As companies struggle with what workplaces should look like going forward, findings from a new LHH and The Adecco Group study reveal global workers’ attitudes about remote versus in-person work, how their companies have handled the pandemic, their career plans moving forward, the state of mental health in the workplace and the truth about the Great Resignation.
Findings from the Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work study show that a large number of workers globally (53%) want a hybrid working model where more than half of their work time is remote. Productivity has not suffered with remote work, with 82% saying they feel as productive or more productive than before.
Wellbeing has taken a hit, however, with more than half of young leaders (54%) reporting they have suffered burnout and three in 10 stating their mental and physical health has declined in the last 12 months. In China, 40% of respondents agree that working remotely makes them feel less comfortable about taking time off sick.
“There is no doubt that there is an increased focus and higher employee expectation on the topic of wellbeing,” said Anders Lundholm, Managing Director – Hong Kong, LHH. “Regardless if the workforce is working from home or in the office – there is higher employee expectation on flexibility and recognition both for their work contributions and their mental and physical health.”
Two themes that emerged from the study are that the Great Resignation is currently a Great Re-Evaluation for salaried employees and a growing disconnect between leadership and their employees.
The Great Resignation
The study found that nearly two in five employees are already changing or considering new careers and 41% are considering moving to jobs with more flexible working options. A quarter of the workforce is considering moving to another country or region.
The market is ripe: two-thirds of workers are confident that companies will start significant hiring again, and less than half are satisfied with career prospects at their current company.
“The key word is ‘considering’,” said Lundholm. “What we’re seeing is actually not yet a Great Resignation when it comes to non-hourly workers, but rather a Great Re-Evaluation in which salaried employees are seeing more possibilities available to them, which puts everything on the table. Companies need to recognize the warning signs that great talent could soon be walking out the door and address demands for increased work-life balance and career advancement opportunities.”
The Leadership Disconnect
Study findings point to a large disconnect between employees and their managers and senior leadership. While 80% of leaders say they are satisfied with senior leadership, only 43% of non-managers are satisfied. Satisfaction with leadership is particularly low in the areas of company culture and career advancement opportunities. Among the findings:
- Less than half are satisfied with career prospects at their company and only 37% of non-managers say their company is effectively investing in developing their skills
- Only 48% of workers say their managers meet or exceed expectations for encouraging a good working culture
- Just 50% of workers say their managers meet or exceed expectations for helping support their work-life balance
- 67% of non-managers say leaders don’t meet their expectations for checking on their mental wellbeing
In China, 44% of respondents are considering coaching/mentoring leadership skills in response to the challenges of the last 12 months. And although 78% believe a leadership style focused on empathy and a supportive attitude will be important after the pandemic, only 27% believe the company will provide this.
“Employees need leaders to rise to the occasion by evolving their skillset,” said Lundholm. “There is an opportunity for companies to invest in coaching for their leaders so they can better identify and address issues that could otherwise become the reason employees leave.”