There’s no denying that life science firms are looking for ways to cut spending to navigate a difficult financial climate, with 47% of Americans stating that they believe it is ‘somewhat likely’ that they, or people they know, could lose their job. What does this mean for remote workers, and are they more likely to be laid off before their office-going counterparts? We looked at current viewpoints to get an idea of what to expect.
Deciding Who to Layoff
When a firm is told that they need to cut staff to stay afloat, the first job they tend to do is design criteria to assess the workforce to lay off the people that are least likely to impact the company. Many factors can be used at this stage, and they will generally link to the needs of the company and its future plans. However, many people are worried that a lack of physical presence in the office could spell danger for their roles.
Why is Remote Working a Contentious Issue?
In a recent survey by Good Hire, more than 75% of workers stated that they believe that remote workers and hybrid workers are at greater risk of losing their jobs first when it comes to redundancies. Reasons for this include perceptions that remote workers do not work as hard as office-based staff, as well as being unable to be part of the office culture and therefore becoming unnoticeable and a surplus to requirements.
The Issues Remote Workers Face
In reality, working away from the office is often an isolating and lonely existence that can render you invisible to other staff, especially when you haven’t had the opportunity to forge strong working relationships with the executive team and others. Plus, it’s human nature to crave interaction, leaving those in the office regularly to be viewed more favorably without even realizing it’s happening.
Should Remote Workers Get the Axe
With the odds stacked against them, many companies are questioning whether they should favor those who come to work rather than those who work from home, but we think this could be a disaster for the wider workforce. If you have concerns that your remote workers are lagging behind or think that their work relationships have suffered as a result of remote working, then now may be the time to address this and work to find a better resolution rather than laying off staff that may have the skills and experience that you need.
How to Make the Right Decision About Layoffs
If you are working towards a fair and consistent redundancy policy, then now is a good time to gather a group of decision-makers that are diverse in their experience and opinions to implement your layoff policy and one method you might consider is whether the percentage of remote worker layoffs exceed those proposed for office based workers. If it is important to the business needs that people are in the office rather than working remotely, it is also wise to speak to your remote workers to see if they are willing to flex if they are supported to do so.
Navigating Your Way Through Layoffs and Beyond
If you are worried about layoffs or want to discuss your wider leadership strategy and recruitment policy, then reach out to GeneCoda®. We are an executive search firm that specializes in life science and can help you to design a recruitment and retention strategy that works for your needs. Connect with us today to find out more!