COVID-19

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the workforce. Here is a collection of blogs that discuss how the Coronavirus is impacting the workplace and information on how to make the best of this situation. We also share job search tips to help you navigate the job market during the viral outbreak. At Johnson Service Group, we work hard, we work together and we work for you.

3 Ways Companies Can Offer Flexibility For Employees

3 Ways Companies Can Offer Flexibility For Employees

As states across the country start to establish plans for fall education, many companies are finding themselves needing to adapt. As such, you need to offer options and provide flexibility for employees. Everyone is juggling work, assisting their kids with home learning, and following appropriate social distancing guidelines. Here are three ways you can accommodate your team member’s needs while still allowing for maximum productivity.

Implement Work From Home Flexibility

Dozens of major companies have announced that employees won’t be going back into the office until at least 2021, including Scotiabank, Google, and Indeed. Others like Facebook, Slack, and Zillow have communicated that employees don’t ever have to come back to the office in the same capacity. Due to ever-changing lockdowns and changes to the school system, many companies are forced to come to terms with a new future of work. Whether you offer full-time work from home options or flexible workweeks, your employees need it now more than ever. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in a memo to employees, “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Expand Your PTO Policies

The pandemic has changed how we think about PTO. Former policies consisting of five days of sick time will not fly moving forward when the minimum quarantine time for Coronavirus is 14 days. Provide clear communication about new sick policies to your team often. Make sure they understand proper protocols if they do need to quarantine or take time off to recover.

Establish boundaries

Recent research shows that since the beginning of the pandemic, the average workday has lasted 48.5 minutes longer. Your employees are feeling the pressure of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and increased childcare demands. By setting clear boundaries (everyone logs off at 5 pm, no matter what), you can help your team avoid burnout.

By offering flexibility for employees, you demonstrate your investment in the team. Interested in more management and hiring tips? Explore our client resources!

Remote Work Affect Salaries

Will Remote Work Affect Salaries?

There is no disputing the coronavirus’ impact on the economy and labor market. Economists, healthcare professionals, and others have speculated about the lasting effects of this pandemic. However, one thing that is certain is that millions of workers worldwide have been working from home (WFH) since mid-March. With confirmed cases surpassing 4 million in the U.S. this week, working remote might be a permanent transition. So, how will this shift to remote work affect salaries? It’s a little early to tell, but here is what may happen if this trend continues.

WFH workers are relocating

According to a recent study from Pew Research Center, nearly a fifth of U.S. adults has moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who did. The survey found that 37% of those ages 18 to 29 say they moved, someone moved into their home, or know someone who moved because of the outbreak. Many of these young professionals are relocating away from big cities, such as New York City, and escaping to less populated locations, such as the Midwest. These rural locations offer quiet, wide-open spaces and an affordable cost of living. But will your employer continue to pay your massive big-city salary in cheaper rural areas? Are employers going to start cutting wages for workers that move to regions with a more reasonable cost of living?

The price of the big cities

Living in big metropolitan areas definitely have their appeal – more culture, restaurants, activities, nightlife, and of course, larger salaries. According to a recent study, employers in America’s costliest cities pay at least 40% more for white-collar jobs than the average wage in other regions of the country. For example, a graphic designer makes an average of $31.67 an hour in the top 15 biggest cities versus an average hourly wage of $21.09 in all other regions. Yet, according to the report, “When firms in the highest-priced cities hired workers living in cheaper towns, they tended to pay almost 19% more than the person would earn locally.”

To break this down, workers make more in larger cities, regardless of whether they work locally or remotely. However, that salary range is still enormous. Using the pay scale for a graphic designer, a professional in that field would make 19% more working remotely for a company in a big city. That’s a little more than $4 more an hour, which is a much lower wage than the local workers of big cities making over $10 more an hour.

How will remote work affect wages?

This begs the question: will employers begin to change wages for remote workers to reflect their employees’ cost of living? Facebook is already moving its hiring efforts to focus on remote work to lower its payroll costs. Will other large companies follow through? More professionals working from home may reduce or even fix the insane pay disparity our country faces in some areas. As a result, professionals may consider moving out of expensive cities like NYC and moving to locations with a better quality of life, affordable rents, and overall better happiness ratings.

