As the world turns more towards remote work, you might be asking yourself if you should change with it. While remote Catholic hiring isn’t the standard for most ministries, there are plenty of benefits that come with a remote workforce.
If you’re waiting for this whole remote work thing to blow over and the traditional office to come back, you’ll be waiting a long time. Remote work will be persisting; a large chunk of the US workforce is remote now, and that won’t change anytime soon.
Yes, some formerly remote jobs are starting to return to the office. Some people prefer working in an office (or at least splitting time between home and the office). There are some tangible benefits to in-office work. However, roughly half of the workers in the United States would consider quitting a job that required them to return to the office.
First and foremost, you’ll be losing out on a large portion of the talent pool without the option for remote work. More than ever, employees are demanding workplace options that fit their lifestyles. If you want to hire competitively, you’ll have to consider offering remote options.
You aren’t just looking to increase your talent pool, though; you want to hire and keep qualified employees. Remote work increases productivity for many employees. Sure, some people need the structure of an office environment, especially at the entry-level. However, a seasoned professional that knows the job well doesn’t need oversight or micromanaging. In fact, that extra degree of freedom provided by remote work may be what your employees need to be their most productive.
When you get rid of commutes and office distractions, employees can focus more of their time and energy on the task at hand, offering better and more efficient work. You’ll also find that lowered stress boosts overall morale.
The benefits aren’t just psychological, though. At a bare minimum, you can cut down your overhead costs. For businesses renting an office space in a major city, you know just how much of a hit your bottom line takes every month. Why not get rid of a large chunk of your expenses? That money can go towards company improvements or increased pay rates, attracting and retaining better employees.
We often forget just how modern the idea of going to an office or leaving home for work is. If we look back on the history of remote work, we notice that we’ve only been “going to work” in the modern sense for about 200 years. Before the Industrial Revolution, work life and home life were intricately tied.
When we look at The Liturgy of the Hours, we see how intimately family, labor, and prayer were all tied together at one point. Participating in remote work allows the greater possibility of a return to that lifestyle. Yes, it’s a version of that life that fits the modern world, but it still participates in that tradition.
If you’re a Catholic organization, you understand that employees are more than just an equation to be adjusted. Yes, satisfied employees do better work, and you want that, but that’s just the surface level. From a pragmatic standpoint, Catholic organizations often don’t have the budget for competitive salaries. You can make up for what you may not have in monetary compensation with creative benefits like remote work.
Your Catholic Business Values should include contributing to the full flourishing of your employees. Remember that you don’t want your employees to put their entire self-worth or identity into their job, even if that job is ministry or Church-related.
You don’t need to offer the perfect job, but you need to recognize your employees’ human and spiritual needs.
One of the most pro-life things you can do as an employer is give your team the ability to spend time at home. Your employees may have young children or parents they need to take care of. Or at least this will afford them the time to be in community with friends and family during the week.
If your employees can do the same work in a shorter time frame with less stress, they have more freedom to see themselves in relation to things beyond the job. That extra time can go to prayer, service, or just time with the family. Remote work can promote a more well-rounded identity and a healthier, more Catholic relation to work.
Not ready to commit fully to remote Catholic hiring? That’s fair – it’s definitely a change from the status quo. Luckily, there is a middle ground in the form of hybrid work. Not everyone can go fully remote, but most can do some level of remote work. Maybe that’s three days in the office and two days at home, or some other splitting of your employees’ time. However you go about it, a hybrid option is a great way to boost employee morale and retain your hardworking staff.
If you’re looking to go hybrid (or fully remote, for that matter), there will be a learning curve. Plenty of us already went through that learning curve during the first significant transition to remote work in 2020, so it may not be as steep as you think. The best way to go about this if you’re looking to take your Catholic jobs into the remote world is to understand there will be some hiccups. If productivity takes a short-term dip, that’s okay. Work at home productivity statistics should climb once the growing pains are passed.
As a Catholic organization, you have an obligation toward your employees’ emotional and spiritual needs. No, you don’t have to turn everything upside down and take ultimate responsibility for your team’s prayer life. That won’t be healthy. However, it is up to you to reasonably accommodate your team’s spiritual and personal needs. Remote hiring is a prominent way to do just that!
About the Author:
Joe Coleman is a freelance writer, editor, and audio production consultant. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Loyola Marymount University (and actually uses it from time to time). A former fellow at KNOM Catholic Radio in Western Alaska, he got his start as an on-air host, producer, and news writer. Currently, you can find him in Southern California writing about national parks, outdoor gear, and the role of Catholics in the business world.