Humanyze, a leader in workplace analytics, released the second installment of the 2021 Future of Work Report, a holistic analysis of the evolution of work throughout the pandemic and employee sentiments about the post-pandemic future of the workplace.
Nearly 2,300 survey responses were collected from workers and people managers, and compared to responses from the spring 2021 report, to identify key changes over the last six months. The findings from both surveys were measured against data from the Humanyze Platform to compare how employees and managers feel, with how they actually work.
“Looking at subjective workforce sentiments and how work objectively gets done within organizations gives us a holistic view of the pandemic’s impacts and what this could mean for the future of work post-COVID,” said Taemie Kim, co-founder and chief scientist, Humanyze. “Measuring our own analytics against these survey responses revealed that, although employees seem to be effectively adapting to remote work as the pandemic continues, many challenges and concerns remain.”
At a time when employee attrition and operational resilience are top concerns for employers, the report’s latest findings further emphasize the importance of a data-driven, people-centric approach to workplace decision-making.
When asked about their greatest work challenge during the pandemic, the top response for employees was work-life balance, followed by the lack of informal social interactions with colleagues, managers, and leadership.
Managers, on the other hand, listed employee attrition and disengagement as their main hurdle, followed by decreased productivity.
After the start of the pandemic, Humanyze observed a 21 percent decrease in collaboration with “weak ties,” peripheral colleagues that you interact with less frequently but are essential for engagement, knowledge-sharing, and innovation. While this remains the case today, not all employee collaboration has suffered.
Compared to pre-pandemic, Humanyze data shows meaningful increases in cross-level, cross-team collaboration, and communication between employees and their immediate colleagues and managers.
Although employees and managers seem to be adapting to remote work and collaborating more effectively since the start of the pandemic, one of the more concerning recent takeaways is an increased lack of employee confidence in their company’s future of work. Of those surveyed, 63 percent lack full confidence in their company’s post-pandemic workplace strategy being the right decision for employees, compared to 46 percent in April 2021.
Survey findings demonstrate a need for better communication and transparency from executive leadership, with over 50 percent of employees reporting they do not feel fully informed about their company’s post-COVID plans or how decisions get made. Around 20 percent of managers cited having absolutely no involvement or say, showing leaders have significant work ahead of them to achieve a more inclusive, transparent culture.
Although more than half of managers cited the use of employee surveys to understand employee preferences, 70 percent reported their company is not leveraging any other data or workplace technologies to inform strategies. This shows that, even in the digital age, objective data is still not a driving force for informing critical business and people decisions.
One key takeaway from the fall survey is that employees want continued flexibility, but still value the benefits of working with colleagues in-person. Although most employees remain open to going back to the office in some capacity and listed in-person collaboration with colleagues and leaders as their top reason for doing so, 37 percent agree they’d prefer to not go in at all.
To download the complete Fall 2021 Future of Work Report, visit humanyze.com/report-2021-fall-future-of-work/.