According to a survey of 3,500 employees in the US, UK, Australia and Canada, workers want their productivity measured by the results they get, not how many hours they log during the work week.
The survey conducted by business software and service provider Adaptavis found that 58% of workers want to eliminate the 40-hour workweek and nearly helped (47%) believe that the best flexible work option would be a four-day workweek. Nearly a third (28%) also said their employer already offers a four-day workweek option.
“They also believe that the definition of productivity needs to change,” said the survey authors. “Nearly 60% think that the focus should be on the quality of work versus the number of hours recorded, another indicator that the workplace must continue to evolve.”
The research aims to provide insight into how workers are shaping and adapting to their new workplaces. The survey probed views on issues including hybrid working life and office working life; productivity, collaboration and isolation; communication tools; health and wellness; and the future of work.
The results reflect “the changing dynamics between employees and management, as well as an ongoing change in attitude towards traditional workplace constructs”. While workers are returning to the office in slightly more numbers, hybrid and remote work settings are here to stay, more than a research organization echoed.
Last year, Gartner predicted that 31% of all workers worldwide would be remote (hybrid and completely remote) in 2022. But the most recent Adaptavis survey found that 43% work in hybrid mode or completely. remotely, with even more people wanting more say in where they work (59%), the structure of their work week and how their productivity is measured.
“The transformation of work in recent years has been long-lasting, but it will also continue to evolve,” said John Turley, Adaptavis’ organizational transformation manager. “Just as employees have grown accustomed to questioning the level of flexibility and freedom their organization offers, they are now understandably considering the costs associated with returning to the office, working from home, or a combination of the two.”
In addition to where and how workers do their jobs, the survey also asked which collaboration platforms employees couldn’t live without. More than half of the respondents chose Microsoft Teams (54%), compared to Zoom (46%) and Slack (12%).
Although communication apps have come a long way in the past couple of years, they still lead to “tool fatigue”, resulting in wasted time and feelings of online invisibility; more than a third of respondents said they were too overwhelmed with work to talk to colleagues, the study found. As a result, nearly 90% of workers said in-person connection is important, if not critical, and saw connection with colleagues the most significant reason to return to the office full-time.
When asked how much time they spend searching for information to do their jobs (such as searching through emails, chat conversations, and saved documents), more than half answered at least 30 minutes. About 17% said they spend up to two hours a day looking for information to do their jobs.
Adaptavis research also found that while employees want more choice and control over their working life, hybrid and remote work comes at a cost in the form of isolation, loneliness and increased workloads. About 30% of the workers surveyed said they feel alone every day and asynchronous workers, those who are not in real-time communication with managers and colleagues, are the most affected (39%).
The survey also indicated that one in three workers are actively looking for a new job, with better wages more important than flexibility, work-life balance, and more meaningful employment as reasons for change.
“This would seem to indicate that the market is still ready to favor the employee, but this research reveals a warning for those who change jobs. Of those who have already left their jobs in the context of the Great Resignation, more than a third regrets the decision, “the report said.
Each month for more than a year in the United States, more than 4 million workers have left the workforce, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For the more than 1,200 British employees interviewed by Adaptavis, these problems, coupled with inflation and rising cost of living, have created a new “cost of labor” crisis that affects not only the workplace, but also the way where they work. Of the 38% of respondents who said they had anxiety about going back to the office, 35% said the anxiety is due to commuting.
Given the higher transportation and fuel costs, “it is not surprising that people prefer the flexibility of working from home where they can, with 29% saying commuting reimbursement and / or free parking is the perk they would like. their company offered to go back to the office full-time, “according to Adaptivist. And 28% said they want free food and drink, pointing to how people are affected by the price increase.
The largest four-day workweek experiment to date is taking place in the UK with support from researchers from Cambridge, Boston College and Oxford. The study is following 3,300 workers from 70 companies who receive the same pay and are expected to complete the same amount of work they did working five days a week. Organizers say they have seen significant improvements in worker welfare.
The 6-month experiment involves people working 32 hours in those four days, instead of the typical 40 hours in five days. Workers get five days’ pay for four days of work, according to Juliet Schor, a sociology professor at Boston College and one of the firm’s administrators.
“We are seeing very promising results from ongoing trials since February 2022,” Schor said in an email response to computer world. “Employees are experiencing a wide range of positive health and wellness outcomes and the companies are very happy with the results and are planning to continue with the four-day program.”
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