When the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns forced workers across the world to work-from-home, employees and CHROs scrambled to make the best of a bad situation. However, 18 months later and remote work or work from anywhere looks like it isn't going anywhere - offering new opportunities for employers and employees all alike.
A survey conducted by Globalization Partners across 15 countries, focused on employee sentiment, revealed that remote work has had a positive impact on overall employee experience.
More flexibility from management has been an HR trend for a few years but with the pandemic really showing that offices do not equal productivity and the benefits to overall health and wellness from working remotely, companies risk losing talent to employers who make remote work a real perk.
Here are some HR trends to watch out for post-pandemic.
1. Remote work doesn’t necessarily mean work from anywhere, but it could in the near future.
Remote working doesn’t necessarily mean ‘work from anywhere’, with most global employees 68% staying in the same location while working for the same company during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, 22% of respondents have relocated locally or plan to, and 17% have relocated internationally or plan to. As a result, employers should prepare to support employee mobility to retain their best talent.
2. Strong leadership through the pandemic correlates with employee retention.
The way companies lead through a crisis correlates strongly with employee retention intent. Over half (56%) of respondents reported their perception of their company leaders stayed the same or worsened since the outset of the pandemic. However, for the 44% that reported an improved perception of company leaders, they also plan to stay at their current company for more than three years. How companies lead through crisis correlates strongly with employee loyalty.
3. Employees report feeling happier about their jobs since working remotely, but many feel less connected to their colleagues than before.
About half (48%) of employees say working remotely has positively impacted their perception – they feel happier about work. Only 11% report they feel less happy, and 41% state working remotely has had no impact on their happiness.
However, 32% report remote working due to Covid-19 has caused them to feel less connected to their colleagues. While 34% of employees state they feel their voice matters more since the remote work shift.
4. Working across time zones is the biggest challenge for global team members in 2021.
Employees reported team diversity as the top benefit of working in a global team, followed by more creativity, and global insights into other markets. The top challenge reported across international teams was scheduling across time zones. While language barriers were the top challenge in 2019, they became far less of an issue on a global level in 2021.
5. Work-life balance is the top factor contributing to a positive global employee experience.
Compensation, while important, was not in the top three factors that contribute to a positive experience on a global scale. Instead, global employees cite good work-life balance, being part of a team, and having the right tools and equipment for the job as the most significant contributors to their positive experience.
Overall, employees felt things like access to HR policies and documents, and streamlining the submission process for expenses and time off requests are areas that companies could improve.