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Post-covid remote work: what do employees think?

The lack of company guidance on post-covid work arrangements worries employees, who are calling for more clarity and hybrid models.

While many employers have announced general intentions to adopt "hybrid" modes, few have shared detailed guidelines

We've already covered the Future of Remote Work and what will be the fate of smart working in the post-Covid era.

As the pandemic begins to wind down, many companies are planning a hybrid work model you work part onsite and part from home. The new model promises higher productivity, lower costs, more individual flexibility and better employee experiences.

But what do employees really think about it?

The McKinsey survey "Reimagine Work: Employee Survey"

To answer this question, we present in this article the results of McKinsey's "Reimagine Work: Employee Survey" of more than 5,000 full-time employees worldwide working in corporate or government settings.

The study, conducted from December 2020 to January 2021, provides important insights not only into employee expectations, but also into moves companies should take to improve the well-being of their workforce.

Post-covid work arrangements: what are employees asking for?

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The research shows that as much as productivity has increased in recent months, employees feel uncertain about the future. In fact, 40% of employees surveyed say their company has yet to share any vision for post-covid work arrangements.

As much as many employers have announced general intentions to adopt "hybrid" modes, few have shared detailed guidelines, expectations, or outlines.

In companies that communicate vaguely or not at all about the future of post-pandemic work, nearly half of employees say it is causing them concern and anxiety.

More detailed communication about the future is therefore likely to drive employee performance. For this reason, leaders should communicate more with their employees and share future strategies, even if they are still uncertain.

Companies should therefore consider increasing the frequency of their employees' updates, both to share what is already decided and to communicate what is still uncertain.

Flexibility and hybrid working

More than half of the employees surveyed said they would like their company to adopt a more flexible hybrid work model, where they alternate between working days onsite and working remotely. A hybrid model can help organizations get the most out of employees wherever they reside, reduce costs and strengthen organizational performance.

More than a quarter of respondents reported that they would consider switching jobs if their company returned to working entirely in-person.

When describing the hybrid model of the future, more than half of employees surveyed said they would like to work from home at least three days a week.

Among all geographies, U.S. employees are the most interested in having access to remote work, with nearly a third (31%) saying they would like to work remotely full-time.

Clear company policies

Finally, employees were asked to name the top 5 company policies that could improve wellness and productivity levels within companies. Here are the results:

  • Clear collaboration hours and expectations for when to be online, with flexibility outside of these hours (indicated by 34% of respondents)
  • Robust, standardized and integrated online collaboration tools (indicated by 29% of respondents)
  • Listening and response strategy to provide information on what is and is not working (indicated by 27% of respondents)
  • Small, regular team connectivity events to facilitate social cohesion (indicated by 26% of respondents)
  • Training on digital technologies and tools for remote work (indicated by 25% of respondents)
  • Reimbursement policies for home-office configurations for remote work (indicated by 25% of respondents)

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