- As the business world continues to recover amid the coronavirus pandemic, one thing is clear: employees are expecting the workplace to change considerably. Workers are hoping for more autonomy, on-demand learning and a greater emphasis on well-being in the "Next Normal," according to a survey of 8,000 workers in eight countries by ManpowerGroup.
- Currently workers' top priority is keeping their job, a finding which holds true around the world. When the data is broken down by segment, IT workers were the only ones that did not have keeping their job as the top priority. Among all full-time employees in the survey, 48% expect improved work-life balance.
- Men and women have differing opinions on returning to the office. Almost half (46%) of men felt positive about returning while 35% of women felt the same way. The survey also found that 1 in 3 workers don't trust their employer to make the right decision about their health.
The workplace has shifted considerably since the outbreak prompted shutdown orders in March. During this time, employers, their HR teams and employees alike have wondered which, if any, changes will stay whenever the pandemic subsides and the business world resumes "normal" operations. The presenters at a recent employment conference outlined telework, expanded leave and workplace safety as three workplace changes that are likely to remain.
One recurrent theme regarding the future of work is flexibility, including remote work, windowed scheduling and other arrangements. Job postings for remote openings have tripled on LinkedIn since March and approximately 83% of respondents in a recent Mercer survey said their companies are considering implementing flexible work at a greater scale.
Flexibility is also helpful for accommodating working parents, who have been particularly strained by the pandemic. Accommodating caregivers is not only a matter of engagement, but of gender equality; research has found that women are having tougher experiences during the pandemic than men, in large part due to the burdens of child care.
The labor market's instability has also lowered employee expectations significantly. In addition to ManpowerGroup's finding that employees' primary concern is keeping their jobs, expectations for pay growth are down according to a recent Randstad survey. The staffing firm's survey also found that workers are less likely to be considering other job opportunities at this time.