Signature Source Blog

The New Office Definition in 2023

New office 2023


In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sent nearly 19 million American employees home to work remotely (a new office), permanently changing the national professional landscape. In an effectively post-pandemic world, American companies are discovering the new normal and deciding what should stay and what must go. Dr. Ina Purvanova—chair of the Department of Management and Organizational Leadership at Drake University—has been researching how businesses navigate these questions. On the All Things Work podcast from the Society for Human Resource Management, on the All Things Work podcast from the Society for Human Resource Management, she shared her findings.


Dr. Purvanova’s first takeaway is that employees’ heightened expectations of flexibility in the workplace are likely to stay, and she lays out four reasons. First, the data shows that remote work and telecommuting have not been detrimental to the productivity, performance, team cohesion, or employee job satisfaction experienced by businesses. This trend held true even in data collected on these practices before the pandemic.

Second, even before the pandemic, the American workforce reported much higher levels of burnout than many other countries. However, these same employees were forced to work from home during the pandemic; they often discovered that this new work modality helped relieve these feelings of burnout and was better for their well-being and mental health.

Third, working from home allows people to put their families first in a way that American society often purports to do but fails to live up to. During this period, people were for once able to see their spouses who were also stuck working from home, and they were able to care for and entertain their children while staying home from school and daycare. As a result, Dr. Purvanova explains, “A lot of people realized that to a degree, we perhaps collectively as a society have been living some sort of a lie, telling ourselves that family comes first, but working, working, working until we drop.”

Finally, employees want the flexibility to stay—even if they prefer to work a nine-to-five office job as they did before the pandemic. Employees are placing a premium on autonomy and the ability to make decisions based on their needs and desires. Therefore, even people who prefer a traditional work environment like having the option to choose for themselves. As Dr. Purvanova puts it, “This opportunity to self-determine how I work, when I work, where I work, how I integrate my personal life into my work life, my family life into my work life—that sense of freedom that this new work modality gives us is extremely, extremely powerful.”

The Negatives of the New Office

There are valid reasons to feel something is lost in the shift to remote or hybrid work. While team cohesion has not suffered, employees and executives report feeling more disconnected from the organization. The expert added that employees new to the company are negatively impacted as they struggle to integrate into the organization, and their direct supervisors fail to meet their needs and show them the ropes. So, while other popular reasons for reluctance around remote work—such as an unwillingness to change, mistrust of employees’ ability to be productive, or a belief that innovation is impossible virtually—are unsupported, some reasons are indeed caused for concern.

Employers must set clear expectations for employees and their teams to manage these contradictory forces. Per Dr. Purvanova’s conversations, most employees are unwilling to give up some of the freedoms they experienced during the pandemic for the company’s greater good. Additionally, many find that a free-for-all organizational structure is counterproductive; when every employee can make any decision they want with no expectations set for how to accommodate the group, coordinating and working together becomes an uphill battle.

Employers who set reasonable limits on employee decisions (such as by specifying certain in-office days so that teams can collaborate more efficiently or by guiding employees to respond to teammates’ requests to come into the office respectfully and accommodatingly) are likely to find more success in navigating this transition to the new status quo.

How to Build the New Status Quo

Part of building this new status quo is creating a culture that the employees buy into and that culture emerges through employee autonomy. While many leaders believe that giving employees too much freedom establishes a culture of individuality which leads employees not to feel connected to their organization, the truth is that building a culture around respect for the employees’ needs allows employees to feel ownership of the culture. In addition, making sure that people feel heard and like they have the agency to help build the culture instead of just signing onto it creates resilience and buy-in within the organization.

Considering all of these factors is tricky and means that the question of what the new office will look like in 2023 is still in flux, and every company is finding its answer. If you want help finding the right cultural fit, don’t worry—Signature Source is here to help! With a combined experience of over 60 years in the industry, our expert team of relocation industry veterans ensures an unparalleled advantage in pairing the right talent with the right job at the right company. Search through the list of openings we are recruiting for on behalf of our clients to find your new career path, or contact us directly if you want to know more.
We look forward to hearing from you!


How to Take Control of Your Career: Tips from the Signature Source Team

how to take control of your career

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing job market, taking control of your career and proactively managing your professional development is more critical than ever. But where do you start? The Signature Source team offers valuable tips for taking charge of your career path.

Build Your Skills and Knowledge:

One key piece of advice is to focus on building your skills and knowledge. This can be done through formal education, on-the-job training, or even self-study. The key is to learn and grow continuously so that you are always in demand and able to adapt to new opportunities.

Some ways to build your skills to keep your career on track are formal education, on-the-job training, self-study, mentorship, and volunteer work.

Build a Strong Professional Network:

Another critical aspect of career management is networking. Building a strong professional network can open doors to new job opportunities, provide valuable advice and support, and help you stay informed about industry trends and developments.

Networking can take many forms, from attending industry events and joining professional organizations to connecting with colleagues and alumni on LinkedIn.

