaranteed to work. I speak with candidates every day who say they’d take a pay cut for remote flexibility.

Working in the office has its benefits, but so does working from home. When it’s all said and done, the companies that will thrive over time are the ones most adaptable to change.

And the times are indeed changing.

Zach Allison is a Recruiting Manager for the permanent placement finance and accounting practice at Robert Half. He holds a Master’s degree in philosophy and comes from a teaching background with over 10 years of experience. Based in Denver, CO and passionate about helping others, he pivoted from teaching to recruiting to help candidates navigate their careers and to help Robert Half clients find the very best talent in the greater Denver area. Zach regularly shares his insights on careers and philosophy through LinkedIn and published articles. Follow Zach on LinkedIn.