One of the big changes that has happened because of the need to work remotely and be flexible through the COVD period, is that workers generally have secured autonomy from their jobs. The big question of course, is what can we learn and what do employees want post COVID? Should we just return the way things were, or look at what has benefited employees and their output?
A Skillsoft survey identified 3 things that employees would like post COVID
1 – Well-being and better work life balance
Employees are generally concerned about their own well-being and would like initiatives to continue to support this. Talking to our Clients, there are many things that are scheduled each week to support mental and physical well-being. Employees in the survey want this to continue. Employees have benefited from more time spent with their families as commute and travel reduced. Employers have been flexible on hours worked and many companies are encouraging workers to take advantage of daylight and good weather during the winter months.
2 – Diversity
Interestingly one of the things that came from the survey was a desire for more equality. Offering more flexible working for parents of both genders came up as a priority. In addition, the employees surveyed wanted greater representation on the leadership team, supporting equal maternity and paternity leave. Globally the pandemic has brought to the forefront many of society’s inequities and given a taste of how things could work better. Diversity remains a key priority for many companies and the employees surveyed echo this.
3 – Continued learning and development
During the COVID period self-learning has skyrocketed with many people seeking out content and courses. A lot of our Clients, and ourselves included, now have weekly learning and development. Without this period many of us would not have learnt new skills and viewpoints. Many companies have benefited from this period of learning and it has been very received by employees. The message is clear from the survey that employees want this learning to continue.
There are many positive things that have happened as employees were forced to work remotely. There are key aspects that they would like to continue. Employers will benefit from a happier, more energised, educated and healthy workforce. Recruitment and retention of employees may become a challenge for companies that return to how things were.