Set Clear Goals for Your Career:

The best advice for taking control of your career is to set clear goals. This includes short-term goals, such as getting a promotion or landing a new job, and long-term goals, such as building a successful career in a specific industry or becoming an expert in a particular field. Setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated and provide a roadmap for your career development.

Be Open to New Opportunities

Often, the best opportunities come from unexpected places. Being open to new opportunities is important to taking control of your career. It allows you to explore different paths and take advantage of opportunities that may have been outside your original plan. Here are some ways to be open to new opportunities:

  • Keep an open mind: Be willing to consider different job titles, industries, or locations. Sometimes the best opportunities come from unexpected places.
  • Be proactive: Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Seek new opportunities by researching companies and contacting recruiters like Signature Source.
  • Be flexible: Be open to making changes, whether taking on a new role or relocating to a new city. Sometimes a change can lead to new opportunities and growth.

It’s important to remember that being open to new opportunities doesn’t mean you should be reckless or make impulsive decisions. Still, it does mean being willing to explore new options and being flexible. Being open to new opportunities can lead to unexpected job offers, new career paths, or a better work-life balance.

A career is a journey with its ups and downs, and it’s essential to roll with the punches and stay motivated, even when things don’t go as planned.

Taking control of your career requires a proactive approach that involves building your skills, networking, setting goals, being open to new opportunities, and having resilience. Don’t hesitate to contact the Signature Source team if you have more questions or need further assistance.


Building Your Career in a Time of Uncertainty

Building your career in times of uncertainty

The economy is moving in many directions at once. On the one hand, unemployment is at a staggeringly low 3.7% as businesses have bounced back from the pandemic. Moreover, many employees have newfound flexibility and satisfaction as remote work increasingly looks like it’s here to stay in some capacity.

Then on the other hand, inflation is at its highest point in decades, and many industries—including many marquee tech companies—are laying off people in droves. You are not alone if you are unsure how to build your career in such a volatile environment. Luckily, as an executive-level employee, you are navigating this tricky situation from a position of strength and leverage. Let’s take a look at the good and bad of building your career in a time of such uncertainty.

The Good

If your company or sector thrives, you may be exposed to more opportunities and responsibilities than before. The ongoing conversation about professional ambition and hustle culture has left many wondering if it is possible to grow your career without sacrificing the rest of your life. Is it possible to have it all?

Columnist Callum Borchers on the As We Work podcast from the Wall Street Journal suggests, “A recurring theme that comes up in my own conversations with workers… is this idea of trying to have it all, but not necessarily all at the same time.” Take a longer view of your career. There may be periods where you spend long hours at the office and sacrifice an active social life in exchange for pushing your company and career to new heights and doing fulfilling work. There may also be different periods where family and friends are your priority, and your job is just a job. What’s important is knowing your priorities and deciding what you are willing to sacrifice for those priorities.

Even when we are putting work first, rest is important. Columnist Rachel Feintzeig—also on the As We Work podcast—says, “Oftentimes we do better when we do less. Much research shows that a smaller chunk of really focused time, followed by downtime, is a smart way to work.” As an executive and leader in the workplace, you may feel a responsibility to work tirelessly to guide others but keep in mind that rest and balance is an essential part of productivity, and your employees will follow your model.

The Bad

The tech sector, construction, auto, and real estate have all seen large-scale layoffs. Although executive-level positions are often insulated from the most severe consequences of economic uncertainty (such as company-wide layoffs), it is still worth making sure you are prepared for the possibility, so you are not blindsided.

First and foremost, make sure you prepare financially by accumulating some savings so that you can weather a layoff in the unfortunate circumstance that it happens. This is always good advice but is especially appropriate during uncertain times.

Second, focus on proactively networking, both internally within your company and externally. As an executive, you have an uncharacteristic level of access to high-level employees in both your own company and others. This access can allow you to gauge the likelihood of layoffs before they happen or the possibility of even better job opportunities elsewhere with companies who are actively recruiting executives. In fact, these opportunities are worth considering even if layoffs are not imminent.

Networking to Build Your Career

While networking externally and sharing your credentials and experience with recruiters, think broadly about how you can communicate your skills. Your leadership experience and soft skills can carry lots of weight even in a job move between sectors if framed correctly. The key is to cut through the jargon to share in simple terms what problems you have solved and how those solutions benefited your company.

Finally, it’s also worth considering that even if you don’t personally experience a layoff, people you work closely with may be let go. It’s important to recognize the aftermath as the mourning period. While it’s important to do the best work you can while the company is struggling so that you aren’t next if you find yourself distracted and unable to work for some time, that is entirely normal and human, and allowing yourself the space to deal with those emotions will help you keep your bearings and not burn out.

The Best

If you are still feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry—Signature Source is here to help! We have over 17 years of dedicated focus and results of recruiting for top talent in the global mobility industry. Our expert team of relocation industry veterans ensures an unparalleled advantage in pairing the right talent with the right job at the right company. Search through the list of openings we are recruiting for on behalf of our clients to enhance your career, or contact us directly.  We look forward to hearing from you!


