As if we need any more proof that the pandemic has changed our attitudes to work, new research reveals that employees don’t want to spend more than two days a week in the office anymore.
A 2022 workplace trends report conducted by management consultancy Bendelta surveyed more than 1,000 employees, revealing the results in its inaugural Worksona report.
Researchers asked questions about workstyle bias, remote working mandates, digital surveillance, the impact of company leadership and technology.
The report reveals major changes to the ways we work and want to work, the effectiveness of technology and company leadership, workstyle bias, and our receptiveness to digital surveillance and remote working mandates.
The study explored the human, physical and digital experience at work, gathering more than 258,000 data points to explore changes in employee behaviours and experiences. It was conducted between August 2021 and January 2022.
It found that employees are largely happy to continue working remotely (81 per cent) and want to work no more than two days in the office each week (69 per cent).
The majority of employees don’t believe that the number of days they can work remotely should be mandated (70 per cent).
It also found that employees are working longer hours (60- per cent working more than 40 hours a week). And instead of working 9 to 5, they would prefer flexible hours that change daily to accommodate other commitments.
It also revealed that while we’re digitally equipped at work, many of us are unconvinced about surveillance.
Most employees (90 per cent) have access to the technology they need to be productive and they believed their company’s technologies are secure (91 per cent), and almost a third of employees (29 per cent) would be comfortable having their activity monitored using digital surveillance.
And most employees felt supported by leaders (85 per cent) or felt leaders were skilled at managing a dispersed team (80 per cent), but many didn’t believe they were given equal opportunities to those working in the office (37 per cent) and felt they needed to be more responsive when working remotely (38 per cent).
Many companies are researching their people to better understand how they feel about hybrid working moving forward.
For example, BPAY chief people officer Lucy Lithgow confirmed the company has been reconfiguring its office to better support hybrid working.
Laura Durkan, HR director at Foxtel says the shift in working patterns has created more upsides than downsides for employees. “The reality is that the world has shifted and it’s important we have an approach to hybrid working that reflects the needs and preferences of the people who work for us and help Foxtel succeed,” she said.
Meanwhile, the research also identified five personas that shape where and how employees work. They are:
Connectors – who like working in the office. They find virtual meetings tiring, and feel disconnected from their team if they work remotely for long periods of time.
Nesters – who like working from home and feel they’re more productive when working remotely. They don’t enjoy the energy of the office.
Nomads – who like working remotely in spaces other than their home, and don’t find remote working a hindrance to accessing and sharing information or collaborating with colleagues.
Adapters – who tend to like the office, enjoy connections they can build with colleagues in an office, and prefer the tech that’s available in the office. They also believe that their manager expects them to work from the office, and that they don’t have flexibility in where they work.
Stoics – tend to choose to work from home, but don’t feel any more productive or comfortable working remotely. They don’t enjoy the office energy or developing in-person relationships with colleagues.