Post-pandemic, we saw a huge, fundamental shift in how the workplace operates, with companies all across the globe moving towards a hybrid work model.
And although the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry stepped up a notch during the Covid-19 outbreak, with everyone involved spending extra time in the labs to rapidly develop and produce transformative medical advancements, the industry wasn’t exempt from change.
With 74% of U.S. companies alone currently using or planning on implementing a permanent hybrid working model according to Zippia, it’s clear to see how flexible and remote working has become widely embraced across the board. The biotech industry is no exception to this shift towards a hybrid work model.
So, how has the biotechnology industry changed amid this shift, and how can companies leverage this flexibility to tap into a previously unattainable pool of talent to achieve a highly skilled and more diverse workforce?
How to facilitate hybrid working in biotech?
Though employees were largely needed inside the biotech lab during the pandemic, an integral part of adjusting to a world of Covid-19 was working out how much day-to-day work can be done at home, rather than in the laboratory.
Biotech doesn’t solely rely on lab-based work. It still requires traditional office work when it comes to strategy, data analytics and more, all of which can be transformed into a hybrid work environment; blending remote meetings and flexible hours with face-to-face time in the office.
Balance is key
Of course, this isn’t to say that the future of biotechnology is purely a remote one, as there will always be the need for hands-on R&D work in the lab. However, achieving that blend is crucial in today’s day and age where hybrid working is becoming the norm for many businesses.
And not only is adapting to this new way of working key for motivating your existing staff to stick around, with an average 97% of employees seeking remote work, but it’s also a great opportunity to attract the best talent in biotechnology today.
How applying hybrid working in biotech can help you hire the best talent
Broadening the talent pool
Typically, people wanting to break into a biotechnology career would be required to relocate to their nearest biotech, so they could easily commute to the workplace every day of the week. This was especially true for those looking to enter a C-suite level role in Biotech which is demonstrated by the CEO’s of 8 out of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in 2019 having moved countries at least once along their climb to the top. Nowadays, distance is no limit thanks to new biotech work trends allowing greater flexibility for remote working.
Remote positions, or even hybrid positions to some extent, remove a physical barrier that would normally eliminate a range of people from your candidate pool. This allows biotechs to engage with potential candidates purely based on their qualifications, experience and suitability for the role, rather than just if they live within commuting distance of the office.
Even more so, if the role seems perfect for the candidate but requires some lab-based work every now and again, they might still consider the opportunity even if they live far away – if they know they won’t need to commute every single day.
Not needing to regularly commute to work can lead to much higher job satisfaction and therefore higher retention rates, as a survey by MassBio revealed that 60% of respondents would leave their job for a better commute.
This shows just how important the commute is to employees, and how hybrid and remote work can help mitigate the stress of lengthy trips to and from the workplace. Small biotech firms who typically have a harder time recruiting than larger companies can leverage a hybrid work environment to incentivise potential candidates to join them.
Consequently, implementing hybrid working in biotech gives companies access to a more diverse talent pool from various geographic locations, ensuring they can select the best candidate available – regardless of where they live.
Levelling the playing field
These days, when it comes to recruitment, it’s primarily candidates that have the upper hand in the process – especially in a fiercely competitive industry like biotechnology.
Therefore, when it comes to candidate search, a biotech startup may see themselves at a significant disadvantage for talent compared to huge, corporate organisations. This is partly because candidates may see the larger company as being more secure and having more perks with the position.
However, if the startup offers hybrid and remote work as a benefit where the large corporation doesn’t, this may sway the candidates preference towards the smaller firm. After all, 55% of jobseekers see remote work as their number one priority when searching for a new position.
55% of jobseekers see remote working as their number one priority.
Enhancing communication, collaboration and employee experience
Though people may argue that work-from-home scenarios have a detrimental impact on company culture and morale, making the team feel less connected, it’s actually quite the opposite.
Today’s technology allows people to connect easily, even across seas and timezones, allowing communication to occur in a nonintrusive, efficient way. Arguably, this helps make the workplace more connected than ever before.
The freedom to work flexibly enriches the employee experience, encouraging team members to be more productive and contributing positively to morale – teamwork doesn’t always need to be face-to-face. In fact, studies have shown that remote workers are 13% more productive than their office counterparts. The lack of distractions, lower stress levels thanks to not having to commute and ability to get in the zone easier when remote working all contribute to this increase in productivity.
Hybrid and remote working significantly enhances global connectivity and cooperation, allowing your company to interact with geographically diverse teams. By being open to a team of people from across the region, or even the globe, you can build a diverse, talented workforce that will work collaboratively to tackle problems and solve issues.
The new norm
None of this is to say that every job is required to be remote full-time, all-year-round, anywhere in the world. After all, hybrid working in biotech will only be appropriate for roles that can be performed remotely, compared to those that are strictly based on-site.
That being said, a hybrid model that offers as much flexibility as your organisation can facilitate will generally be best practice for most biotechs. The need to advertise flexibility when seeking out new hires is absolutely essential to find the best candidates for your business.
Switching to a more flexible working environment will be essential for biotech companies who want to recruit top talent as we move to a more hybrid working world.
A well-designed hybrid working setup is the best way to improve performance, improve work-culture and improve the level of talent you can attract and retain.
And here at Avery Fairbank, we’re here to help you find that exact talent.
With a vast network of professionals and specialists, we have access to the best talent available to help transform biotechs across the globe, candidates who have the right skills, experience and qualifications for these top-level roles.
But it doesn’t stop there. Not only do we find the ideal candidate for the company, but we’re also here to find the perfect role for the candidate, whatever perfect means to them.