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Employers to focus on outcomes rather than hours worked

Organisations need to focus on outcomes rather than time spent working to better adapt to the new normal, research finds. 

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A third of companies admitted to not yet considering what their return to work strategy may be
A third of companies admitted to not yet considering what their return to work strategy may be

Recruiter Robert Walters recently carried out a survey of more than 2,000 global companies, but the below findings focus on the UK data only.

 

The research focussed on the skills company leaders needed to better adapt to and drive new ways of working following the pandemic and lockdown.

 

From employers’ point of view, they said senior teams have not been equipped to manage teams remotely and will need new training in the following areas:

  • Being more empathetic to work-life balance (74 percent);
  • Focussing on outcomes rather than work hours (65 percent);
  • Improving virtual communication (57 percent);
  • Better understanding of mental health and wellbeing (52 percent);
  • Creating a more collaborative environment (36 percent).

Employees also had a range of requests they think are needed for the new way of working. Of these, some were in-line with employers thoughts:

  • More flexibility to work from home (89 percent);
  • Investment in better technology (52 percent);
  • Revised focus on wellbeing (32 percent);
  • Changes to performance measures (12 percent).

However, they also wanted changes to office layout, working hours, more autonomy and faster decision-making.

 

The research then looked at the strategy companies are using to bring employees back to work.

 

Nearly half of employers (49 percent) are planning to stagger return to work based on employees’ own health risks related to COVID-19, whilst 46 percent will be staggering employees return depending on how critical their role is to the business.

 

The next most popular strategy was the creation of smaller workgroups (40 percent), followed by changing work hours (34 percent), a voluntary return scheme (33 percent), and splitting shifts (28 percent).

 

Over a quarter (28 percent) of businesses have stated that they will base their return-to-work strategy on local infection rates and a third of companies admitted to not yet considering what their return to work strategy may be.

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