A year ago, the Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, which ranks global economic concerns, hovered at an all-time high amidst trade wars and ever-shifting policies. COVID-19 has escalated the uncertainty with businesses scrambling to navigate the new workplace normal. Data-driven insights may provide the key.
From the ashes... a hybrid workforce arises
As the smoke clears on 2020, one thing is certain – how we work will never be the same. According to ManpowerGroup’s Q4 2020 Employment Outlook Survey, nearly everyone has seen their work life transform due to COVID-19 with 30% starting work-from-home, 11% furloughed and one-third seeing pay reductions and reduced hours.
In response, employers are rethinking how people are hired and how and where they work. Over half (59%) plan to offer flexible work options for the long-term, with 20% offering the option to work remotely 100% of the time and 39% supporting some remote work.
That’s positive news for the majority of workers who seek a future of work that includes work-life balance as they continue to juggle careers and increasingly complex personal and family lives.
Employers agile enough to create this new flexible environment will find increased engagement and productivity.
Measuring workforce readiness
As business leaders navigate this new hybrid work model, they need to evaluate just how prepared they are to succeed in this new normal. Identifying what’s sustainable, opportunities for cost savings, the best mix of employee versus non-employee populations, how to best locate different skill sets in different markets, and how best to operate within changing regulatory landscapes are just some of their pressing considerations. The 2020 Total Workforce Index™ is a one-of-a-kind tool that assesses workforce potential based on over 200 factors across 76 global markets to provide a comprehensive view of four key areas: workforce availability, cost efficiency, productivity and regulation. This year, the Index uses new remote readiness indicators (e.g. childcare gap, technical reliability, cybersecurity risk) to help companies evaluate the best markets for remote capable or remote optimal workforces.
The Index is adaptable so organizations can customize to support their short and long-term workforce planning needs, such as location strategy, remote work allocation, workforce mix and cost savings. It’s a timely solution considering that 87% of leaders are experiencing workforce gaps and are not certain how to address the problem.
Valuable insights in any language
In an increasingly connected world, there’s a growing demand for employees who can work across languages and cultures. To meet that need, a global language learning company with physical locations in multiple countries wanted to ramp up its remote learning offering by adding more instructors to their online portal. A Total Workforce Index™ custom analysis revealed which locations had the highest quality talent pool aligned with specific language competencies and helped to pinpoint markets that would deliver the right amount of multilingual, experienced instructors to meet the higher volume of students. It also prepared the organization for the sudden shift to virtual learning globally during the pandemic.
Paving the road to recovery with talent
While the effects of COVID-19 will continue to resonate, signs of recovery are emerging in many countries, which is prompting organizations to evolve workforce strategies to ensure they are positioned for sustainable growth. For some industries, the path to recovery may mean shifting revenue streams. In healthcare, for example, loss of revenue from cancelled procedures will be offset by growth in telehealth with physicians and health professionals seeing 50 to 175 times more patients virtually than they did before the pandemic. Effectively managing these changes will require thoughtful planning and best-in-class technologies to attract, manage and retain the best talent possible.
To learn more about how Talent Solutions’ Total Workforce Index™ can help your business navigate a changing world with real-time actionable data and insights, visit https://talentsolutions.manpowergroup.com/twi.
 ManpowerGroup’s Q4 2020 Employment Outlook Survey