Older workers less positive about lockdown working

A survey by the Boston Consulting Group explores different groups’ feeling about lockdown working and how it affects their sense of value and trust in their employer.

Women

 

Older workers who have been working remotely in the coronavirus crisis are much less likely than younger ones to feel more valued by their employers after lockdown, according to a new survey which explores the feelings of different groups of employees about the pandemic.

The survey by the Boston Consulting Group found half of 18 to 24 year olds who worked remotely felt more valued by their employer compared to just 24% of employees over 55. Older employees missed human contact, whilst youngest employees were more divided, showing the highest interest in remote work but a similarly high interest in returning to the office. The greatest barriers to remote work for young workers included inadequate home set-up and potentially missing out on career development opportunities.

It found significant differences between workers who had been furloughed and those who hadn’t with regard to feeling trusted and valued. Only a third of employees returning from furlough feel trusted by employers to do their work remotely, compared to four-fifths of non-furloughed employees that say the same. The survey also found that one third of workers who had been furloughed did not feel more valued by their employers post lockdown, compared to one fifth that had not been.

The Future of Work survey of 2,000 employees also found trust of employers was affected by whether people had been furloughed or not, for instance, 56% of those furloughed believe their employer would only allow them to return to their workplace when it is safe, versus 77% of employees who weren’t.

A fifth of those who had to work remotely stated they did not experience any negative impacts at all, and many benefited from improvements such as reduced commute times (51%), flexibility around working hours (38%) and decreased distractions (15%).

Nick South, a Managing Director and Partner at BCG, said:Furloughing large numbers of employees was the only option for many companies as the UK went into lockdown in March. However, six months on, employees who have been working remotely feel much more valued and trusted to work remotely than those who have been furloughed. As organisations work out how they are going bring people back to the workplace and operate going forward, they need to recognise the very different experiences that their employees have had – and their different aspirations for working in the future”.

A majority of employees who work with other people favoured a hybrid model as the best model for the future, splitting time between the office and home, with 27% preferring an all-office model and 12% a fully remote model. Those with someone high risk in their household are nearly three times more likely to prefer a fully remote model. 75% of those with a commute of over one hour want a hybrid work model, whereas 42% of those with a commute of less than 10 minutes want everyone in the office.

 



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