The past year has allowed us all to revaluate a lot of things. From our jobs, to our home lives and hobbies, to our work-life balance. And as a result, I’m seeing a real shift in the way people think about work. No longer is having a job what’s important – we’re thinking more about the quality of the job and getting better jobs. 

Employers are facing a real headache. 

As we move out of lockdown, there are huge shifts coming in the way employers have relationships with their staff. As a workforce, we have proven we can work remotely, in the most challenging of circumstances, and many employees will now be hoping to retain that more flexible style of working when the offices reopen. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people will be wishing to go back to the office, while some employers look to get rid of offices to save on overheads… 

We’re in a period of change, somewhere between crisis and normality. What will the future look like? What expectations will employers and employees in this new normal? The rule book has been well and truly torn up! 

The future of work.

A recent email I received from the CIPD stated: “Employment confidence has continued its upward surge as the latest CIPD/Adecco Labour Market Outlook survey reveals all sectors are currently experiencing a jobs recovery. While the findings are a cause for optimism, a solid jobs recovery must focus on the creation of better jobs not just more jobs.”

Post COVID, employees are demanding increased flexibility from their jobs. We’re not just talking about being able to work from home – but also when people work, be that condensed hours or abnormal hours that suit their working style better and hence improve their productivity. (Read more on the importance of the ‘location of work’ in a blog I co-wrote for the Cambridge Network here)

On top of this, employees are also demanding increased reassurance and job security. With so many having gone through redundancy and furlough over the past 12 months and beyond it’s not surprising that now we are craving a little stability. 

What does this mean? Employers are having to create better jobs. 

Jobs that will appeal to a pool of candidates who are demanding more. More flexibility, more work-life balance, more reassurance, more stability and security. 

Some organisations are even hiring remote working managers to embrace this new move to flexible working styles!

As recruitment activity picks up, how can employers attract the top talent? 

The CIPD details seven dimensions of job quality:

  1. Pay and benefits
  2. Employment contracts
  3. Work-life balance
  4. Job design and nature of work
  5. Relationships at work
  6. Employee voice
  7. Health and wellbeing

How would your organisation and the roles you’re hiring for stand up against these categories? Could your roles compete in what’s becoming a competitive hiring market as we bounce back from a pandemic? If not, you risk losing out on the top talent, and also losing current employees who may be tempted by the benefits on offer elsewhere… 

If you want to ensure you don’t fall into the expectations gap, I will be co-hosting a half day workshop on June 17th from 9:30am with Kelly Drewery, a Business Psychologist. We will be looking at how the pandemic has widened the gap between the expectations of employees and employers and how line managers can confidently navigate these.

Find out more and book a ticket via the Cambridge Network.