Mental health, flexibility, and a work-life balance are at the top of the minds of employees as they contemplate their future in a post-pandemic world. A report by McKinsey affirms this view and highlights that most employees would seek a work from home option for three days a week. The report also reveals that 25% of employees would consider switching jobs if their organization returned to a full on-site working model.
World over, organizations are re-thinking their working arrangements and policies as most of the world is still grappling with the pandemic. Traditional work practices have been cast astray in favour of hybrid work models and remote work. According to the McKinsey & Company report, employees want to see firms place a greater focus on flexibility, competitive remuneration, and well-being after the epidemic is over. They also voiced fears that their desires and requirements would differ from those of their employers.
Source: McKinsey & Company
Based on insights, let’s take a closer look at what the employee expectations are for a post-pandemic world.
Focus on a work-life balance
More than half of employees prefer more flexible, hybrid virtual-working arrangements, in which people work on-site and remotely at different times. Since technologies like the cloud, automation, and AI among others are increasingly being leveraged by organizations, a hybrid work environment makes sense for employers as well.
A survey by Flexjobs highlights that 95% of the people had higher productivity from prior to the pandemic. These numbers make sense as a hybrid workplace can enable a stronger work-life balance when done right. It can help prioritize your employee’s well-being while also unlocking higher productivity. To do so requires re-working the company’s processes to meet employee expectations. It also delineates into a more holistic approach towards business problems as employees have the tools and flexibility to innovate, create, and work together better than ever before.
Greater flexibility and inclusion
Data by McKinsey depicts that most employees want to work from home for three days a week. More than a quarter stated that if their conditions were not met then they were willing to switch jobs. Work from home and remote working are becoming in-demand perks for prospective employees seeking new employment, and this attraction is not just due to advancements in technology and facilities but also the flexibility offered.
Organizations that offer the flexibility to work remotely can also hire top talent across geographies. It can foster more inclusion and diversity. According to a study, diversity and inclusion strategies are essential and beneficial for 61% percent of employees. Sans geographical barriers, with remote-work, location bias, and relocation costs can be removed altogether.
According to research by Adobe, diversity in advertising is essential to 61 percent of Americans, and 38 percent of customers are more likely to trust firms that do a good job of portraying diversity in their commercials. This is not only the case in the US as world-over, but customers are also depicting an increasing preference for brands that are diverse and inclusive.
A focus on mental health
Employee mental health is now a major issue for many employees, according to a poll conducted by Arizona State University, the World Economic Forum, and the Rockefeller Foundation, with more than three-quarters of respondents indicating it is.
According to McKinsey, the use of available organization resources towards mental health has increased according to half the employers surveyed. Long working hours, increased feelings of isolation and looming uncertainty have contributed towards increased feelings of anxiety among other mental health challenges.
The road ahead
Business owners would have to take a holistic approach towards building a sustainable business in the future. Focussing on employee well-being and giving them clarity about policies pertaining to remote and hybrid work shall play a critical role in retaining and attracting talent.