Western New York employers consider permanent work from home policy

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Posted at 2:00 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 12:23:59-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — “It’s been since before the pandemic,” said KeyBank Spokesman, Matthew Pitts of the company’s employee work flexibility.

It’s somewhat rare in the local job market. KeyBank is one of the few companies to offer a hybrid working model for some positions pre-pandemic. “We keep the lines of communication open,” Pitts said. “We did what works best for our employees, for KeyBank and for our clients.”

Companies like M&T Bank, for example, are among those who began offering a hybrid work model when the pandemic hit. That work from home flexibility for some positions appears to be a selling point as the company looks to attract new talent.

“As we’re sourcing different candidates for our different openings, they definitely want that opportunity to have flexibility in their work. So, I definitely think it’s going to be a perk that most companies are going to have to look at providing, as well,” said M&T Bank Talent Acquisition Director, Cindy Warkentin.

Warkentin said returning to the office remains voluntary for M&T employees. They are considering a permanent hybrid structure moving forward.

Tony Ogorek is Founder and President of Ogorek Wealth Management, LLC. He said he’s not surprised to see major employers considering more work flexibility for its employees. “We’ve had sort of an outmoded approach to work and that was we measured work by the time that I could imprison you.”

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is another employer that appears to be shifting to a hybrid work model for some positions. A rep for the company said 95 percent of the workforce remains remote. It plans to finalize work options in September. “At that time, we will see a more flexible work policy with many of our employees working in hybrid work models for the first time in our company’s history,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement.