Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of U.S. employees said they lack full confidence that their organization’s post-coronavirus pandemic workplace strategy is the right decision for employees, a 17 percentage point rise from findings in April 2021, according to a survey by people analytics software provider Humanyze.
Indeed, the survey found more than half (53 per cent) said they don’t feel fully informed about their company’s post-pandemic plan or how decisions are being made.
“Without effective communication or the necessary supporting data to inspire confidence in the company’s strategy, it makes perfect sense employees have these concerns and doubts,” said Ben Waber, co-founder and president of Humanyze, in a press release. “As we see from our own data, employees have proven their resiliency in times of change, but leadership must establish trust in order to retain and support their people.”
The survey, which also polled managers, found 70 per cent aren’t leveraging workplace data or technologies to inform their post-pandemic decisions, besides employee surveys. Some 20 per cent said they haven’t been included, involved or been asked to provide input about post-pandemic strategies or decisions. A quarter (25 per cent) of managers said only executive leadership influences these decisions, while 15 per cent said they aren’t sure how their company is informing post-pandemic decisions or planning.
“Companies must realize every team is different,” said Taemie Kim, co-founder and chief scientist at Humanyze, in the release. “While a universally equal policy from the top down might sound best and may be easiest, it impacts groups differently. Where it works for some, it fails for others. Therefore, manager input and employee surveys combined with leveraging available data and tools are critical to correctly identifying individual teams’ best working styles for post-pandemic planning.”
When it comes to returning to the workplace, most employees surveyed said they’re open to doing so in some capacity. However, just over a third (37 per cent) said they’d prefer not to return at all. The top reason in favour of returning was in-person collaboration with teammates and managers, followed by informal social connections with colleagues.
Twenty per cent of employees said they’d look for a new job that offers remote working options if asked to return to the office full time without flexibility, while 43 per cent said they’d speak with their manager about working remotely a few days a week or as needed if asked to return to the office full time.
Another 40 per cent of employees said they’d prefer a fixed office schedule where they see the same people every time they’re in the office if their company chooses a scheduled approach for returning to the office. Notably, this was a top response for both employees and managers, at 45 per cent each.