Time will tell how this virus will ultimately impact our wages across the country. Still, it is worth considering if you are currently working remotely and considering a move to a different region.

How remote work might impact your salary

jobs on the rise

Jobs on the Rise in the Wake of COVID-19

The Coronavirus has definitely left a lasting impact on the U.S. economy for the foreseeable future. The number of unemployment claims skyrocketed from 281,000 to over 3.3 million in a single week in March 2020, the most significant jump since 1982. However, as the economy and labor force start recovering from this mayhem, the pandemic is creating a mini-boom in various parts of the labor market. Here are some of the jobs on the rise in the wake of COVID-19, according to the LinkedIn Workforce Insights:

jobs on the rise

Fast-gaining jobs in the wake of COVID-19

The jobs above are just a few areas in the labor force experiencing a tremendous surge, thanks to the pandemic. Some of the job titles listed above are probably not all that surprising. How many of you have utilized a personal shopper over the last few months? Instacart just raised another $100 million to expand its services throughout the country, demonstrating the growth of personal shoppers throughout the country.

And loan specialists are in high demand with Americans applying for home loans with record-low mortgage rates. Or maybe your family decided to cancel your vacation plans and splurge for an RV loan to have some fun in the outdoors this summer rather than hopping on a plane. Loan specialists are needed at almost every banking institution to accommodate a spike in loan applications.

Oh, and let’s not forget about all of the hard-working warehouse workers. Giants like Walmart and Amazon are in high demand for more warehouse workers as they facilitate a flood of online sales. To illustrate the growth of these workers, the Labor Department reported +99,000 jobs were added in Transportation and Warehousing in last month’s Jobs Report.

Again, these are just a few of the areas that are seeing growth during the pandemic. So, if you are currently looking for a new job or pondering a shift in your career, these areas are an excellent place to start searching!

How to secure one of these growing jobs

So, how do you find one of these jobs on the rise in the wake of COVID-19? This question might be easier than you think. Mostly, it’s just putting in a little extra work and shifting your mindset. That entails boosting your resume and keeping an open mind. However, if you are serious about a pivot in your career, try partnering with a JSG recruiter. We have hundreds of job opportunities with employers that are ready to hire great candidates like you. Take a glimpse at our job board, and let’s work together.

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

There’s no doubt that today’s job market is volatile. No one knows what to expect from day to day. And while that may be intimidating, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get hired. It does, however, require a bit of creativity when it comes to your job search. Follow our tips below, and you’ll be well on your way to your next position.

Give Your Resume A Major Boost

As employers start to reopen their doors to hiring, they will be on the lookout for self-starters. While millions of people were put in the same position during the economic shutdown, those who continued to work on their professional development will shine brighter than the rest. Take advantage of free online courses like the ones offered by LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Github.

Prepare To Pivot

The Coronavirus pandemic has permanently altered the way our world goes to work. Millions of jobs have been streamlined, and some won’t return at all. This means you may need to pivot your career path and try something completely different. The good news is that some industries are absolutely booming and are on the hunt for new employees. Explore LinkedIn’s Economic Graph for up to date data on which companies are hiring, the most in-demand job titles, and essential skills.

Put Yourself Out There

We have seen an extremely high number of people gaining employment from a simple post on social media. During challenging economic times, it’s incredible how people band together to lift one another up. Additionally, there are thousands of recruiters combing LinkedIn looking for qualified candidates. Chances are, you’ll be able to make a connection just from putting yourself out there. And the more connections you have, the more exposure you’ll have to opportunities.

Keep An Open Mind

The best thing you can do during uncertain times is to keep an open mind! Nothing is as we imagined it would be right now, and that’s okay. In the meantime, consider doing something totally out of your comfort zone to bring in income. Put your professional skills to use by freelancing. Squeeze your creative juices by opening an Etsy shop to make your favorite hobby profitable. Apply for a contract position to “test-drive” a new role before you dive in full time.

Can’t get enough job search tips? Check out more job search tips below!

Video: How to get a job in today’s job market

restart your career

Best Places to Restart Your Career After the Pandemic

With over 45 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits, many workers across the country are looking to restart their careers. As a result, many are searching elsewhere for the right job opportunity. Over one-third of Americans are considering relocating to a less densely populated area. Others are looking to different metropolitan areas with more opportunities and better commutes. So, where are all the jobs located? Here are the best places to restart your career after the pandemic.

