Thought Piece

Them v Us or Them & Us or Just Us?

Some rather startling numbers were discussed during this week’s EY “Work Reimagined” webinar which highlighted the disconnect between employers and employees. The survey analysed data from 1575 companies over 22 countries and involved over 17,000 employees.

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  • Date 18 May 2022
  • Author Chris Carr
Woman demonstrating hybrid working

Given all the discussion in the media lately about hybrid working, it appears that there are indeed a significant number of employers who want to see a return to the days of people at their desks 9-5, Monday-Friday. 22% of employers who responded to EY’s survey want their staff back in the office five days per week. Counter that with the aspirations of employees, with over 80% wanting to work from home more than two days per week (with the average being 2.9 days working remotely from the office).

The labour market has tipped in favour of the employee recently. In the US alone there are 11 million job vacancies, while the UK Office for National Statistics reported that job vacancies are continuing to rise.

The EY survey on employers and employees also reported that job leavers are no longer being coy about why they are leaving. People are voting with their feet because they are looking for better pay, improved career opportunities and more job flexibility. Within 12 months the percentage of people saying they were likely to leave their current job had jumped from 7% to 43%.

What is changing is the emphasis placed on EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion), but even here there are subtle differences between employers and employees. Reviewing hiring criteria to create a more diverse organisation is seen by employers as being key, while employees see a more equitable organisation (in terms of total pay and benefits) as being the most important action.

The webinar concluded with some concrete proposals on how to “reimagine your workforce,” with the discussion touching upon hybrid work models, reinventing your physical workplace and technology experience, as well as looking at career advancement models and required changes to organisational culture.

Whether the Great Resignation is real or just another marketing ploy to generate clicks or column inches, it’s clear that employers and employees need to talk. And listen.

More details of the EY survey can be found here.

Chris Carr, Associate Workplace Consultant

Chris arrived in workplace consultancy following stints as a scientist in the USA and a tour guide in Greece. He is passionate about the interaction between people and the workspaces they inhabit. Over the past six years, he has worked with numerous clients to help them envisage more effective and engaging spaces.