The research project from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), supported by Allianz Partners, focuses on how we work in an online world and its impact on our mental and physical well-being. The groundbreaking study explores how Covid-19 has accelerated trends emerging in the last two decades and what companies should do considering the new working landscape that has emerged in 2020.
Covid-19 has accelerated trends towards greater digitalization and according to report 3 out of 4 people wanted to continue working from home after the pandemic. This shift can change employee work-life experiences for the better – if the associated risks are also mitigated. Benefits include greater productivity and flexibility. Companies will have to actively manage this digital transition or face a higher turnover of their workforce. Problems exist for certain demographics. The study found that 74% of older employees want help with using new IT systems. On the other hand, 8 out of 10 younger workers wanted guidance and rules on what was expected of them while working from home. If gaps in support are not filled, they are likely to impact productivity.
The study suggests that improvements will be derived from giving people greater flexibility. Business leaders should consider changes at every level of their organization to maximize the benefits and minimize digital transformation risks. First and foremost, leadership is central. Executives need to model the behaviors they are trying to instill in the organization. Secondly, technology gives companies the flexibility to create new ways to approach work, and company policies should reflect rather than constrain this opportunity. For example, rather than imposing top-down rules such as working hours, policies should allow flexibility at the team-level to determine how and where work is performed. This approach ensures people know what is expected of them and empowers employees to decide what works. Lastly, companies need to ramp up their employee wellness programs to ensure workers can still get the help they need from home.
According to Dr. Shelton Goode, CEO, and President of Icarus Consulting, “Flexible working should not only be available for people whose jobs can be done remotely. For people who must be on-site, business leaders need to focus on giving more flexibility despite this. For example, more control over shift times, doing certain parts of their job, where possible, from home, or promoting other options such as job shares. It’s critical that these people still feel part of the conversation around transitions and are not overlooked.” He further said, “Leaders will need to pair a focus on productivity and efficiency with an authentic focus on creating supportive climates and building genuine inclusion and involvement. The need for human connection will not go away.” Dr. Goode, who was one of the handpicked experts selected to contribute to the study, also added, “Employees are relying on leaders at all levels of the business to take action and set the tone. Communications from senior business leaders to managers should prioritize employee health and business sustainability.”
About Icarus Consulting, LLC
Icarus Consulting is a strategic consulting and coaching firm dedicated to providing leaders with transformative insights and solutions in organizational performance by focusing on diversity and inclusion. To learn more about how we help the company build a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace, visit us at www.icarusconsult.net
Company Name: Icarus Consulting
Contact Person: Dr. Shelton J. Goode
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