The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we work forever. But how will this challenge companies in the future? The Adecco Group and Modis revealed their latest global research about the New Era of Work in a virtual roundtable and invited experts for an open discussion about key insights.
Hybrid working is now the new normal. But a growing demand by workers and leaders for continued changes to where we work, and how teams work and collaborate together, is set to challenge companies in the future. Developing and equipping our leaders and workers with the skills and capabilities they need to build cohesive company cultures will be key to maintaining a successful, resilient and healthy workforce.
Following the unveiling of Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work, The Adecco Group’s latest modis.com and most comprehensive global study, covering over 25 countries and 15,000 office-based respondents, experts from L’Oreal and Google held a virtual roundtable on 2 September hosted by The Adecco Group and Modis to discuss this new reality
The trend to hybrid working is not a blip
“Hybrid working is the new normal” opened Alain Dehaze, CEO at The Adecco Group, highlighting The Adecco Group’s new research showing that a combination of remote and in office working is here to stay and something to which companies must adapt. A large proportion (53%) of workers now want at least half of their working time to be remote and more than three quarters of workers want the flexibility to dictate going back to the office on their own terms. The last 18 months has also proved that the model of remote work does not come with loss of productivity. A more inclusive and flexible way of working is here and possible.
Support for wellbeing is essential
But not everyone has had a positive experience of hybrid working. Jean-Claude Le Grand, Executive Vice-president, Human Relations at L’Oreal raised his concern about fairness for all employees during this period of change, especially the significant numbers in his company who are unable to work remotely. The roundtable also revealed remote workers’ concern about the increase in working hours, a higher risk of burnout, declining mental health and wellbeing for many young leaders. This has led to more demand from a large majority of workers and leaders for flexibility on the length of the working week and measurement of productivity in outcomes and results rather than hours spent in front of a computer.
Upskilling crucial to creating thriving company cultures
Training and upskilling programmes for both managers and non-managers was also highlighted as a priority for a successful continuation of the new hybrid work model by the panel. “We know that it is the people who have [already] developed skills in remote working who can make it effective” said Brian Welle, Vice President People Analytics, Performance Management and Job Architecture at Google, supported by Dehaze who has made coaching a key tool for managers at The Adecco Group.
A one size approach does not fit all when meeting employee needs
With this report showing that only a third of non-managers currently agree they are getting due recognition within their business, it is clear that leaders hold the keys to motivating people, rediscovering their strengths and supporting the skills necessary to future-proof the workforce. “Understanding the experiences of employees is very important…and norms of communication need to be made explicit when we’re all connecting remotely” underlined Welles.
Workers now feel more autonomous and able to take on new skills and challenges. In fact nearly 2 in 5 are changing or considering new careers and 41% considering moves to jobs with more flexible working options. This creates the risk of a time-bomb for companies with motivation and engagement at a low and a disconnect between management views of their performance and the opinion of employees.
Although the ‘great resignation’ predicted during the pandemic is not yet evident, the time is now for organisations to reconnect with their workforce and identify the skills and capabilities required for a competitive future.
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