Options Consulting Group recently conducted a survey titled “Nature of work post COVID-19” with Executive, Professional and Technical people. Some noteworthy findings and our comments are listed below:
65% of respondents are currently employed although 17% of respondents have recently be made redundant.
It is obvious the Federal and State Government’s range of assistance initiatives designed to keep people in work and companies operating through the COVID-19 isolation period has been effective. Although, there is evidence some companies have also taken the opportunity in this current environment to “right size”.
82% of respondents are currently working remotely.
Over 67% of respondents found working remotely very easy or easy.
41% of respondents found productivity to be better compared to working from the office.
Only 16% of respondents rated their productivity worse when compared to working from the office.
Working remotely is a relatively new experience for many and there is indication employers are seriously considering remote working post COVID-19 as an ongoing viable strategy and turning their thoughts to matters like future office size, flexible working arrangements, team communications strategies, travel routines and upgrading technologies.
For employees working remotely they are more likely to want clauses included in any future employment offer to address work flexibility and hours of work along with provision of “tools of Trade” including laptop computers, telephones and travel expenses where a routine report to office is mandated.
Almost 70% of respondents believe contract or contract-to-permanent hiring will be the trend of future employment.
Employers will be reluctant to commit to permanent appointments at the outset because of the uncertain economic outlook post COVID-19.
Candidates are more open to a contract or contract-to-permanent engagement for a range of reasons including:
- Opportunity to secure a role with a defined scope
- Confident being a “subject matter expert”/internal mentor
- Comfortable not being absorbed in the office politics
- Greater independence, flexibility and work/life balance
- Risk mitigation and income reliability is managed by licenced 3rd Party Providers
69% of respondents believe employers are very likely or likely to offer reduced salaries.
Over 85% of respondents believe the trend in Salary and Benefits when compared to current salary packages will worsen or remain about the same as pre COVID-19.
The forecast unemployment rate and perceived greater pool of available candidates is assumed to put some downward pressure on salary packages for new permanent appointments. However as salary packages have remained steady for the past few years there may be no significant variance from the period leading up to COVID-19. The somewhat sceptical view of salary & benefit trends would most likely impact the willingness of currently employed people to seek a new role for reasons other than genuine improved career prospects, increased job security, breakdown in current employer/employee relationship.
64% of respondents have considered upskilling.
A significant number of respondents indicated their willingness to learn new skills. Coupled with more productive use of existing technologies and the potential adoption of new technologies to drive efficiency, productivity and cost benefit, companies will need to consider:
- A people and skills plan aligned to their business plan. This business imperative should consider the number of full time equivalents balanced with Interim resources required to deliver key projects, meet work cycles and cover planned absenteeism.
- Greater investment in Learning & Development initiatives at all levels of the organisation to effectively retain and re-deploy current resources and deliver the company performance plan.