The pandemic and current nationwide labor shortage may give workers more power.
In early 2020, COVID-19 shutdowns meant more parents worked from home in order to help their children with remote learning.
The results of that labor experiment inspired people like Debi Yadegari, who realized she could get more done if she didn’t have a commute time.
When shutdowns ended, Yadegri and countless others were expected to return to the office. That’s when she left her finance career behind in favor of family.
The future, she said, is more parent-friendly workplaces, adding that employers need to take notice “and recognize hours in the seat do not matter as much as productivity.” The issue is one in which North Carolina employers are now more aware.
“All of them seem to be feeling the pinch of not enough labor,” explained Christopher Chung, executive director of Economic Partnership of North Carolina, which works with state leaders to recruit more business to the state.
Chung said employers need creative ways to attract and keep more workers. “They don’t necessarily have to raise wages. They have to build in some of these family-friendly flexible workplaces and that may allow them to compete better,” said Chung.
Employers have the option to let employees leave and fill those positions, but Yadegari says, “The average employee costs upwards of 2 to 3 times their salary to replace.”
With her experience working New York City’s finance industry, Yadegari became founder and CEO of “Villyge,” an employer-paid benefit that she says helps set families up for success.
“What we found is that, amongst our clients, we were able to maintain a very high 96% retention rate because we were able to work with the companies and work with the employees on creating that system of support,” said Yadegari.