The EY Reimagined Employer Survey 2021 was conducted across nine countries, spanning 25 industries and over 1000 business leaders. It reports better working culture in organizations, post the pandemic. They found employers and employees broadly agreeing to major working aspects with minor differences on specific subjects.
Around 73% of the employers have agreed that the working culture has been better since the pandemic.
Around 61% of employers intend to promote a hybrid working model, whereas 90% of employees feel the need for this flexibility. An interesting finding of the survey is that only 46% of employers have openly declared their plans with respect to the working model as of now. The delay could be caused due to lingering questions on employee productivity when they work from home.
There were, however, around 39% of employers who believe they want their complete workforce in office after the Covid restrictions ease up. These were mainly industries that are difficult to operate without a physical presence, while a few other companies would like to do this just out of choice.
Concerning business travel, around 90% of employees want to resume business-related travel, while about 63% of employers stated that they would like to discourage business travel after the pandemic.
The numbers have been approximately the same on issues of measuring productivity. Around 83% of employers and 85% of employees stated they could measure productivity easily from anywhere, and there is no need of moving back to the office.
On questions of risks other than health risks, 53% of employees stated that it would be difficult going forward with hybrid working to establish fair rules for roles that need a fixed schedule or location of working as opposed to functions that can be done remotely. A key concern of around 50% of employers is giving flexibility to the former group of employees and retaining talent.
Around 41% believe hybrid working to be a risk to employee creativity and working together, while 40% believe it is bad for employee well-being, 35% and 28% of employers, respectively, feel that it is challenging to adopt new technologies and upskill the employees due to lack of in-person presence.
Workplace safety is also a concern as 61% of employers want their employees to be fully vaccinated while only 45% plan to give paid leaves to employees to get vaccinated.
People Advisory Services of EY, Partner- Anurag Malik commented that employers have now clearly understood the demand for flexibility in working culture. Companies should soon provide clarity on their plans going forward, keeping both the business and workforce concerns in mind.