• February 26, 2024

Employers Want Workers Back at Their Desks; Workers Aren’t As Eager

F.or much of the past year, the idea of ​​going back to the office was little more than a hypothesis – one of the things everyone knew would happen one day, but it was too far away to worry. But lately it’s imminent. When companies start calling workers back or telling them to prepare to get back to their desks, a gap between employers and workers becomes apparent.

A new survey Based on employee experience, software company Limeade identified tremendous employee concern about a possible return to work on site. In fact, each of the nearly 5,000 respondents said they were worried about going back.

Health concerns were high on the list of reasons. Around 77% of workers said they were afraid of exposure to COVID-19 despite the ongoing rollout and widespread availability of vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Almost in terms of workers, however, was the lifestyle change that will come back with a 9-5 job. The loss of flexibility was a problem for 71% of respondents (respondents could give more than one reason).

For others it was traffic. For 58% of employees, it was a problem to swap the commute from 20 steps to the spare bedroom for one with traffic, subways or buses.

“Employees are reluctant to give up autonomy about their wellbeing – and rightly so,” said Dr. Reetu Sandhu, director of the Limeade Institute. “Rather than focusing on the logistics of getting people back into the office, I encourage executives to view this moment as an opportunity to ask employees, ‘How do you want the future of work to do your best job can and? Take care of yourself?’ and then really listen and act accordingly. The result would be profound, for both people and businesses. “

The survey not only underscored the reluctance of employees to return to on-site locations, but also showed the communication gap between employers and employees. More than half – 56% – of workers said their organization had not asked for feedback on return to work policies and procedures. And 45% said their company either takes no action, or takes little or no action based on survey results.

Those who don’t include employee feedback in their plans may regret it. According to Prudential, one in four workers plans to look for a new job as soon as they feel the threat of the pandemic has subsided American Worker’s Financial Pulse Survey.

Another study Microsoft Work Trend IndexOver 40% of more than 30,000 respondents in 31 countries are considering leaving their employers this year.

One way to avoid that? Optionally, you can continue to work from home. Prudential’s survey found that 87% of American workers who worked remotely during the pandemic would prefer to continue doing so at least one day a week when the COVID threat subsided. And 68% of all employees said that a hybrid workplace model is ideal. (That’s a double-digit percentage jump from a similar poll last fall.)

The focus is on family issues. Limeade’s survey found that the greatest stressor for 82% of workers was the health and safety of themselves and their families. The remote control gives you a sense of control over it.

Remote working also has practical benefits, with 81% of surveyed workers saying their productivity has either stayed the same or has increased since moving from home.

“The workplace of the future is here,” said Rob Falzon, vice chairman of Prudential. “Executives must view every component of this new normal as an opportunity to maximize corporate culture and differentiate themselves as the employer of their choice.”

In fact, offering a work-from-home option could be a huge enticement to potential employees. Prudential’s survey found that 42% of current remote workers said they would look for a company to do so if their current company no longer offers remote work options in the long term.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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