The future of work, seen by 52,000 people

Ssomewhere, amidst all the confusion and uncertainty of the pandemic, a power shift has occurred. Workers, who for years have felt relatively powerless to negotiate with their employers, have found a new source of strength. This gave rise to the Great Resignation, where employees leave positions in search of more fulfilling and lucrative jobs.

Bad news for employers: this is not going to end anytime soon.

A recent PwC survey spoke to over 52,000 people around the world to get a sense of their thoughts in 2022. And among the many findings, last year’s wanderlust is still going strong, with one in five workers saying they are likely to change employers in the next 12 months.

Those planning to stay? They feel confident enough to demand a higher salary, with 35% planning to ask for a raise next year.

“Workers who feel empowered by their current situation, i.e. those with specialized or rare skills, are ready to test the market,” the company said in the 2022 Global Hopes Survey. and workforce fears. “Retaining these employees will require more than just a salary; fulfilling work and the ability to be yourself at work are also important for employees considering a job change.

Workers know they are in demand. And many recognize that they have skills that are in short supply today, giving them more leverage with current and potential employers. It also gives them the confidence to look around to see if there is something better suited for them.

Salary is the main driver for workers looking for another job, with nearly 75% of respondents citing this as a factor. Almost as many (69%) say they are looking for something more fulfilling and two-thirds say they really want to be themselves at work.

A hybrid work environment is also increasingly important for workers. And for those for whom it’s not an option (who made up 45% of those surveyed), job satisfaction is significantly lower than for those who can, reaching 50% satisfied compared to 63% among hybrid workers.

Employers who are flexible with work environments will resonate more with their workforce. Some 62% of respondents said they preferred a combination of in-person and remote working, with 63% expecting their company to offer this in the next year.

Ratios of working time to office time vary by company, of course, but companies, according to PwC, will have to experiment and adapt and find what works best for them and their employees to drive retention. . They will also need to invest in the right technology to make remote working seamless. And they will need to put policies in place to avoid “proximity bias,” deliberate or accidental favoritism towards workers who are more often on site when it comes to promotions and pay raises.

The final polarizing issue in today’s workforce is the ongoing gender gap. Women were less likely than men to say they were rewarded enough financially, but they were also less likely to ask for a raise.

Just last year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021 revealed that the pandemic could extend the time needed to close the gender gap by an entire generation, adding 36 years to the time it will take to achieve gender parity. (There was good news, though, as earlier this year, Pew Research Center analysis found in some pockets, the gap is starting to close. And in a select handful of cases, women are actually winning. more.

The PwC report noted that the broad scope of the survey made it important for companies to collect data on their own employees, but stressed that most organizations will need to realign their plans to create the best place for their employees – and a place where employees won’t. feel the need to leave.

“As companies set ambitious business and societal goals, leaders must remember that employees can be a force multiplier or a detractor,” the report says. “PwC’s research has revealed that the workforce is the biggest risk to growth, and also the main means by which companies can implement growth-oriented strategies. Understanding workplace power in all its aspects can help leaders energize their workforces, harness the power of their employees, and achieve bolder goals. »

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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