The Shift to Flexible Working in IT and Engineering | Modis US

Beyond the Pandemic: The Call for Flexibility in the Workplace

Modis Posted 16 July 2020

Over the last six months we've seen partial or full workplace closures affect the majority of the world's workforce.

The Adecco Group conducted a study of 1000 office-based employees, managers and C-suite executives (aged 18-60) across the US to better understand the evolving world of work. Keep reading to learn about their findings and how the pandemic has reshaped how we work and what the world of work will like post pandemic.

If you work (or plan to work) in the IT and Engineering industry, it's safe to say your perspective on work and the workplace may have shifted. After all:

  • During the pandemic, survey responders on average were spending 93% of their work week at home, up from 6% pre-pandemic.
  • 50% stated their work-life balance improved during the pandemic
  • 36% believe their productivity increased during the pandemic

And all that suggests is that many factors are in place that will drive the shift to remote work for some time to come. But what will the 'workplace' look like post-Covid-19?

female working in office

Hybrid Working is Here to Stay

Hybrid working - a combination of fully-remote, partially-remote and office-based employees - allows people to work how, when, and where they work best.

Some employers who were hesitant to adopt this model of work were forced to experiment with it because of the pandemic. Although it's too early to be sure, it certainly looks as if hybrid working is here to stay. According to the survey results, 83% of employees now want more flexibility in how and where they work.

Although the pandemic has required many employees to work remote full-time, the study concluded that 76% of employees want the option to work remote or from the office, with 7 out of 10 (71%) of respondents stating that working remotely more than they did before the pandemic is important to their working life post-pandemic.

As we emerge from the pandemic, employees are expecting to see some form of hybrid work become part of the “new normal.” Despite challenges, 82% of US respondents feel employees will benefit from having increased flexibility around office and remote working and 72% say increased flexibility in working patterns will make jobs in their profession accessible to more people compared to before the pandemic.

Are We Witnessing the End of the 9-5 Workday?

With employees calling for more flexibility in work arrangements are we moving towards the end of 9-5 workday?

Perhaps.

73% of survey respondents in the US believe it's time to revisit the length of the working week and 75% believe contracts should be based on meeting business needs, not the number of hours worked. This suggests tracking results -- not hours -- may be the most effective way to measure productivity in a post-pandemic workforce. Evidence also suggests shorter work days and flexibility in work arrangements leads to happier, more productive employees.

Other signs the 9-5 work schedule is on the decline?

  • 83% say more flexibility in how and where they can work is important in the post-pandemic work era
  • 68% say the pandemic has demonstrated set-hours contracts are no longer relevant to modern ways of working and 73% say employers should revisit the length of the working week and the hours employees are expected to work
  • 34% stated their mental wellbeing improved during the pandemic

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19: Looking Ahead in the IT and Engineering Industries

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced engineering firms to accelerate their adoption of hybrid work and geographically dispersed teams. Suddenly, remote work is a business continuity requirement, and signs indicate this "new normal" will be with us for some time.

In fact, according to a recent American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) survey, 8 out of 10 engineers expect a change in operations because of the pandemic.

The challenge for employers lies in figuring out how to adapt and survive in a post-pandemic world.

After all, employees seem to be handling the shift with a Professional Engineering survey finding 18% of respondents report no impact on their efficiency while working at home, with a similar percentage reporting no negative impact on their ability to execute technical engineering tasks.

Gerald (Jerry) Buckwalter, chief operating and strategy officer for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) agrees, noting, "People adapted very quickly to different methods of working and communicating."

The road ahead

Employers have an opportunity to shape the world of work post-coronavirus.

Joe O'Halloran, of Computer Weekly, notes "a study finds that despite challenges, mass remote working due to Covid-19 has been a net benefit on both sides of the Atlantic, suggesting companies should maintain some degree of flexible working."

At Modis, we feel that not only should companies maintain flexible working, they should also look for ways to support employees during this time of transition.

Contact us today to learn more about how Modis can assist you in resetting the normal in your workplace

Contact us today.

Our global experts are ready to help your business. Get in touch with one of our representatives today.

Send message