There is a before and there is an after: before the lockdown, only 37% of Europeans and 33% of Italians could work smart, while for 41% (both in Europe and in Italy) his work could not be done remotely in any way. Today, more than 100 million employees in Europe have switched to remote work, with nearly 45 million making this change for the first time. During the pandemic, many employees experienced not only remote working, but a radical shift towards a more independent way of working.
And organizations will now have to think about how to channel this greater autonomy.
«Two out of three employees», is written in the report The voice of the European workforce 2020, the study done by Deloitte, collecting the opinions of over 10,000 workers in seven European countries, “Expect to work remotely more often even after the current exceptional circumstances have ended. Most respondents consider adaptability a vital skill if they want to thrive in the post-COVID job market. “
And so it is not surprising to know the workers, in recent months, have received one greater personal autonomy during the day, as well as one greater flexibility of the working day (45%), at a change in work priorities (32%) and to one perception of the increase in one’s responsibilities (31%).
Time and trust, the basis for an effective adaptation to change
In general, given the very delicate period in which these changes took place, it was not particularly difficult for Italians to adapt to the news: 85% of our compatriots found it easy or even “very easy” to adapt to remote work. Before the pandemic, no one would have bet that such profound and sudden changes in people’s daily working lives could have been made with so much success on a large scale and, above all, that it would have been so easy for workers to adapt.
The key elements who played a decisive role in facilitating this transition for the Italians were time (39%) (with the passing of the days it has become increasingly easier to adapt to a new way of working), the possibility of being able rely on a solid network of colleagues and personal relationships (39%); the trust given by colleagues (35%) and leadership (33%).
«The working environment has changed substantially in recent months and it is unlikely that it will go back to what it was before Covid-19. Recognizing the complexity and heterogeneity of their employees, business leaders must design their policies and interventions in a targeted way, based on an understanding of the different attributes and needs of their workers “he commented with conviction. Drew Keith, Human Capital Leader Deloitte.
WHAT WILL REMAIN OF THIS PANDEMIC
The Most respondents in Europe (66%) expect some aspects of their life to be permanently different.
In particular, for workers remote work already seems to be an element that will remain in the future. The relative majority of respondents expect to have more flexibility in deciding when and how to work in the post-COVID-19 world. Two out of three employees, both in Europe and in our country, expect to work remotely more often.
Learning to manage a more autonomous and less workplace-centered workforce is a big new challenge for companies. It will also lead to the abandonment of the old remuneration and evaluation schemes, hitherto strongly based on hours worked. The fear of having to work multiple hours for the same pay is a major concern for post-Covid-19 which often emerges among the interviewees (32% in Europe vs 31% in Italy), second only to the increase in job insecurity (36% in Europa vs 32% in Italia). Another concern It results to be the deterioration of human relations between colleagues with consequent loss of trust (30% in Europa vs 28% in Italia).
New skills to increase resilience
The post-Covid-19 work environment will require new skills by the workforce and workers seem to be aware of this. In particular, 66% of Italian respondents (60% in Europe) indicates the ability to adapt as one of the first three skills which will be more relevant. Another element that according to Italians will become increasingly relevant in new normal It will be there ability to work in a team (41% vs 43% in Europe), followed byability to develop creative thinking outside the box of traditional work (41% vs 25% in Europe). Finally, with increased flexibility and autonomy, it is inevitable that a efficace time management it will be increasingly important (37% vs 41% in Europe).
«The picture that emerges from the workers’ responses is overall positive. In a rapidly changing work environment, most workers have managed to adapt very well, despite the critical situation. Businesses should capitalize on this positive attitude and redouble their efforts to build a more resilient workforce. This requires going beyond training workers solely in the area of technical skills. In fact, we should also focus on creating a culture and an organizational mentality that can foster the ability to learn, apply and adapt new skills ”, concludes Drew Keith.