During these uncertain times, companies have realized that employees are the most important asset of the organization and with the changes brought on by COVID, companies must define ways of working that take cognizance of their employee needs, preferences, etc. With the positive outlook on COVID-19 vaccinations and the increasing demand for flexible and safe workplaces, businesses must now explore ways to adopt a hybrid and human-centric approach.
During these unprecedented times, employees have been exposed to greater flexibility and autonomy. They have put their needs first and are giving more thought to how, where and when they want to work. The modern workforce has different expectations as compared to what employees had a decade or two ago. Likewise, large corporations now better fathom the benefits of a more people-centric work environment that creates an atmosphere where employees’ needs and preferences are taken into consideration to achieve business and personal goals.
Let us look at how employee needs have evolved at the back of the second wave of the pandemic.
The Hybrid workspace
There has been a fundamental shift in the way people work across the globe which has subsequently led to the emergence of a new phenomenon: The hybrid workspace. According to Awfis Workspace Survey, a combined 72% of the workforce favor a flexible work model that is a combination of working from home and working from the office premises. There is a renewed focus on employees’ need for work life balance and a hybrid model empowers the workforce with the flexibility required to manage their work and personal life, effectively.
Flexibility & Future
With the outbreak of the pandemic, workspace flexibility has become one of the key factors for job satisfaction for much of the workforce across the globe. It is not surprising then that 57% of the workforce are ready to trade in a higher salary to do part-remote work or consider leaving the company for another job that offers them more flexible options. Businesses that want to attract and retain the talent must understand the top priorities of their current and future workforce. They must embrace new, flexible work models and cultivate a workforce that boosts motivation and engagement.
The work near home setup has significant benefits with employees getting a desirable space, well equipped with office resources in a convenient location, that doesn’t take up much time in shuttling back and forth. According to the findings of the survey, 58% of the workforce desired the flexibility to work from the nearest branch office and/or coworking space provided by their employer. This concept seems to be favored the most by respondents as it mitigates the challenges posed by work from home while simultaneously offering a feeling of community among team members.
Given the changing preferences of the employees, it is absolutely crucial for organizations to consider the needs of the employees as the backbone of planning the future of work. The past year has created an opportunity for companies to pivot to a more agile and human centric approach in the future of work – which is something that employees have yearned and needed for a long time now. With a new found trust between employers and their employees, repurposing the office as a space for collaboration, productivity and greater flexibility is imperative to survive and thrive in the new world.