For companies to gain and retain talent today, they must shift their focus on how to ensure comfort and productivity among their staff, regardless of where and when they work.
COVID-19 has shifted the state of the workplace – perhaps for good in some cases. Over the past year and a half, organizations and employees have learned that, in many situations, jobs can be done efficiently regardless of one’s physical location.
This has led a number of companies to adopt a hybrid or remote work setup as their new normal, especially after observing impressive productivity rates and high employee satisfaction. According to ManpowerGroup’s 2021 Employment Outlook Survey, over half (59%) of employers are planning to offer flexible work options for the long-term, with 20% offering the option to work remotely 100% of the time and 39% planning to support remote work some of the time.1
How can companies continue to evolve in this new normal to attract and retain workers in both the short and long term? One of the most important factors is for organizations to understand the unique motivations of employees and ensure that they feel seen and heard when it comes to how, when and where they want to work.
From Roamers to Homers – new work personalities emerge
Seven new workforce personas are emerging post-pandemic, each with different needs that range across a spectrum of management, physical space, technology and socialization issues,2 according to Grantley Morgan, Global Practice Lead and Vice President of Talent Solutions Consulting at ManpowerGroup. Understanding more about these personas can help organizations better adapt to create a more collaborative and productive work environment.
The Nomads have a goal of balancing their life and work goals while having fulfilling experiences and meeting new people. Nomads tend to thrive in environments that help fuel their extroverted personalities, and they feel more productive simply by being in the presence of others.
What they want: Nomads prefer a more flexible, work-from-anywhere set-up such as hubs and third spaces akin to Spotify's new model which allows workers to first choose a remote, hybrid or office-based model, then select which country and region they want as their base with support available for relocation and paid co-working members.
The First-Timers are those who have very recently entered the workforce or feel like they have missed out on important parts of the onboarding process due to remote working. They believe that real, person-to-person connection is vital to kicking off a successful career.
What they want: To make First-Timers feel more at ease and confident in their careers, even for the time being, companies can designate physical spaces for in-person training and other learning opportunities.
The Front-liners, considered “pandemic heroes” by many, include those who work in supply chain, manufacturing, healthcare and other essential services. While their lines of work may involve advanced technologies, people in these industries must still perform their jobs in-person rather than solely behind a screen.
What they want: Since they’ve been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, Front-liners desire technologies such as bespoke apps like Beekeeper which enable workers to give and receive information without needing direct access to corporate systems. These tools improve the workplace experience and help alleviate health concerns as workers reacclimate to public transit and crowded places.
No matter where one falls on the employee persona spectrum, it’s the responsibility of businesses to respond to their workers’ needs. Small companies and large corporations alike can benefit from embracing a more fluid workplace structure, as it helps provide an even balance and greater satisfaction among workers without negatively affecting the bottom line – especially in today's fluctuating economy.