2022 New Jersey Women Business Leaders Forum Register

Business leaders need to evolve with new hybrid workplaces to remain competitive, but there are also the longer-term consequences of remote work to consider, NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka said on a recent broadcast of “Lessons in Leadership with Steve Adubato.”

“Anyone who has the opportunity to work remote is demanding it, commanding it,” Siekerka said, adding that employees “hold all the cards right now” during the current labor shortage.

“As I say to my business leaders all the time if you’re not leaning in, if you’re not reimagining and reinventing your business model, you’re going to be left behind because you’re not going to attract the best and brightest,” Siekerka said.

However, Siekerka and Delta Dental of NJ President & CEO Dennis Wilson, agreed that while an individual business will benefit from being able to hire highly qualified professionals from other states, or even other countries, to fill vacant positions, there are also long-term consequences to communities and the state’s workforce development efforts.

“That’s the secondary impact – every job has a multiple of three jobs in your community,” Siekerka said. There are also longer-term consequences for the entire state, she said.

“Remote work is a plus and a minus for the state of New Jersey,” Siekerka said.  “The minus is we pride ourselves on our local workforce and that attracts other businesses to come here. If I start recruiting from overseas, or even across the country, that’s going to affect our competitiveness and we need to keep our eye on that.”

When a New Jersey company hires employees who are working remotely from North Carolina or Colorado, those employees are not buying homes in New Jersey, or eating at local restaurants in the New Jersey community where the employer’s office is located, they said.

“That’s the secondary impact – every job has a multiple of three jobs in your community,” Siekerka said. There are also longer-term consequences for the entire state, she said.

“Remote work is a plus and a minus for the state of New Jersey,” Siekerka said.  “The minus is we pride ourselves on our local workforce and that attracts other businesses to come here. If I start recruiting from overseas, or even across the country, that’s going to affect our competitiveness and we need to keep our eye on that.”