Over the last few months, work as we know it has drastically changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whether it’s the physical location where employees work, the challenges these workers are overcoming to meet demands, or the attitudes workers now have, one thing is certain: “Normal” is now a term that describes the past.
Workers and leaders are calling for permanent changes in how and where we work, and workplace relationships and future skills are now in jeopardy.
The Adecco Group has recently published a really interesting report called “Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work”, in which they’ve examined the expected short and long-term impact of the pandemic on resetting workplace norms.
We’ve collated some of the key findings here!
Hybrid Work Model Will Emerge
The working world is ready for a new “hybrid” model, with three-quarters (74%) of workers saying a mix of office-based and remote working is the best way forward. The universal idea of spending half (51%) their time in the office and half working remotely (49%) transcends geographies, generations, and parental status.
Company executives also agree, with almost 8 in 10 (77%) C-suite leaders saying businesses will benefit from increased flexibility.
Another stark finding could signal the end of the hours-based contract and 40-hour week. More than two-thirds (69%) of workers are in favor of “results-driven work,” whereby contracts are based on delivering against business needs rather than working a set number of hours.
New Skills Will Emerge
The pandemic has also demanded a new set of leadership competencies, and these expectations are projected to accelerate reinvention of the modern-day leader. Emotional intelligence has clearly emerged as the defining trait of today’s successful manager, but the soft skills gap is evident.
28% of respondents say their mental well-being has worsened due to the pandemic, with only 1 in 10 rating their managers highly on their ability to support their emotional health.
In a similar nature to flexible working, the findings demonstrate a universal appetite for mass upskilling. Six in 10 say their digital skills have improved during the lockdown, while 69% are looking for further digital upskilling in the post-pandemic era.
A broad range of skills development was identified as important by the workforce, including:
- Managing staff remotely (65%),
- Soft skills (63%), and
- Creative thinking (55%).
Well, it really looks like the world of work will never return to the ‘normal’ we knew before the pandemic struck, and in addition to these new skills, there’s something else that is vital for success: trust.
Learn How Beem Helps Global Organisations Approach the New Normal
Freedom and Culture (with a framework)
As we enter into a more settled phase for the workplace, once companies financially stabilise and new (or hybrid) normal embed fully into behaviour. We predict a gradual shift toward employee independence across digitally-enabled sectors. With a new orientation toward goals and less so from tasks. Technologies like Beem will continue to be able to provide a digital connection to the workplace and enable teams to check-in and monitor their days with far more flexibility.
Many companies still work on time commitment optics, though with a sharp shift toward remote working and many organisations going in on full support to all that this entails (babysitting, lifestyle preferences etc) it may soon become an outmoded vector in determining productivity. We see agile and goal-setting structures slowly emerging into the workplace enabling employees to snack or blitz their responsibilities with more autonomy. The organisations which embrace this will likely buttress this new framework with cultures which support experimentation, creativity and a love of employee technologies
Trust Is Crucial for Success
Sustaining trust in the new working world is vital.
According to other research released by Zenefits earlier this year, one in five employees do not trust their HR teams, and over 30% say they avoid going to HR at all for problems. Yet, companies have risen to the challenge of supporting their people during the crisis, and as a result, trust in corporations has increased.
In fact, 88% say their employer met or exceeded their expectations in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic. And with this increased trust comes increased expectations. While the future of work is a collective responsibility, 80% of employees believe their employer is responsible for ensuring a better working world post-COVID and resetting norms, compared with 73% who say the government is responsible, 72% who agree it is an individual responsibility, and 63% who believe it is in the hands of labor unions.
As many countries emerge from the acute crisis phase of the pandemic, employers have an opportunity to ‘hit reset’ on traditional workplace practices, many of which have remained largely unchanged since the industrial revolution. Employee attitudes have shifted during the past few months, and gaps between workforce expectations and entrenched labour market processes have been exposed.
As we step into the new era of work, now is the time to establish better norms that will enable a holistically healthy, productive, and inclusive workforce into the future!