Future of Work III – Work-Life balance or Life-Work balance?
Great resignation, silent quitting… The pandemic has changed the place work takes in our lives. According to a study by French institute Ipsos, one in three people in the country have changed their career plans since the beginning of the sanitary crisis. At the same time, the Fondation Jean Jaurès tells us that the proportion of professionally active people who think work is a “very important” part of their lives has shrunk to 24% (60% in 1990). The number of people resigning from their jobs is also the highest in 15 years… and France is no exception, the same trends can be observed in several developed countries.
In our interaction with candidates, we observe the following trends:
1. The relation to the workplace has changed: while people don’t want to be at the office 100% of the time (not having any possibility of working remote will be a no-go for a great number of people), they also want to feel well when they are on site, so flex office (no fixed workplace allocation) and large open space or cramped working conditions are much less accepted then they used to be. The possibility of working remotely, even from far away locations in other countries or continents without the need of a massive physical infrastructure (like in classic delocalised “shared service centres”), has given many qualified workers worldwide access to the global market and opens up new possibilities also to those who want to live far away from their office location.
If your company is looking at reducing its office footprint to reduce costs, it should reconsider before acting and ask itself what workspace will best serve its interests, maximising retention, productivity, motivation and creativity of its people. It should also consider budgeting increasingly important amounts to physically bring the delocalised workforce together at regular intervals.
2. People want to find purpose in what they do: younger people especially (but the trend can be observed to some degree in all age groups) want a job that is compatible with their values, where people and the environment are considered as stakeholders and valuable long-term resources.
If your company has not yet considered its sustainability agenda / alignment with UN SDGs, it should urgently do so and work on the topic really, not only on the surface.
3. Independence and entrepreneurship come before security: people increasingly favour freelance or project-based collaboration as opposed to a long-term contract and engagement. Employee loyalty has declined (partly as a response to disappearing employer loyalty) and people will stay only as long as they feel well in an environment, not hesitating to move or even completely reorient their career/activity.
If your company is still working with classical work contracts only, it should consider introducing new options like freelance or project-based employment for a certain number of days per year, part-time work with the possibility for the employee to develop another activity in parallel, the possibility to take sabbaticals or reduce one’s work-time temporarily or incorporating personal development into other roles and geographies into the actual employment contract from the start, to give just a few examples.
FUTURE HUMAN VALUE
In order to remain attractive and retain talent, companies must definitely rethink their relationship to their employees and the environment. They should also make sure future employees share their values and culture to avoid issues later. AIMS International has a dedicated sustainability team looking at matters related to ESG, as well as a very developed Talent Management Practice and can support you in bringing about the necessary transformation.
“All these aspects are relevant in the actual and future work environment and require also a new type of leadership. One that can not only take them into account, but also think & act while keeping in mind these new needs and motivation factors. Leaders who possess these skills will be a step ahead and really make the difference.”
AIMS International Sustainability Ambassador
EMEA Head Talent Management,
Sr Consultant Switzerland & France
“It has never been more important to place the right leaders in key positions. Leaders with a sustainability mindset will lead in an inclusive and unbiased manner and drive these values internally, ensuring your organisation’s employer branding is attractive and relevant to today’s very discerning high potential talent. Think profit with purpose!”
VP Sustainability of AIMS International
Managing Partner South Africa