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Adding flexibility in the workplace is essential for Hawaii Businesses

By Jason Horiuchi on Feb 15, 2022 2:35:37 PM


Even before the pandemic, 50% of employees considered the ability to work remotely as one of the top benefits. Now, two years into the pandemic employees are not in a hurry to go back into the office. In fact, many of them have started to look for other options that give them more flexibility. And so came the Great Resignation of 2021 where millions of U.S. workers quit their jobs.  

In Hawai`i, it was more of a Great Migration. In fact, according to 2020-2021 US Census data, Hawai`i ranked 4th highest in the nation in population decline. Many moved to pursue careers in the mainland. However, while many Hawai`i businesses lost skilled workers, companies that had the ability to offer flexible work options gained them.  

To keep talent in Hawai`i, it’s important for businesses to revisit their approach to workspaces for employees all while balancing how to keep their assets secure in a diverse work environment.  The key to creating a balance between what employees want and what businesses need, is in finding the right tools.  

Here are some tips and questions to ask yourself: 

  • Reconstruct how work is done. Identify the most important processes and re-envision them to be done both remotely and in-person. 
  • Decide between ‘people to work’ and ‘work to people.’ Consider the value remote work brings, such as employee retention and increased productivity – Can you bring the work to the talent rather than bringing talent to the office?  
  • Redesign the workplace to support organizational priorities. A well-engineered solution for remote work can be used for various models: Fully Remote, Onsite, Hybrid, Remote by Exception, etc. 
  • Resize the footprint creatively. Decide what works best for your company, whether it’s a permanent office, flex office, or remote workspace.  
  • Rethink the personal computer. Separate the user’s device from the company computer and storage. A device at a remote worker’s location should not be one that contains important business information. Corporate data can live safely in the cloud under control of the organization, while employees can use their preferred devices whether they are in the office or in their home.  

Business models are constantly changing. Nicholas Bloom, a professor at Stanford University said, “One of the few great upsides of the pandemic is we've accelerated 25 years of drift toward working from home in one year.” We've done it. We've implemented remote work. But now we need to ensure that we've done it right. Hawai`i has the opportunity to leverage remote work in order to keep our skilled workforce in the state. If Hawai`i businesses keep up with current workforce trends and invest in the right tools, we can help Hawai`i’s economy grow with the skilled workers we need.  

To learn more, you can watch the virtual event “Workspace Modernization Strategies” hosted by Hawaiian Telcom University at 

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