The COVID-19 pandemic has caused nothing short of a revolution in the world of work in the 21st century. Never in most people’s living memory has there been a global phenomenon that has reshaped the employment landscape so dramatically in a multitude of countries, dominating economic activity and altering the outlook of the workforce, perhaps forever. This upheaval is still underway but it’s clear that things will never be the same again. 

This year’s People at Work study captures these fascinating and unique developments in detail. It highlights just how widespread and globally consistent some of the emerging and escalating trends are, while underscoring how nuanced and complex the situation is at local levels.

As employers and workers grapple with sustained disruption and pressure, our findings highlight the extent to which recruitment and retention are among the most business-critical issues of today, and how that is impacting the workplace.

The total package of what workers want has taken on new meaning. No longer is it just about salary and other financial benefits plus a few perks: employers need to consider a much wider and deeper range of factors to foster a sense of job satisfaction and security among staff. As well as pay and progression, worklife balance, wellbeing and family considerations, a company’s corporate values are also at issue. The stakes are higher than ever before. The pandemic has sparked a rethink of priorities and workers are signalling a willingness to walk away if employers don’t meet their standards on a variety of fronts. The question is: can employers deliver what’s most important to their workforce while meeting business goals?

For employers, managing this new dynamic and securing the workforce during this period of ongoing radical change must be a primary concern. To do that, they need to ask the right questions so they can understand workers better, including how the prevailing mindset has altered, and look at adjusting their approach accordingly. They may need to make bold decisions and challenge assumptions, but many companies have become adept at that. This research should help guide thinking around what key issues need to be addressed, and how to approach them. 

Key findings include:

  • Workers want change: re-evaluating the importance of job security and business ethics
  • Job satisfaction and outlook: employees have high expectations
  • Pay and benefits: salary is a priority, but it’s not all that matters
  • Mental health: stress is increasing and work is suffering
  • Remote work and living arrangements: people poised to make a move

To see the results and discover more:

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