Conference Board: Difficulty Finding and Retaining Office Workers Skyrockets

A new Conference Board survey confirms that a vast majority of organizations are facing extreme difficulty finding and retaining qualified workers. But, the survey reveals, these challenges are no longer related solely to a lack manual services workers, but professional office workers as well.

The survey of more than 175 HR executives found that 84% of organizations that are hiring professional and office workers are struggling to find talent, an increase from 60% in April 2021. And the percent of organizations struggling to retain office workers more than doubled in the last year, from 28% to 64%

Insights from the fourth survey in the Reimagined Workplace series include:

  • There’s been a six-fold increase in the hiring of fully remote workers (8% to 49%); 38% still prefer to hire remote employees who can occasionally commute into the office.
  • Just 4% of companies are requiring full-time, on-site work; 90% are now allowing hybrid work; 60% made working completely remotely optional.
  • 62% of organizations with primarily remote workers reported productivity increases.
  • 77% of surveyed HR leaders reported an increase in employees identified as being burned out, up from 42% in September 2020.
  • Collaborative technology, genuine caring by managers, transparent communication by leaders and commitment to corporate social responsibility have changed for the better at over 70% of surveyed organizations.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, employee well-being has declined and burnout is on the rise,” said Rebecca Ray, Ph.D., executive vice president of human capital. “To retain workers, HR leaders will need a strong focus on improving the employee experience. That includes both allowing and encouraging employees to integrate their work and personal lives in a way that works best for them.”

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