The world of telecommuting. A little over a year after the pandemic changed the way of working forever, it is still a challenge for organizations to understand how attitudes have changed and the implications that they manage to adapt in the transition period.
It is imperative, then, to discover new perspectives and insights into what the future world of work can and should be like.
For that purpose, The Adecco Group published the results and trends of its study “Resetting Normal 2021: Defining the New Era of Work”, which was conducted between May 13 and June 4, 2021, to more than 14,800 respondents from 25 countries who answered a 15-minute online survey in their local languages.
From the research, five key themes have emerged as the most relevant for organizations to consider in the next normal stage.
1. THE HYBRID WORK
The trend that work is universally hybrid is confirmed, but what are the consequences for companies? While this trend has promoted equal opportunity – remote work is believed to help parents, people with disabilities, and people of diverse backgrounds access opportunities and keep jobs – globally, 53% of workers want a hybrid work model where more than half of their time is working remotely.
In turn, parents and younger generations want more time in the office than they do remote work; however, they want to get back to the office on their own terms: they want a place to connect and escape.
Under this scenario, companies must focus on wellness, reconnecting leaders and workers, and embrace the “One size does not fit all” by addressing the needs of employees.
Thus, the challenge for organizations and their leaders is to capitalize on this and build adequate structures, technologies and resources to ensure that this new way of working is future-proof, looking beyond the location of its employees, striking an appropriate balance between the office and remote control for all your employees.
2. THE NEW WORK WEEK
Flexibility is the expected new standard and workers are asking for a shorter workweek. Productivity has passed the test and many things have improved for workers over the past year, notably their digital skills, their abilities to take care of others, and work-life balance.
Workers do not want to give up earned flexibility, more than three-quarters want to maintain flexibility over their own hours and ask for a shorter workweek with a 14% increase in hours in the last year.
According to the study, more than half of workers say they could do the same job in less than 40 hours and that more workers want to move from hours to a results-based culture; however, companies and leaders struggle with results-based performance management.
Only 36% of non-managers feel that their managers are evaluating their performance based on results, the report notes.
It is imperative then to measure the performance of employees based on their activity. Companies should provide support and guidance on how managers can evaluate performance based on results rather than hours worked.
With only 36% of non-managers being measured based on their results, performance management appears as a clear opportunity for improvement for leaders and companies.
3. BURNING AS THE NEXT WORKER PANDEMIC
The well-being and general mental health of people are a problem that does not discriminate age or gender. Burnout is a key concern that half of leaders struggle to identify in their workers.
According to the study, 67% of those who are not managers say that leaders do not meet their expectations of monitoring their mental well-being. For 4 in 10 workers, burnout has been a major concern throughout the workforce, and for more than half of young leaders it has been a cause of discomfort.
Businesses are expected to share the responsibility for supporting well-being: Workers want companies and leaders to focus more on supporting their well-being.
It is therefore recommended that companies should reevaluate how they can better support and provide wellness resources to their employees within the new hybrid work model. Building well-being-friendly work environments, cultures, and skill sets from top to bottom will be key in the next normal stage.
4. LEADERS MUST RECONNECT
At a time when we are connected all the time, the workforce has never felt more disconnected. Satisfaction with leadership is low at a non-managerial level and employee relations. Motivation together with the sense of the team and the culture of the company have deteriorated in the last year.
According to the study, managers are falling short when it comes to establishing a good culture and those in non-managerial positions feel the impact. Leaders don’t see the problem: There is a large disconnect between management’s views of its own performance and the views of its employees.
Thus, with motivation, relationships, a sense of recognition and a sense of team and worker culture deteriorating, leaders hold the key to reconnecting people with the purpose of the company, helping them feel that they belong. and by providing development and career opportunities that can motivate them.
That is why leaders should be endowed with skills, coaching, resources and technology to help them listen and better managing their teams, increasing and fostering motivation and a strong team morale and culture is a priority for companies in the new hybrid work model.
5. THE GREAT JOB RE-EVALUATION
There’s not much resignation on the horizon, but there are warning signs for companies as people re-evaluate what work means to them.
With low motivation and commitment, nearly 2 in 5 respondents are considering switching to a job with more flexible options, a quarter of the workforce is considering moving to another country or region.
At the same time, two-thirds of workers are confident that companies will restart meaningful hiring and less than half are satisfied with the career prospects at their company.
Under this scenario, it appears that career reevaluation will converge with career opportunity.
Thus, safety, culture, well-being and development are the most important for people in the future. Eight out of ten workers want to be able to maintain a good balance between work and personal life, which leads to the following normality being egalitarian: Women and men are re-evaluating their careers alike and have similar priorities for their future careers.
During the last 12 months, people have become more autonomous, agile, adaptable and proactive, taking responsibility for acquiring new skills. Many of them are ready for change and seek professional development, mobility opportunities, or upgrade and retraining in the following chapters.
Companies must use this momentum to reevaluate their talent and put those new skills to use. Not only will it prepare the organization for the future, but it can also help people rediscover themselves and reconnect with their purpose.
(With information from Agencia Andina)