Four new remote work trends keeping HR leaders vigilant

Like any paradigm shift, remote work is beginning to pose challenges few could have predicted at its start. While these trends are not detrimental to the work-from-home future, HR leaders are having to reconcile with how to keep employees engaged in their modern “offices.”

Here are four trends to watch as your organization manages its remote and hybrid employees:

Quiet quitting. According to corporate TikTok, “quiet quitting” is when employees do the bare minimum required of them before formally resigning. If you follow business news, you’ve probably noticed this phrase in recent headlines. While quiet quitting is made out to be an HR nightmare, especially as workers enjoy the independence of the home office, most leaders in this space agree that the phrase’s popularity is more of an evolution in language than an actual shift in workplace culture. Disengagement occurred long before work went remote; quiet quitting is just a new name for an old issue.

Legality of remote and hybrid work. As employees enjoy the freedom of remote work, many are moving to different states than their headquarters, which is making it harder for organizations to comply with legal and financial regulations. When you work in a different region than your employer, your accounting department must be aware of regulations in both states and understand any applicable nexus regulations required for interstate commerce. As worker addresses continue to change, it’s necessary for accounting leaders to have a solid understanding of varying state and federal workplace regulations, as well as updated employee addresses.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It’s still (mostly) up for debate whether remote work is better or worse for corporate DEI initiatives. Recently, high-profile business leaders have advocated for moving their employees back to the office, saying it would encourage diversity. But recent data from Slack’s Future Forum consortium found that minority knowledge workers prefer to work from home rather than in a physical office. As organizations continue to innovate on this front, our team expects DEI to take a front seat in the ongoing remote vs. in-office debate.

Bad in-office habits still prevalent in remote work. A new study from Qatalog and GitLab on remote and asynchronous work found that despite working from home, over half of the surveyed knowledge workers still felt pressure to be online at certain times and to follow “traditional” work standards. While remote work doesn’t always come with a flexible schedule, especially in industries like manufacturing where work hours are more rigid, it will be worth paying attention to how organizations manage work-life balance in permanently remote setups. It will also be interesting to watch how the popular perception of asynchronous work could change over time.