Work and life throughout  COVID-19 has been a wild roller coaster. Last year, life still seemed to be on hold for the most part, and some aspects are still not back to normal today.


While we all fight to overcome COVID-19 and its long-term effects on work and life, one thing has unquestionably changed for the better: the corporate office.


XA Talent has conducted a small study of it’s talent pool that had 1,700 American respondents to understand better what has changed in office and remote work.


The information we obtained appears to be incredibly beneficial for recruiters, HR professionals, and their employers.


Remote Working as a New Way of Life


According to the survey conducted by XA Talent, 84% of Americans would choose remote work over an in-office job. This was a significant change from the past, before COVID-19, when most people had never worked remotely for even a single day.


Today, people can perform efficiently from any location, so, understandably, they’d prefer to skip the typical commute, office clothing, and a few other challenges that make working in the office less attractive.


What’s interesting is that 67% of poll respondents claimed they would take a pay loss to continue working remotely!


It’s evident that individuals want to keep working from home, and they’re willing to pay for it.


Accommodating With the New Normal


Employees may prefer remote work, but it does not guarantee that their bosses agree. Should they, though? Well, the pandemic has taught us times of change require a change in mindsets. Therefore, it is important to be open for a conversation on whether your employees are better off working remotely or they need to sit in the office full-time.


According to the same survey, 72% of Americans feel that organizations that do not provide remote work will struggle to attract applicants. Many believe that those companies will have to raise salaries to entice people to work in the office.


For recruiting purposes, this is critical information. Employers must explore a hybrid approach or even a remote-first setup to attract top personnel. The hybrid concept of working is gaining more and more head nods from top corporate professionals and is likely to become the new style of working.


While recruiting for remote positions can sometimes be challenging due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, recruiting professionals are becoming more adept at this process with the increased use of technology. And it’s not without reason. Companies that offer remote work provide many more related benefits, and their employees appreciate it. Employers that provide remote work options are inadvertently promising independence, autonomy, and trust.


Before the pandemic, increased adoption of remote or hybrid work by employers was an increasing trend for several years. The Pandemic has forced the world to adapt essentially overnight, or at least within weeks.


By adopting a remote work policy, businesses are gaining an advantage in hiring the best personnel in the country.


Happiness as the Modern Quotient for Success

While offering remote options can greatly support recruitment, we must not forget about the current employees already working for the company. With the awareness around mental health during the pandemic, people have become more concerned about finding happiness especially when it comes to a work-life balance. Remote work flexibility has become a major ingredient of talent acquisition success.


Further, millennials are much more likely to quit their jobs if they are not content. Gone are the days when people were concerned about job security. The modern generation looks for peace of mind while working and not a nagging boss. As a result, they are less likely to stick with a company just for the sake of a stable source of income.


According to the XA Talent employment survey, 76% of Americans believe that they would want sustained remote work flexibility from their current employer to stay at their present company. This is a result of both mental health and physical wellness concerns that most likely apply across the globe, courtesy of the life-altering COVID-19 pandemic.


This is a significant change for HR and direct management who aren’t used to monitoring remote employee culture and working situations. However, the people have spoken: remote options are critical for retaining employees and keeping them satisfied at work.


Other Key Findings

In addition to the facts mentioned above, XA Talent’s poll revealed the following:


  • A large majority of Americans (84%) say that their coworkers and other employees across the country prefer to work remotely rather than at the company office.
  • 67% of Americans would be ready to forego a raise to continue working from home. Some employees even stated that they would take up to a 50% salary reduction to avoid returning to work.
  • If they were forced to return to the office full-time, 22% of Americans would either resign or start looking for remote work right away. 
  • To keep their existing job, 76% of Americans require a sustained remote working arrangement.
  • 45% of Americans would relocate to a new city solely to work in a hybrid work environment.
  • 71% of Americans would forego advanced benefit packages like health insurance, paid time off, retirement funds, and more to keep remote working status.
  • Before returning to their company’s office, 96% of Americans want to see COVID-19 safety practices in place.


The pandemic has made us realize the value of work-life balance more than ever. As a result, more people are inclined to have a remote job or work as freelancers to have more time for themselves, their families, and their hobbies.


The way people work has changed drastically over the past two years, and flexibility has become a new expectation from any employer. As an HR professional, incorporating remote working and flexible work options has become of utmost importance for attracting and retaining employees and keeping them happy.


For employers and HR professionals who are not used to managing employees virtually for long periods, learning to do so is the key to successfully managing operations. This is because the demand for remote working culture, employee flexibility, and the advancements in remote management technology at the workplace is here to stay.

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Aiyaz, VP of Recruitment and Staffing

Aiyaz Uddin

VP, Recruitment and Staffing

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Aiyaz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team by strategically positioning clients to attract, engage, and pipeline the most sought-after talent in information technology utilizing open-source intelligence, talent solutions, and machine learning tools for federal and local government contracting firms, and commercial employers. Aiyaz has a proven track record of success in matching the right talent with the right opportunities, leading to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.


As a leader in the industry, he is constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to improve our services and deliver the best results for our clients and job seekers.

Aiyaz is a certified tech recruitment professional with an MBA in Finance & Marketing along with M.Sc. Psychology. Additionally, his drive to seek new and innovative approaches to talent acquisition led him to speak on LinkedIn Talent Solutions by LinkedIn and HackerEarth’s Tech Recruiting Conference Hire 101.

