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5 things leaders will need to consider for the new era of work

27 Aug 2020482 Views

From hybrid working to upskilling opportunities, a new survey from Adecco highlights what workers want in the future.

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Through our focus on the future of work this week, we’ve heard many diverse perspectives on how Covid-19 has impacted working life and what could be in store down the line.

But what are workers looking for as we start to move beyond the pandemic? In a recent survey, HR services provider Adecco asked 8,000 employees across the US, the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, Japan and Italy about what they want from the future of work.

The five main points highlighted in the results, published in the Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work report, were a shift to hybrid working and more flexibility; prioritising results over hours worked; reinventing leadership with a focus on culture and wellbeing, a desire for upskilling opportunities; and having leadership that employees can trust as they move beyond the pandemic.

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“It is clear that there will be more flexibility in our future,” Adecco said in its report. “But the question of how this is sustained in the longer term beyond the pandemic remains a key challenge for businesses.”

Listening will be key, the company said. Businesses should prioritise getting feedback from their staff on which elements of flexible working they have found feasible so far and where improvements can be made in the future.

For example, the survey asked whether participants wanted to keep working remotely or return to the office. Around three-quarters said that a mix of office-based and remote working is the best way forward and 79pc said they want more flexibility in how and where they work. In order to roll out a fair working model, Adecco said businesses will need to take an “individualised approach”.

“Leaders will need to consider the functionality and purpose of the office and how the shared workspace can bring the most value to a workforce that can and will work anywhere in the world,” it said. Companies will need to take into account employee preferences for greater autonomy, and focus on the results workers produce rather than on the hours they work.

“Going forward, the concept of correlating output with hours will be outdated. Many individuals work at a different pace to each other, and work volumes are often not linear.

“In an era of work vastly different from the one based on an industrial nine-to-five scheme, it is inevitable that the hours-based model of productivity measurement will be revisited.”

An infographic showing the changes companies for successful future hiring practices.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: Adecco

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa joined the team as senior Careers reporter in July 2019 with previous experience in science communication and media. With a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication, she is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos.

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