9 FUTURE OF WORK TRENDS POST COVID-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has had tremendous and swift effects on workplace culture. The global lockdown and travel restriction has upended assumptions about the nature of work and corporate interactions. It has become obvious that most things can be done remotely without having to be in the office. There is no need for them to commute to work. Given the context, the workplace culture is likely never going to be the same in the post-pandemic era. The top priority of workforce challenges, like talent retention, hiring and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is rising among senior leadership.
1. Hybrid work as the mainstream
During the onset of the pandemic, many were of the view that the hybrid work set-up was a stopgap arrangement and believed that returning to normalcy is a period of a few weeks’ time. In 2022, two calendar turns from now, we realise that hybrid work is a permanent fixture. By 2022, 25% of the world's knowledge workers will make their homes their principal place of business, and 45% of workers will do so two to three days each week. Some workers are ecstatic about the possibility. Some people, not so much. Many employees are concerned about the potential of a permanent transition to a mixed work environment because the novelty of working from home has already worn off.
An organisation would run the risk of losing a sizeable portion of its personnel if it went back to the pre-covid setup. As a result, it's critical that businesses alter their cultures and leadership in order to create a sustainable hybrid workplace. For the hybrid environment, businesses had to develop a fresh, human-centred approach. While concentrating on ground rules for enhancing the fundamental elements of remote work culture, the guidelines must be customised to ensure a good fit for each team and business culture.
2. Shortage of Critical talent
HR leaders are under more pressure than ever to fill roles with those with critical skills to meet market needs and drive organisational change. In this situation, it is equally crucial that the business considers cost optimization while recognising such crucial or limited talent. Despite this, the organization's true issue is to maintain its viability while developing plans for a structure that maximises efficiency and reduces costs. But you can accomplish this by following the next 5 guidelines:
Additionally, to find their importance, it is also wise to push the boundaries of talent strategies under consideration either as part of the strategic planning or if requirements change. The plan may include the development of a process which facilitates the movement of employees within the organisation thereby creating an infrastructure for the internal labour force. There are many additional options that an employee contemplating leaving might find intriguing, and there are also ways to actively engage those who don't want to.
3. Wellbeing is a key metric
Traditionally the well-being metric in an organisation is measured through employee engagement surveys and turnover metrics which actually don’t give the big picture, which affects workers' intentions to stay. Ideal company metrics for well-being should take into account mental, emotional, physical, and financial factors. For instance, many organisations have physical well-being measurements like sports, exercise competitions, and promoting healthy eating practices before the pandemic hit. Due to the COVID-19-led pandemic, working from home has become more common, which has disturbed these activities. Companies could consider offering support like app subscriptions for gym membership card holders, a tutor explaining the ergonomics when working from home, etc., as hybrid work environments are already the norm. At the end of the day, employee participation is crucial for any health programme to be successful.
4. DEI outcomes could worsen
Speaking of this hybrid work environment, it's equally crucial to be aware of its drawbacks. The remote or the hybrid work setup does not guarantee that all the employees will experience the benefits of this change equitably. This could jeopardise the goal of diversity, equity, and inclusion. For instance, the majority of managers believe that on-site employees have a higher chance of promotion than those who work remotely. Therefore, it's crucial to reduce the danger of performance bias in order to assist all employees equitably. The HR department can consider certain DEI projects that aim to give all workers a sense of community. The following actions can help promote a sense of belongingness in the workplace;
5. Turnover will increase
With hybrid work culture becoming the baseline expectation for all organizations and employees are already dealing with the challenges of the high rate of attrition. The turnover has grown considerably with companies resuming work from the office, as more than half of the employee's decisions to stay in the organisation are made with keeping in mind the flexible work policies. This trend of attrition could continue to increase because the emotional cost of leaving the workplace is much lesser in hybrid work culture. The number of choices that an employee has is also widening as the location is no longer a factor. Therefore, it is crucial for HR to support values that link workers to the organization's culture and to engage in talent processes to widen employee networks in order to counteract this issue. HRs may also look into ways to foster culture and kinship through the workplace, emotional proximity, and micro-cultures.
6. Manager’s roles are changing
With narrowing opportunities for in-person interaction with employees, managers must be more proactive in creating expectations at work and developing relationships with their team members. This is crucial for changing the employee experience in the organisation and in turn, builds his connectedness with the organisation. The managers should do this in order to be more fiduciary and not develop the habit of micromanaging. With remote work becoming more and more common, it is crucial for managers to draw a distinction between micromanaging and supervising. The manager and the employer are both accountable for this action. The actionable for the manager could be as follows;
7. Gen Z wants in-person work experience
Gen Z, the people born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s, who recently finished their graduation and have entered the workplace during the pandemic before discovering their hobbies, would want to have more office setting experience. Typically these people, while working remotely, would want to stay connected with the network that was built in person. It is hence important to pay attention to their expectations as they are seeing the workplace post the pandemic which is completely different from how it was 2 years back. Considering the requirements of this workforce would help keep the company’s decisions on redesigned office spaces and other development opportunities intact.
8. Shorter work weeks are now an Employee Value Proposition
The fierce competition in the marketplace and the rising inflation are putting more pressure on the companies to more compensation. Not all businesses can afford to make adjustments pay to inflation as soon as an employee would expect. More so in difficult situations like inflation increases, a rise in pay alone cannot help make things better. It cannot serve as a one-stop shop for all of the problems. Companies have been pushed to reconsider and restructure their total employee value proposition as a result. One such crucial element is cutting back on the number of hours worked each week. Leaders and recruiting managers can evaluate roles and procedures and settle on an appropriate model to put this new EVP strategy into practice. In addition, there are three more general approaches to dealing with pay equity during periods of high inflation.
Train managers to speak openly about pay.
9. Data collection is expanding
An examination of the businesses reveals that nearly 16% of them are utilising technology to monitor their workforce. This involves tracking things like time in and out, how office supplies are used, emails sent and received, and the portal that's used for internal communications. While some businesses use technology to monitor productivity and better understand the work experience, many utilise it to monitor specific people. The office will become toxic as a result. Companies can avoid this by being open and truthful with their staff in order to gain their trust. To guarantee that employee informatics and analytics are used responsibly, it is crucial to adhere to best practices.
We at Job Booster find ourselves placed in the perfect vantage point to observe emerging work trends in various industries. Working with partners across industries helps us keep to date with emerging work trends and the possible challenges that they could bring. Job Booster India adapts our approach to the talent market appropriately in order to help our partners find the right talent and help our candidates know what to expect from their prospective work environments.