I wanna do it my way
Results from the latest workplace survey by PWC suggest that the majority of workers do not want to return to the office full-time. Ninety percent of Australians want to keep working from home, in some capacity. Are we really surprised that we don’t want to go back to the office?
PwC’s survey of the global workforce included 32,500 participants from 19 countries, including more than 2,000 Australians. What I believe the survey results are tapping into is our inherent need as humans for autonomy. We want to ‘do it our way’, and with other motivating forces of mastery and belonging, autonomy can be what makes the difference between whether we will flourish or languish in a business culture that doesn’t optimise our strengths and skills.
Flexibility to differentiate your office or company
Not optimising flexibility is a dangerous zone for business leaders especially given the current ‘war on talent’. The other challenge forecasted by the PWC survey is skills shortages as country borders remain closed. Being able to do business virtually will differentiate companies in their search for top talent. How is your business adapting to a hybrid workplace?
• Nearly one-third think their job will be obsolete in five years
• More than half of Australians think few people will have stable, long-term office jobs in the future
Along with my wonderful colleagues at JOST & Co, we have been working with clients on changing structures and culture to make hybrid workplaces work for both the employee and employer. The survey results reinforce the view that it does take both structural and cultural change.
“Organisations that invest in their people develop stronger cultures and are more confident of their future success.
“We need to plan for dynamic rather than static tomorrow. Upskilling creates opportunities so that by the time one job is declining a person is ready for a new, better job.”
More focus on health and wellbeing
The survey also found there was still work to be done on mental health and well-being for staff. Only a quarter (26 percent) of Australians said they were encouraged to take short breaks in the working day, and just 21 percent said their employers allowed them to take time to incorporate wellbeing initiatives into their daily activity. Again, these results reflect what we hear from businesses we work with. Many are aware of the need to increase wellbeing and resilience and develop more psychological safety. We have been working with clients on establishing compassionate leadership within their organisation as a precedent for the better well-being of their workforce. Noticing, Feeling, and Acting are important components of compassionate leadership.
I love this story as it provides a great example of how compassion takes a step up from empathy:
Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon spent time with Thupten Jinpa and the Dalai Lama and shared a story of a monk on the hill who came across someone stuck under a big heavy stone, and empathy is ‘oh, you poor thing, I feel for you, I’m sorry about your situation, I’m feeling that heavy weight on me as well. Empathy stops here and feels ok about it. Whereas compassion is unimpressed and is trying to figure out how to remove the rock.
The survey was conducted between January 26 and February 8, and respondents included workers, business owners, contract workers, students, unemployed people looking for work, and those on wage subsidies or who were temporarily laid off.