The Midwest

We recently discussed why the Midwest is such a hotspot for those looking to leave the “hustle and bustle” of the big cities. After the pandemic, many Americans are reconsidering the appeal of the busy city life; they are looking for a new home that is a little more remote and quiet. Job satisfaction and the cost of living are two significant factors for the new flock of people. Cities in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin are all hitting Business Insider’s list of 30 best American cities to live in after the pandemic. These locations have affordable housing options and lower unemployment rates (even before the outbreak).

The West Coast

If you are looking for a new home that’s a little less rural, there are some markets on the West Coast that look like strong prospects. A recent study from Bloomberg illustrates that the San Jose and the San Francisco markets have actually benefited from the pandemic. Companies like Netflix and Zoom saw massive revenue boosts because of the Coronavirus. Other tech companies weren’t hit hard by the virus because their workforce was able to pivot from the office to working from home. And although Western Washington was hit early on in the pandemic, The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue market is a great place to restart your career. The cost of living is cheaper than the big cities on the east or in California, and companies like Amazon and Microsoft are thriving right now.

The East Coast

Some areas on the east coast, like New York, were hit pretty hard by the Coronavirus. However, some of the largest cities in the eastern part of the country are doing well. Cities like Boston and Worcester are inelastic to the recent economic impacts. These two metropolitan areas are home to a couple of dozen hospitals and roughly 40 different universities, both of which are industries that are flexible even during the worst economic climates. So if you are searching for a new career in healthcare or higher education, these are excellent markets in which to look!

We can help restart your career

So, these are some of the best places to restart your career. Whether you are looking to relocate to a more rural area or for a different metropolitan scene, Johnson Service Group can help. We have hundreds of jobs across the country and are here to help you get back to work! Visit our job board below and launch your career in a new market!

Video: Here are the best places to restart your career

post-pandemic company

How to Make Your Post-Pandemic Company Better Than Before

COVID-19 has been a very tricky time for companies around the world to navigate. Businesses needed to do things they have never done before, like work from home, attend video conference calls, and experience a lapse in breakroom donuts. As we strive into the future together, we cannot revert to the same ways; let COVID-19 be an opportunity for a better, brighter future for your company. Here are five things your organization can do to make your post-pandemic company even better than before.

Increased Flexibility

COVID-19 has shown us the importance of workplace flexibility, and now, it is no longer a benefit, but an expectation from employers. In a survey from Zenefits, they found that 77% of workers have flexibility as a top priority in their job search, which means offering a flexible workplace will be crucial to hiring great talent. The transition to a more flexible working environment must happen quickly because about 30% percent of workers have left jobs due to their lack of flexibility. 

So, the spectrum of flexibility will vary from team to team. Still, you can offer flexibility with better PTO policies, WFH benefits, and empathy for sick employees – because if this pandemic taught us anything, it is to stay home when you feel sick! 

Enhanced Digitization

The quickness of the pandemic pushed workers around the world to dial in on their digital skills. Suddenly, workers needed to establish a WFH office to maintain a “normal” workday. For a boost in efficiency, we expect an increase in video conferences and other technologies to make your workforce more agile. Make the necessary investments in the technology your post-pandemic company needs to keep the ball rolling and your team more productive.

An Overload of Sanitizer

Once everyone returns to the office, workplace hygiene will be at an all-time high. Employees washing their hands and sanitizing throughout the day will become habitual, and honestly, completely necessary. An overload of hand sanitizer and other cleaning routines should be encouraged to ensure the safety of all employees.

Clear Expectations

Transitioning into a post-pandemic world will have its own set of challenges. It is different than it was previously, and you need to lay out clear expectations for what you want from your employees. Clear communication and building trust with your team will be essential as we start to return to work.

Laid-Back Dress Code

Professional outfits hit the back burner while WFH parents had to work from home and watch their children. As we transition to a new normal, there’s a trend toward casual dressing. If appropriate, relax your dress code protocol to make your team feel a little more comfortable as they return.

