Search Results for: change

The Workplace Geeks on what we need to learn about the office now that everything’s changed

The Workplace Geeks on what we need to learn about the office now that everything’s changed

The Workplace Geeks are out and about for their very first LIVE episode, recorded at The Workplace Event, Birmingham NEC, UK in April 2022. For this special show they’re joined by Dan Pilling, workplace strategy consultant at TSK Group. Their discussion explores the scope and value of practical workplace research pre and post pandemic, with some great questions from the audience (thanks to Brock James from iOtSpace, Stuart Watts from the GPA, and Steve Henigan from HCG). More →

Two thirds would take a pay cut in exchange for a four day week

Two thirds would take a pay cut in exchange for a four day week

four day weekA poll of 2,000 people published in the new edition of the State of Hybrid Work study from Owl Labs claims that flexibility is now key to retaining top talent in 2022 and beyond. 65 percent of British employees would rather be paid less in exchange for a four day week and over a third (37 percent) would choose to decline a job if flexible hours are not offered. The report claims that offering greater flexibility will prove key to preventing employees from driving the ‘Great Resignation’ – with nearly one in three (31 percent) employees changing jobs in the past two years and a quarter (25 percent) of employees actively seeking a new opportunity in 2022. More →

The effects of workplace change may not be the ones we expect

The effects of workplace change may not be the ones we expect

There’s a scene in the 1986 horror movie The Fly in which Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) persuades the reporter Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) to try two steaks, one of which Brundle has just sent between two teleportation pods in an effort to work out why the pods can’t process organic matter, including the organic matter that had recently belonged to a very unfortunate baboon. More →

Structural and cultural change are what we need to escape the wellbeing rut

Structural and cultural change are what we need to escape the wellbeing rut

wellbeing at workWellbeing has been one of the largest challenges to the UK workforce over the last several years. A recent study by the Mental Health Foundation and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), states that mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9 billion every year – around 5 percent of the UK’s GDP. Companies recognise the urgency to help: British employers planned to increase spending on employee mental health and wellbeing by 18 percent from 2021 to 2022. But the long and short of the issue is that this progress is being outpaced by accelerating burnout rates among workers. More →

The much talked about new normal doesn’t exist, but the world has changed in profound ways

The much talked about new normal doesn’t exist, but the world has changed in profound ways

no new normalThe World Health Organization officially declared COVID a pandemic on March 11 2020. Now, two years later, there’s light for some at the end of the tunnel. In many wealthier countries, which have benefited from several rounds of vaccination, the worst of the pandemic is over. We’ve got here by learning a lot of new health behaviour, like wearing masks and sanitising our hands. Many of us have also developed a variety of social habits to reduce the virus’s spread – such as working from home, shopping online, travelling locally and socialising less. But as parts of the world emerge from the pandemic, are these new habits here to stay, or do old habits really die hard? Is there a new normal? Here’s what data can tell us.

 

 

Work

One of the biggest changes predicted during the pandemic was a long-term shift towards home or hybrid working. However, there are already signs that this transition might not be as obvious or complete as expected.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The signs of the transition to hybrid work are not as obvious or complete as expected[/perfectpullquote]

In the UK, the proportion of people working from home at least some of the time increased from 27 percent in 2019 to 37 percent in 2020, before falling to 30 percent in January 2022. Similarly, in the US the proportion working from home declined from 35 percent in May 2020 to 11 percent in December 2021.

One of the main reasons people are going back to the office is employers’ expectations. Many companies are concerned that more permanent home working might affect employees’ team building, creativity and productivity.

But among employees, there’s a greater appetite for hybrid and flexible working. One recent multi-national survey found that whereas roughly one-third of workers had worked at home at least some of the time before the pandemic, roughly half said they want to in the future.

 

Shopping

The pandemic didn’t create the habit of online shopping, but it makes more of us do it. Did this make us realise we don’t need actual stores anymore?

It doesn’t seem so. Shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores has already started to recover. Recent data on people’s movements, gathered anonymously from mobile devices, shows how in many countries, before omicron hit, travel to retail and recreation spaces was back up to pre-pandemic levels, and is already starting to rebound after omicron.

The rise in online sales has also not been as dramatic or sustained as many predicted. In the UK, online sales made up 20 percent of total retail sales before the pandemic. By February 2021 this had risen to 36 percent, before declining steadily to 25 percent in February 2022.

 

Travel

One habit that might take longer to recover is our pre-pandemic love of international travel. It has taken a hit around the world, and the sector is still struggling. The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization projects that international travel in 2022 will still be down by nearly a half compared to 2019.

One British survey conducted last September found that while 80 percent of people were planning on holidaying in the UK in the next year, only around 40 percent were considering going abroad. In comparison, in the 12 months up to July 2019, 64 percent of Brits travelled abroad for a holiday according to one travel industry body.

People’s reluctance to travel has been largely down to concerns over the virus and confusion over travel rules. As worries decline and rules get lifted, we may see a “mini-boom” in holidaymaking.

