How has the pandemic changed your employees and your organization? Now is the time to take stock and create the workplace of the future that everyone wants.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic changed us – as individuals, as workers, as employers, and as citizens. A recent survey of 14,000 people details the specifics of some of these changes and what impact they might have moving forward.
Among the findings:
- The pandemic has created a new sense of togetherness, making people more aware of their shared humanity while also expressing concerns about divisions resulting from differences in politics and beliefs.
- Many feel that the pandemic has changed societies into being more caring.
- People worry about how authorities might exploit isolation, loneliness, and lack of support to take advantage of vulnerable populations (such as the elderly and low-income workers).
- In most countries, nine out of ten people say they respect public health guidelines. However, a majority also exaggerate or misperceive the extent to which others aren’t following the rules.
- As a result of the pandemic, there is a greater spirit of localism, with more pride in local communities and less erosion of trust in local governments.
At least in the U.S. support for workers is promising. According to another new survey, more than half of employers have offered support – such as technology and special equipment or stipends for these – to remote workers. The vast majority (86%) or organizations report prioritizing employee mental health by expanding mental health benefits and checking in with workers more frequently. At the same time, only 20% say they’ve introduced flexible work hours, a benefit many employees say they want.
In the same survey, over half (54%) of workers indicated they would prefer hybrid work moving forward. Many remote workers have already settled into the new work paradigm, and about a quarter say they’ve relocated to another city, town, or state, making return to onsite work difficult or impossible.
Technology has helped employees remain more productive and engaged during the pandemic. Three-quarters (75%) say they’re more reliant on technology. However, 1 in 4 say it has caused concerns including cybersecurity and the blurring of lines between work and personal life.
While implementing hybrid work and flexible schedules clearly come with some challenges, employers should look for ways to make these work in some capacity. The result will not only have a positive effect on the organization’s ability to attract and retain workers; it also could have a major impact on employee moral and productivity.