Research proves businesses need to offer employees more.
The pandemic has redefined how we aspire to live and work – changing how we see ourselves and our place in the world.
This re-evaluation and prioritization has triggered large-scale changes, including mass resignations, more empowered employees, and a war for talent.
Recent research conducted by Monogram Partners proves that in the shifting landscape post-COVID, employees want more reasons to come back to the office.
And businesses need to offer more if they want to attract and retain the best talent.
Monogram used a qualitative, in-depth interview methodology to discover customer and consumer priorities, needs, pain points, expectations and satisfaction.
Returning to work is a dominant issue.
The tight labour market, approaching almost full employment, has focused business efforts on employee attraction, retention and engagement.
For businesses, figuring out how to win the war for talent and navigate a difficult return to work crowded out other business priorities e.g. economy, ESG, technology
The normalisation of flexible working.
COVID-19 accelerated the transition away from the standard 9-5 working model. Employees feel empowered to make their own decisions, with hybrid work arrangements enabling work-life balance.
- Employers have put in place new workplaces strategies to manage flex and hybrid work which is now the default
- There is wide-scale experimentation as employers attempt to bring more people back to the office
- Broad re-evaluation of business needs, including downsizing office space and upgrading to new facilities
Personal priorities shifted to home and family
By moving work and social lives online, the pandemic ignited a recalibration – driving regional migration, mass resignations and a need for more community-centric/purpose-led workspaces.
- Employees value the places, people and activities that sustained them during the pandemic
- There is a continued preference for local, with new habits difficult to break, e.g. entertaining more at home, going to a local gym, and having flexibility around working hours.
- Prioritising time with family, partner and pets at home, often at the expense of their relationship with their employer/colleagues
- Strong bias towards open, airy, outdoor spaces.
Key themes: business owner drivers & barriers
The employee experience.
As employee engagement and absenteeism become more difficult to observe, products and services that reduce or eliminate the most visible/tangible problems with the employee experience are preferred.
Economic uncertainty, particularly negative sentiment overseas makes it more difficult to make decisions and gain timely approvals. Products and services that help to offset the rental cost, such as downsizing, flexible leases and sub-letting are favoured but must not detract from brand image or employee experience.
What do employees want?
To maintain balance.
The mental and emotional aspects of well-being have moved into the mainstream. Hybrid working feels healthy, compared to the burnout and tedium of the 9-5 or the isolation and loneliness of fully remote work.
To enjoy and discover novelty.
Being onsite needs to feel less of a chore and more like an occasion. The relative infrequency of visits and the inability to know what awaits them elevates excitement and anticipation.
Maximise the trip.
The frequency of trips to the city makes them feel more high stakes. Multiple meetings, appointments and activities are scheduled to get the most out of their visit. It needs to feel “worth it.”
Employers need to help staff feel like they’re getting more from a visit to the office.
Employees need to feel they’re getting the most out of themselves when they’re onsite; be that from workflow, networking and connection, life admin, or personal development and well-being.
HR, L&D, and People & Culture need to dial up the employee experience.
Businesses are battling to attract, retain and engage employees, to boost productivity and performance. The office is an extension of these efforts, requiring a more holistic approach.
The “what’s in it for me?” factor.
Now more than ever PowerProv workshops can help solve some, not all, of the challenges employers and employees face every day.
Employees want to know if they’re coming into the office that it will be worth it. And that when they leave they’ll be better off for it.
Our super fun team building activities will help people reconnect with each other and are especially great for teams that are rarely all in the same place at the same time, or getting together in person for the first time.
And if our reviews are anything to go by, people definitely get value from our improv workshops for business.
People skills – a lost art?
As staff continue to work from home and spend more and more time collaborating over video calls, soft skills can deteriorate.
They are like any muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
And participants in our improv workshops for teams continually tell us how valuable and helpful it’s been to remember how to connect at a human level.
Personal development is one of the key ways employers can keep staff engaged and excited about coming back to the office.
PowerProv workshops have been proven over and over again to deliver meaningful value and a fun activity everyone will want to be around for.