So, let’s reimagine your post-pandemic company: more flexible, caring, and safe. Relax the strict workplace rules that have been around for decades and offer your employees a workplace experience that they won’t want to leave.

support your remote workers

How to Support Your Remote Workers

The majority of states have finally started reducing restrictions imposed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, millions of workers across the country are still hard at work from their homes. With a large chunk (if not your whole team) working remotely, it’s not easy to offer the same support as you can in the office. Here are a few ways you can support your remote workers.

Set expectations

It’s imperative to set expectations from the very beginning with your entire team. Establish guidelines for everyone and make them crystal clear. Put them in writing and send them to your staff. Setting boundaries and expectations are essential, and doing it early on will reinforce good habits from the get-go. However, please don’t go overboard or it might seem like you don’t trust your staff. Remember, your employees are adults, not children. Guidelines are good for everyone when they are not overbearing.

Build loyalty

Building loyalty and trust in each of your relationships is vital during these challenging times. Now is not the time to micromanage your staff. If you trusted them in the office, you should be able to trust them while working remotely. Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty goes a long way, especially during these uncharted waters. Hold regular meetings, regular check-ins, and be encouraging. Trust us; it will go a long way and support your remote workers.

Take care of each individual

Make sure you take care of each staff member. Not everyone is in the same situation right now. Some are handling the pandemic better than others and have fewer responsibilities at home. Some workers are balancing childcare, schooling, and work, while others may have a partner that is currently unemployed. As a result, ensure each team member is doing well, both mentally and physically.

Also, not everyone has the same work-from-home setting. Make sure each employee is taken care of with their home “office” goes. Some of your employees may need a desk, a new office chair, a second monitor, or other items to make their working hours a little more productive and comfortable. Taking care of your employees during these challenging times will help build much-needed morale.

Emphasize accomplishments not hours

Don’t emphasize the actual hours worked of each employee. Instead, focus on accomplishments. Some of your workers might be flourishing with their new working environment. But on the other hand, some of your staff members may struggle a little more. A recent report illustrated that 54% of workers are more productive at home. That’s great for both workers and employers! However, employees working from home will work an average of 1.4 more days’ worth of hours each month. That translates to 16.8 more days a year. As a result, your team can easily get burnt out as the boundaries of work and home often become blurry. Thus, support your remote workers by focusing on accomplishments, not actual hours worked.

Interested in more management and hiring tips? Explore our client resources for all the information you need!

Job Market Outlook For The Second Half Of 2020

So far, the 2020 job market has been a wild roller coaster ride. It kicked off as one of the strongest job markets in our nation’s history. Sustained job creation, healthy earnings gains, and record-low unemployment rates had both employers and candidates feeling stable and optimistic. However, after just two months, we experienced a complete shock as the Coronavirus Pandemic led our economy to a screeching halt. Now, as states start to open back up, companies resume normal business activities, and as infection rates continue to decline, we begin to wonder about the future. Here are some of the trends you’ll see in the job market throughout the second half of 2020.

Hiring Steady Or Increasing In These Industries

As gloomy as the job market may seem, there are a few bright spots. Tech companies that have been able to transition to working remotely have largely remained unaffected. Some that focus on further enabling online connections such as Microsoft and Zoom have experienced considerable boosts in revenue. Online retailers and delivery companies have watched their business boom hand-in-hand as more consumers get more comfortable ordering online.

Additionally, industries that have been on the front lines of the pandemic have been hiring to keep up with demand. Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and supermarket chains have been scrambling to staff their workforce. Businesses that provide entertainment such as video streaming, online games, and traditional games and puzzles have been thriving as people spend more time at home.

Networking Will Be More Important Than Ever

You’ve probably heard that landing a job is “all about who you know.” And that statement will ring true now more than ever! Even prior to the pandemic, it had been estimated that as many as 70% of open positions are never even posted to job boards. One of the most lucrative forms of networking is via your alumni network.

Take Colby College, a small liberal arts college in Maine, for example. Amidst the rocky labor market, they implemented a “Pay It Northward” program, a promise to all 500 graduates to use the alumni network to find them jobs. After only ten days, the graduates had received over 500 offers, about half of them for full-time positions.

An Increase In Remote Work

As most companies throughout the nation scrambled to shift to working from home in March, the stigma and uneasiness about lack of control started to melt away. Now, many are extending remote work orders or offering it as a permanent option. Employees and Managers alike are reaping benefits from working from home. A report from USA Today found that 54% of workers are more productive than working in the office. Additionally, as many as 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full-time in the future.

