Three years into the pandemic, businesses are dealing with a multitude of crises and are trying to remain productive and profitable.
Hybrid work practices remain complex and both business leaders and employees are grappling to understand how to adjust business practices to meet the needs of employees.
EPOS, the global audio and video brand, in partnership with Foresight Factory, has released ‘The Workplace of the Future’ report to explore the current and emerging trends shaping the future of work, as well as the technology solutions that can help businesses to navigate a long-term hybrid strategy for a productive workforce.
“The world of work has never been as complex as it is today.
“Business leaders who are invested in the future of their company and the future of their employees need to think intentionally about their hybrid strategies,” Jeppe Dalberg-Larsen, President at EPOS said.
“There is no one size fits all approach.
“Though we have in recent years seen how technology has revolutionised modern work, it is no substitute for leadership and culture.
“Leaders today face a new set of challenges and must put their people at the heart of creating a workplace community that keeps employees engaged in the long-term.”
The company engaged with a variety of leading businesses to understand their perspectives and observations of the current market.
These authentic and first-hand experiences shed further light on the most pressing topics at the forefront of hybrid discussions and reaffirms that with so many changing factors that risk an employee’s loyalty, businesses need to intentionally align their policies to reflect the future of their workplace.
Employees are prioritising their wellbeing
Workers everywhere are taking agency of their wellbeing, both physical and mental, and over half of workers around the world (53 per cent) say they are more likely to prioritise their wellbeing compared with life before the pandemic.
As a result, workers increasingly expect their employers to form part of their health ecosystems with 38 percent of employees calling for their employers to support staff by allowing them time off for mental health needs. A further 30 percent of employees say they want to see businesses dedicating hours for employees to use for mental/physical wellbeing pursuits.
Avoiding burnout and pursuing happiness are top drivers
Employee burnout is a persistent issue and 36 per cent of global workers say they have suffered burnout in the last 12 months from ‘working too hard’, a feeling that is greatest among Gen Z (40 per cent) and Millennials (42 per cent).
As the disconnect around remote working continues to grow between employers and employees, so does the discontent. Less than half of workers are happy with their current work and life balance (43 per cent), and almost a third (30 percent) say they intend to change careers to improve their overall happiness.
Access to a physical office is vital
Employees want to avoid feeling isolated and want to see businesses offering both physical and virtual opportunities for connection and collaboration.
Half of employees say they miss spending time with colleagues in person now they can work remotely.
This trend is highest among Gen Z and Millennials (80 per cent) who are keen to use physical office spaces to learn, grow, and establish themselves in their workplace community.
Employees will leave if they’re not learning
The working landscape is becoming more demanding of employees, who are expected to rapidly upgrade existing skills or pick up new ones, and workers everywhere have embraced new opportunities for development and learning over the pandemic years.
Now, 60 percent of employees of all ages are keen to continue learning, and 44 per cent say they want to progress and upskill within their current job. If they can’t learn and grow within a role, they will leave to achieve their career goals.
Sub-par tech solutions can lead to cognitive overload
Employers also need to be intentional about equipping employees with solutions that reduce the risk of cognitive fatigue. EPOS research has shown that in noisy environments the brain works harder to focus on the most important source of sound with this taking 35 per cent more cognitive effort to listen. Over time this can lead to cognitive overload and brain fatigue, impacting employee stress levels, information retention, and performance.
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