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Don’t overlook the employees who can’t work remotely
It’s well worth reminding senior executives, as well as policy-makers, that a significant share of the global workforce can’t work remotely. This group—45% of the respondents in our survey—report less satisfaction with their job than those working in hybrid or fully remote work settings (50% versus 63%).
Workers who can’t work remotely are also far less likely than others to say they find their job fulfilling, believe that their team cares about their well-being, feel that they’re fairly rewarded financially or feel they can be creative in their work. As companies revisit their workforce strategies, they must take into greater account these disaffected—and most likely disempowered—employees.
In addition, companies need to consider the role that these in-person employees play in overall community responses to the pandemic, as part of the organisation’s broader social responsibility mandate. After all, these employees often serve a critical role in society, providing services that cannot happen remotely.
Flexible approaches resonate with the workforce
Employees largely believe that their employer will provide work options they like in the coming year. Sixty-two percent of respondents said they prefer some mix of in-person and remote work, and 63% said they expect their company to offer that kind of approach in the next 12 months, compared with 72% in the 2021 survey. But there’s a disconnect at the extremes: 26% of employees would prefer full-time remote work, but only 18% said their employer is likely to adopt that model. Another 18% said that their employer is likely to require full-time in-person work, which just 11% of employees prefer.