Workers want flexibility. After COVID, they just might get it: Poll

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(Dominik Bednarz, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • Most people now want a mix of remote and office-based working, a new report says.
  • 75% of workers polled want to retain flexibility over their schedule.
  • The majority of bosses agree.

The typical day at the office might look anything but typical once businesses reopen. Offices could be more open to previously-rare combos of remote and in-person work. According to a survey from global HR and recruitment firm Adecco, such changes are quite alright with both workers – and their bosses.

 

An almost even split

After months at home, Adecco’s research found that workers are ready to get back into the office, but reluctant to abandon their flexibility. Three-quarters of those surveyed favored a hybrid model that split work across the office and the home. The optimal model? A near-even split.

The world is ready for hybrid working.
75% of employees want a mix of office-based and remote working.
Image: Adecco

Managers like these options, too. Most C-level leaders said they believed their business will benefit from increased, routine flexible working. A similar number, though, also stressed the importance of face-to-face meetings.

No more clocking in

The classic 9-to-5 schedule that typified most workdays before the pandemic might be swapped for systems that track results and not time. More than two-thirds of workers want to be judged by the value they create not by the number of hours they work.

The end of the 9-5?
69% of employees believer contracts should be based on results rather than hours worked.
Image: Adecco

It’s no surprise, then, that 75% of workers stressed the importance of retaining flexibility over their schedule post-pandemic.

Again, managers were in alignment. Asked about “revisiting the length of the working week”, 74% of executives were in favor, with a similar number believing it’s important for parents in particular to have flexible work arrangements.

The high EQ leader
74% of employees want their employee to show empathy and a supportive attitude.
Image: Adecco

The research also found an overwhelming desire from workers for a new kind of manager. Empathy and a supportive attitude were cited as important by 74%. However, more than half of managers are likely to need help adapting to that kind of need.

Skills for life

The pandemic meant a new way of working for many, including navigating video conferencing platforms and workflow management apps. Such changes have sparked an appetite for learning.

Universal appetite for mass upskilling
69% of people want more digital upskilling post pandemic
Image: Adecco

Some 60% of workers feel their digital skills have improved as a direct result of remote working. They’re keen to keep improving, too.

As businesses reopen, managers will need to tune into such changing needs. Finding learning and development opportunities are among the most common reasons people look for a new role. Additionally, leaders will need to ensure their teams are proficient in digital tools and skills needed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to transform the workplace. Businesses that can adapt and upskill their willing staff will be well-placed for success.

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