“Ask for help” is the sign of the times.
There are 1.7 jobs for every unemployed person and more than 11.3 million job openings across the country, according to Labor Department data last month.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called the labor market “tight to an unhealthy level”,î reports Marketplace.org, and hiring issues are making headlines as businesses close — not for lack of customers but for workers.
Employers are increasing wages, perks, and perks like pet insurance to attract potential employees.
One such perk – boosted by COVID-19 conditions – is telecommuting or working from home.
But as waves of COVID-19 cases receded, WFH stayed put, as employees appreciated the flexibility and savings in travel, time and childcare costs.
Workplaces also took advantage of the brick-and-mortar savings and pre-pandemic HR issues and found that it did not affect productivity.
Today’s job postings are liberally seasoned with words like remote, WFH, flexible, and hybrid.
If, however, you work for the state of Michigan, many lawmakers want you back in office by October 1. new budget year, according to a proposal made by Republican majority members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee, which ties funding to the remote ban, according to Bridge Michigan.
Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lovell) said the move serves taxpayers better and government works better in person.
“We don’t dispute that some jobs work better in person than remotely, but each job should be assessed individually.”
Painting with a broad brush won’t fill the state’s 600-plus vacancies, and it seems to us that our leaders have better things to do than legislate bureaucratic job descriptions.
Moreover, isn’t government better when it is more effective? When does it save taxpayers money?
Working from home saves the state 300,000 square feet of rented space, just between two departments – Environment, Great Lakes and Energy; and technology, management and budget. And Bridge Michigan cites an April 1 report submitted to the Legislature that the state will vacate 564,290 square feet of leased office space by 2024, a 12% reduction from 2019.
It’s hard to go back to the pre-COVID-19 era. The impacts of the pandemic will manifest in ways we have not yet imagined. But change often forces growth, and the WFH is one of them – due to the massive wave of baby boomer retirements and a squeezed job market.
Our government will function better if it is staffed and if it adapts to today’s reality. If one wants help for the state, the state will have to get butts in the seats, whether in an office or a dining room.