Motivation, support, and evolving work models are on HR’s 2021 agenda.
By The Editors
How has the pandemic changed how employees work and what they want in the coming year? Edenred’s new report Power Up Your People sought to answer those questions. Nearly 2,000 UK workers share the aspects of work that have made a positive impact and their expectations for 2021.
Key findings include:
- Expect a shift in employee expectations. Edenred’s research found that nearly 63% of employees worked from home or worked remotely in the last year. This is a large increase from 2019 numbers: The Office of National Statistics reported only 30% of employees ever experienced remote work in the past.
Organisations need to understand the preferences of their employees as they plan for a return to offices or hybrid work models. The research finds that some employees have been able to improve their lifestyles as a result of their working arrangements whilst others miss the workplace.
- A top concern of employees is diminishing work-life boundaries. It’s pretty clear that the pandemic has lifted the barriers between home and work life. Nearly 39% of respondents say they had worked whilst looking after a child or family member, and 67% attend to personal issues whilst working. Sixty-one per cent of employees are also doing their jobs outside of normal hours.
The research finds that in return for being able to manage their working hours, employees feel that they always need to be available. Is this sustainable? Employers will likely need to formalise expectations around hybrid working in order to sustain performance.
- Employers are concerned about motivation. Edenred’s research found that one of the biggest obstacles facing employers in 2021 is the ability to motivate a workforce that is facing fatigue, stress, and burnout. Whilst 15% of respondents say they are very happy at work and 16% say they feel very motivated at work, 29% report they are unhappy and 32% say they are unmotivated. Even more, only 61% of respondents say they feel satisfied with their quality of life at work. This can cause real concern for engagement and productivity.
- Employees feel supported by their organisations. After a challenging year, 63% of respondents say they feel their organisations have done as much as they could to provide support, given the unique challenges they faced. Employers assisted with work-life balance (73%), collaborative working (72%), and physical well-being (71%). Relationships with managers and colleagues also made a difference, with around a third of workers saying they felt very well supported. For 2021, the research finds that organisations need to step up with their policies and communications around the return to the workplace or continued hybrid working, with 56% and 58% agreeing respectively.