 

Socialising

Early in the pandemic, some commentators – including the US chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci – suggested we might never return to shaking hands. I, with my colleague Dr Kimberly Dienes, argued that it was vital these rituals make a comeback, as they have several social, psychological and even biological benefits.

Are social-distancing habits, including meeting fewer people and having less physical contact with those we do, here to stay? For most people, no. Data shows only one-third of people in the UK are still socially distancing regularly, the lowest proportion since the pandemic began.

 

No new normal

But truly, only time will tell how much the pandemic will have changed our habits. However, bolder predictions – that the pandemic was going to completely and irrevocably change our ways of working, shopping, travelling and socialising – now seem premature and exaggerated. The pandemic has taught us we can work, learn, shop and socialise in different ways, but the question now is whether we still want to.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The pandemic has taught us that we need to connect with others[/perfectpullquote]

Humans have basic needs, such as autonomy, feeling related to others, and feeling effective and competent in what we do. Part of the challenge with home working, for example, is that it simultaneously fulfils one need by giving us greater autonomy but takes away another by making us less connected. Expanding adequately supported, equality-focused, hybrid and flexible working arrangements is perhaps a promising way to meet both needs.

Some people will have acquired a sense of competence, or at least familiarity, with the new ways of doing things during the pandemic and so may wish to keep doing them. In some areas – travelling overseas, for example – it may take longer for our competence, and confidence, in old habits to return. However, many seem to be quite quickly returning to old ways and re-learning how to feel competent at doing things that they did before.

The extent to which we’ll go back to our old ways may also depend on our personality traits, which have been shown to shape our compliance with new behaviour. For example, those more open to new experiences by nature, or more extroverted, may be more eager to travel internationally or socialise in larger groups.

Finally, the pandemic may have served as a reminder of how much we appreciate everyday interactions with others, in shops, restaurants and so on. People may be keen to return to familiar ways that revive this – for example, picking something up in a store on the way home from work. Above all, the pandemic has taught us that we need to connect with others and that there are limits as to how much online communication can replace real, face-to-face interactions.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The nature of work has changed permanently for many people, new report claims

The nature of work has changed permanently for many people, new report claims

nature of workThe pandemic has changed the nature of work, which offers opportunities for organisations to adopt more considerate and efficient work practices as offices reopen. The latest study to come to this conclusion has been published by the University of Southampton and funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). The research considered the longer-term implications of working from home and which new working practices should remain and be encouraged. Its findings offer lessons from lockdown that will guide organisations as they seek to make hybrid working a success. More →

People management role to evolve into guardianship of data, change and culture

People management role to evolve into guardianship of data, change and culture

people managementNew research from The Adecco Group and the Center for Leadership in the Future of Work, University of Zurich claims that people management executives are moving further away from being “managers,” toward a dual role as both data scientists and guardians of change and culture. The report, The Chief People Officer of the Future: How is the Top People Management Role Changing as the World of Work Evolves? draws upon the views of 122 senior people management executives from 10 countries and regions, and who are responsible for a total of 3,110,419 employees, to assess how the landscape of people management is changing. More →

ESG concerns mean half of younger workers considering career change

ESG concerns mean half of younger workers considering career change

Ethical behaviour ESGCompanies across the UK risk losing out on top talent if they fail to take account of younger workers’ greater ethical awareness, with the majority willing to sacrifice earnings for their values. New research by Robert Half claims that nearly two in five (38 percent) employees would look for a new role if they thought their organisation was not doing enough on ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues, such as reducing carbon emissions or operating ethically. More →

Climate change risk should be factored in to investment decisions

Climate change risk should be factored in to investment decisions

Ahead of mandatory requirements to disclose climate change related risks coming into force in April 2022, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published a new Framework providing businesses with a consistent methodology for measuring climate-related risks across their built assets, as well as empowering asset owning businesses of all sizes to better understand and plan for the physical risks of climate change. More →

Corporate boards struggle to act on climate change

Corporate boards struggle to act on climate change

climate changeHeidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII) in partnership with INSEAD, have published a report titled Changing the Climate in the Boardroom. The report addresses corporate leadership’s take on climate change, what boards around the world are currently doing to address climate change, and what they should be doing moving forward. More →

Winds of change are blowing through the office

Winds of change are blowing through the office

Whilst driving through Zürich in a hailstorm I passed a Mercedes with a plastic bin liner taped over a missing window. Two thoughts struck me. First: this must be the result of the owner locking himself out of the car, as car crime is a fictional event in Switzerland (bike theft is preferred). The second was how utterly pointless this flapping piece of plastic served as an attempt to seal the broken window. More →

Untrained managers more likely to change jobs in 2022

Untrained managers more likely to change jobs in 2022

jobsEmployers looking to retain talent during the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ may benefit from investing in more management training for their staff, according to Digits. New research suggests that managers who haven’t received any management training are 36 percent more likely to leave their current jobs in the next year, than managers who receive regular management training (38 percent compared to 28 percent). More →