Is the Great Resignation over? No — it might be called different names now, but it is still going, and it has shifted in ways that employers must pay attention to — or risk losing serious competitive advantage.

Translation: there’s still a war for talent — and as any seasoned leader knows, there is always a war for talent. And now, more than ever, that war has extended beyond simply hiring. Now it’s about finding the right people and promoting engagement, loyalty and productivity in a work landscape that has forever changed.

Employees’ actions are speaking volumes

Despite all the headlines about return-to-office mandates, it’s clear that things will never fully return to the way they were before. While many employers are still holding fast to the old model, employees have made it clear that they want a new way of working. No more long commutes. No more sacrificing their wellbeing and personal time to hole up in a cubicle. No more being treated as a cog in the wheel.

So, while employers want engagement, loyalty and productivity — employees want purpose, passion, flexibility and to feel valued.

According to a recent survey, voluntary quit rate was 25% higher in the US in 2022 compared with December 2019. That stat should raise eyebrows, especially given that, by the end of 2022, the job market had tightened.

And they’re still leaving. In the same survey, more than one in four office workers under 40 said they’re considering leaving their jobs in the next six months. Top reasons include lack of motivation, boredom due to workload, feeling taken advantage of, mental health suffering due to work and a lack of engagement.

Is there a disconnect here? Yes, you’ve heard plenty about it over the last few months. But the mistake everyone’s making is assuming that these desires are mutually exclusive. They’re not. The problem is that people haven’t found the right way to bridge the gap.

And what is the right way?

The Everywhere Work mindset

It’s time to adopt an Everywhere Work mindset when it comes to knowledge work. What does that mean? The Everywhere Work mindset is a belief that great work can happen anywhere, as long as employees are empowered with the tools and support they need to thrive.

This isn’t about “caving” to employee demands. This is a very pro-organization approach, too. It paves the way for a work environment that is secure, orchestrated, efficient and attractive to top talent.

Everywhere Work is not synonymous with remote work. Everywhere Work acknowledges that there will be varied — and possibly changing — models used within your organization. The point is to remove location from the equation and adopt a strategy that secures, empowers and supports everyone, everywhere. 

How to achieve the Everywhere Work mindset

Everywhere Work will look a little different for every organization, and every individual, based on their unique needs and circumstances. Still, there are a few common threads to consider:

1. Streamline collaboration and workflows

 “I thought we put that in the shared folder?”

 “Why wasn’t I tagged on that workflow?”

 “Which platform are we using for this one?”

If you’re a remote employee, few things are more frustrating than misaligned tools and collaboration strategies. It means so much more work with zero added ROI. A streamlined, universal strategy is essential to facilitate seamless workflow, collaboration and communication.

2. Adopt a secure asset management strategy

When your employees are dispersed, it’s particularly important to map, manage and secure every asset being used. Whether you rely on BYOD, company-issued or a combination of the two, it’s a good idea to have a universal strategy that makes it realistic to manage assets remotely.

3. Consider zero trust for your network

A zero trust approach to security assumes bad actors are always on your network. It means limiting access so that only the right people and devices have access to the right information at the right time. This is particularly important with Everywhere Work, when people are working far beyond a traditional office-based security perimeter.

There is a caveat. A zero trust approach has the potential to be burdensome on employees, creating extra hoops for them to jump through. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are zero trust solutions designed to minimize burdens on employees while promoting security. Again, the fewer barriers there are to doing their jobs well, the more likely employees are to be productive.

Everywhere Work is intended to be fluid, so the Everywhere Work mindset must be fluid, too. Your strategies will grow and change as your organization grows and changes. Hopefully, by adopting the Everywhere Work mindset, that growth and change will include significantly increased retention, engagement and productivity.