Lasting Impacts To These Industries

Some industries, such as travel and tourism and traditional retail, will likely feel the effects of this pandemic for years to come. Even as states slowly start to open up, people remain cautious. With unemployment currently hovering around 13%, many have been forced to change their spending habits. This trend will probably last well beyond the lingering threat of the virus as, unfortunately, millions of people have felt the effects of living off of little to no savings.

Economists aren’t optimistic about a fast-approaching recovery. “There’s just been too much damage to come back that quickly. People will self-regulate. Just because your governor says you can go out, doesn’t mean you will do it,” said Ethan Harris, Head of Global Economics Research at Bank of America.

If you need help navigating this unpredictable job market, whether you’re a candidate or a client, we’re here. At Johnson Service Group – we work hard, we work together, we work for you. Contact us today to get started!

Is Now The Time For A Career Change?

Is Now The Time For A Career Change?

Recent events may have rocked your career. Maybe you were laid off or furloughed, or a global pandemic put things into perspective, and you realized you just aren’t happy where you are now. Could now be the time for a career change? Even though the job market may be rocky, it could actually be a great time to switch things up. Here are just a few things you can do to get started.

Invest time in passion projects

If you’re unsure about your next step, spend some quality time just doing the things you love. Even if you don’t plan on launching a knitting career, it’s a great way to clear your mind and spark your creative side. On the other hand, you just may discover that your passion for puzzles inspires you to pivot towards a career in engineering.

Make a list

This needs to be more than the usual pros and cons list. Think about your future career. What are your must-haves for a career change? Work-life balance, a competitive salary, opportunities for advancement? Then, dream even bigger! If you could design your dream job from scratch, what would it entail? Rooftop goat yoga, ice cream Fridays, being your own boss? Don’t be afraid to get creative and silly with it! An exercise like this can help you realize what is really most important to you and help guide your decision making during the hiring process.

Browse the job boards

When you’re looking for a fresh start and career change, the world is your oyster. New job titles are gracing the internet every day, some of which you may never have heard of before! Search your area’s job listings, then expand your search to virtual positions. After all, job postings for remote positions were up 42% in March! Check out anything and everything that sounds interesting or different; you never know what you may find.

Ramp up your networking

It can feel incredibly vulnerable to post your career aspirations on social media, but it is also one of the best ways to expose yourself to new opportunities. Did you know that as many as 70% of open positions are never even posted? Instead, they’re filled via networking! Let your contacts know that you are looking for a new job and a total career makeover. And bonus, you’ll usually get a great reference or two out of it as well!

As you prep to make a major career change, keep yourself up to date with all things related to job searching via our Job Search Tips & Tricks Newsletter!

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

As many states start to ease back into a semi-normal routine, many workers throughout the country are returning to the office. After over two months of working from home, this may be quite a shell-shock. Not to mention, so many things have changed! As you begin to establish your new normal, be sure to take these three things into consideration.

Be Flexible

In a post-pandemic world, flexibility is going to be key. Companies and employees alike are trying to navigate totally uncharted waters. Your workplace has been working around the clock to implement safe and sanitary procedures. Please have patience and practice being flexible! It will take some time to get used to foregoing handshakes, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing everything constantly.

Take Time To Check In With Your Coworkers & Partners

It has been a whirlwind couple of months. As you step foot back in the office, take the time to check in with everyone. This is an excellent opportunity to spark meaningful conversations that go beyond the current weather. Ask people how they spent their time working from home – did they binge-watch anything great? Catch up on a fantastic book? How was balancing homeschooling with work? It won’t do any good to jump straight to business. Your coworkers and business contacts will appreciate the chance to socialize and catch up!

Give Yourself Some Grace

It can be tempting just to jump right back into your old way of working. However, don’t forget that things are very different now. It may take a little while to get back into the swing of things (and that’s okay!). Ask for support from your team or leaders if you need it. Most importantly, if you feel sick or rundown at any point, STAY HOME.

Heading back into the office is probably stirring up a large variety of emotions. Be sure to check in with yourself and take advantage of the resources at hand both at your workplace and online!