The Benefits of Unusual Interview Questions 

unusual interview questions


You’re sitting across from an interviewer, prepared to ace every question they throw at you. You’ve practiced answers to questions like, “What are your biggest weaknesses?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Instead, the interviewer leans forwards and asks, “If you were a beverage, what would be your defining characteristics?”

Reasons For Unusual Interview Questions

While this question may seem off the wall, more hiring managers are turning to unusual interview questions to determine if someone will be a good fit for their team. These interview questions, also known as “bank-shot questions,” make it easier to take a peek at what makes people tick, and it’s harder for someone to come up with a “right” answer.

Bob Brennan, who was the CEO of the data storage company, Iron Mountain, said that he likes to ask interviewees about their parents because it shows whether they can be vulnerable. He will say something like, “What are the qualities you like the best in your parents? What about the least?” He said:

“The body language changes when you ask those questions, and people have to make a decision. ‘Am I going to open up to this guy?’ Because it’s clear to them that I’m not going to go down a path of asking them why they chose [my company]. I don’t much care. I want to know what makes you go. And how willing are you to tell me that?”

Clara Lippert Glenn, the former CEO of the energy-industry training company Oxford Princeton Programme, said her all-time favorite interview question to ask is, “If you woke up tomorrow morning, and there were no humans left on the earth—just animals—what kind of animal are you?” Sometimes she’ll push it further by asking why they chose that animal. 

Purpose of Unusual Interview Questions

Even though bank-shot questions may seem a little weird, they ultimately serve the same purpose as any other interview questions. They help determine if a job candidate will be a good fit for the company and the team. 

Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, likes to ask, “What are you doing when you feel most beautiful?” It might not seem like a relevant question, especially for a job that isn’t in the beauty industry, but looking more closely, the question can reveal a lot. Novogratz said:

“If people are honest with themselves, they know what I’m talking about. What are you doing when you are shining, when you’re in the zone when you’re on fire?”

In other words, the answer that you give should closely align with what they would be doing at the new job. Whether you’re looking for a new job or are hiring for a position at your company, bank-shot questions are something that should always be at the forefront of your mind. 

Have questions about how to approach these more unique interview questions, we have a full interview guide by clicking here.  Wondering about the current state of the job market – we have full consulting services to help. Learn more about us on our website or feel free to contact us here

Why Boomerang Employees Are Important To Your Organization

Boomerang Employees are important to your company


People can come and go from a company, but some return to the place they used to work at. How is this possible and what are the logistics like? Returning employees, also known as “boomerang employees,” are beneficial to organizations and are an integral part of the workforce, especially in an age of labor shortages. Below are some tips on how to make it easier and more compelling for boomerang employees to return.

Normalize Leaving and Be Explicit About Returning

Some companies treat employees that leave as a personal betrayal but this is the last thing that should be done. Jen Andrasko, vice president and global head of alumni at Bain & Company, said that they think of employees as part of their ecosystem. She said: 

“You need to be talking about your alumni and their successes and the work that they’re doing out in the world when you are meeting with recruits because they are your talent brand in the marketplace.”

Talking openly about former employees and what other career plans are in the works normalizes leaving a company. Similarly, be explicit that the door is always open if an employee wants to return. Andrasko, who is a boomerang employee herself, said that when she first left, her boss told her that she’d be missed but if she wanted to return, she could. 

Create a Good Offboarding Process

Creating a positive offboarding process is another way to create a boomerang employee or attract future employees. According to Gallup, workers who have a positive offboarding experience are 2.9 times more likely to recommend the company to others, and they are likely to come back in the future. 

Bain & Company provides departing employees with resources to support their individual career goals and connect them to alumni in their fields of interest. Andrasko says that by going the extra step to make these people feel supported, they are five times more likely to promote the organization.

Start Or Promote An Alumni Program 

If your company does not have an alumni program then it’s time to start thinking about starting one! These programs are the perfect opportunity to promote your brand and cultivate talent. By encouraging former employees to join their alumni program, your organization is maintaining an ongoing relationship that could create boomerang employees.

Alumni programs let former employees stay in touch with what’s going on with the company (LinkedIn newsletters, monthly emails, etc.), which in turn can pique their interest again if they see something relevant to their career goals.

Stay In Touch 

Lastly, let departing employees know that you want to stay in touch and exchange contact information such as email or phone numbers. This is an easy way to touch base and see what the other is up to. 

When there’s someone at a company that’s in regular contact with a departed employee, they are more likely to come to mind when new career opportunities arise. 

If you have questions about boomerang employees or just need more information about the current state of the job market, Signature Source is your go-to resource for all things about job hunting and job hiring. Learn more on our website or feel free to contact us here

  • National Association Executive Recruiters
  • National Association Personnel Services
  • Foreign for Expatriate Management
  • Society for Human Resources Management
  • Worldwide ERC
  • Women Business Enterprise National Council
  • Southeast Regional Relocation Council
  • Chicago Relocation Council
  • North Texas Relocation Professionals
  • Houston Relocation Professionals
  • Tennessee Relocation Council
  • Midwest Relocation Council
  • Metro Atlanta Relocation Council