Under Aiyaz 's leadership, XA Talent has become a trusted partner for companies looking to grow their teams and job seekers looking for their next great opportunity. Aiyaz and our team are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for everyone we work with.


Get in touch with XA Talent today, and let us help you find your next great opportunity.

Peyton Brooks, VP of Workforce Development

Peyton Brooks

VP, Workforce Development

As a firm believer in continuous development and self-improvement, I attained a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Howard University and a Juris Doctor Degree from The George Washington University Law School.


My passion for service to the community drove me towards the workforce development industry, where I have been in active pursuit to change the trajectory of lives and shape communities ever since. With nearly a decade of experience doing so, I have helped thousands of individuals obtain access to more short-term, affordable, and convenient upskill and reskill opportunities across the nation.


Given my vast industry expertise, I provide management consulting services to workforce
development organizations helping them with customized solutions, specialized curricula, strategic partnerships, and employer engagement. My consulting leverages deep technical knowledge as well as strategic and tactical approaches to provide the best solutions with data-driven outcomes. 


My proven experience in building workforce development systems have led me to develop and evangelize best practices for workforce development programs that include the following outcome-based attributes:

– Livable wages and sustainable careers in high-demand industry sectors
– Job placement-focused programs with strong employer partnerships
– Data-driven understanding of regional skills gaps; and
– Comprehensive skills training that includes practical application work experience with career coaching.


My ability to thrive in the workforce development industry is attributed to my strong interpersonal skills, which have enhanced my capabilities to understand what people truly mean to communicate when attempting to express their business challenges. This trait has set me apart from the rest, as I can identify and resolve the root cause of challenges resulting in proper alignment of investment to desired business outcomes.


Therefore, as a leader of cooperative outcome-focused efforts, I would like to connect with
professionals who are interested in collaborating to improve communities and change the trajectory of lives through sustainable career attainment.

Abigail Jpones

Abigail Jones

Chief Marketing Officer

As a CMO passionate about innovative, results-driven marketing strategies, I help companies accelerate tech talent acquisition, enhance executive visibility, and build impactful brands. My entrepreneurial experience, including building startups in London, fuels my work as as a Chief Marketing Officer at XA Talent.

At 𝗫𝗔 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁, my role transcends traditional marketing, designing marketing strategies with talent in mind to strengthen talent pipelines and enhance company reputations. A successful organization begins with its people, and our approach ensures we attract individuals who can best contribute to and thrive within your organizational culture. These strategies are continuously refined in response to technological disruption, ensuring that securing brilliant minds enables your company to grow consistently and achieve its broader goals, furthering your mission to make a meaningful societal impact.

We specialize in tech talent acquisition and executive search while working closely with CEOs and senior leaders to manage their executive branding, which significantly impacts and enhances their employer brand. This collaboration enables them to hire on demand, build influential alliances, and foster advocacy for sustained business growth.

Additionally, I provide 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗠𝗢 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, helping companies develop strategic marketing plans, drive thought leadership to enhance brand visibility. As a speaker, I share insights on entrepreneurship and marketing, aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders. My mission is to merge innovative marketing strategies with recruitment solutions to foster talent development and organizational growth.

When I’m not strategizing, you can find me attending marketing events and exploring new technologies and trends to bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Personally, I have lived in five countries – Malaysia, Australia, Dubai, the UK, and the US.

✈️an avid traveler
📑completed my MBA in London
👩🏽‍🍳love to experiment with new recipes at home
🤸🏽‍♀️absolutely love Pilates to strengthen my mind and body!

If you are interested in learning how to use your voice to build a strong workforce, connect with me and stay updated with my latest insights.

Evan Jones, Founder and CEO

Evan Jones

Founder and CEO

After 20 years of delivering IT management consulting and infrastructure operations & management services to the federal government (XA Systems, LLC https://xasystems.com/) and hiring thousands of employees over the years, Evan and his team have developed a system that scales a company's personnel recruitment with culture-driven candidates who contribute to the success of the business.


As a technology-based business focused on continual process improvement, the methods he and his team have developed have been improved over the years and are centered on employer branding and recruitment marketing that results in a pipeline of engaged candidates ready to be hired on demand. He believes every business can succeed and create an impact if they are willing to take uncomfortable action with the right tools and knowledge. He’s determined to stand in the gap and provide the tools and knowledge businesses need.


To date, he has played a role in the growth and development of more than 30 companies. He has worked behind the scenes of SMBs and massive 8 to 10-figure companies helping them overhaul their processes, reinvent their recruitment marketing strategies, and drive growth, both in net profit and an overall employer reach into job seeker communities.


With a passion for business transformation, Evan has developed his own technology, an enterprise SaaS solution, ServeOptics, that delivers service support performance metrics to IT leaders who need actionable insights to make informed business decisions. The more visibility of operations that exists with real-time performance metrics and automated reporting, the more efficient and effective companies can be in their service support operations, which enables a business to gain a significant competitive advantage in their industry.


Evan is interested in connecting with forward-thinking business professionals who want to collaborate on business opportunities or discuss how his recruitment system can enable a business to attract top-tier candidates, employ on-demand, and retain its best employees.