Lattice has published findings from a survey of workers in the US and UK. The report looks at where people work, at home, office or hybrid and how they feel about it. The findings were released in a press release rather than a full report.
The data tables were shared with Enterprise Times for further analysis. It is clear that while things are settling down as organisations make cultural decisions about working, an element of the workforce is still unhappy.
The survey sample was significant. There were more than 1,000 respondents from the UK and over 2,000 from the US. Schlesinger Group, a research panel company, conducted the survey in Q4 2022. The primary difference between the two sets of employees is that US workers (46%) are more likely to be fully in the office than UK workers (36%). However, while 52% of UK workers are hybrid, only 36% of US workers are.
It is not a choice for most full-time office workers. 83% (US) and 82% (UK) of employers mandating employees work in the office full time. Are people happy with the current state of affairs, in general? Yes, 78% (US) and 79% (UK) somewhat or strongly agree with the level of flexibility their employee gives them
Risk of losing talent?
However, for the minority that disagrees, this could be a reason to leave the company, though not as many as one might think. Only 11%(US) and 12% (UK) are very likely to leave, and another 35%(US) and 40% (UK) are likely or somewhat likely to leave.
The risk that around 6% of employees could leave because of the working conditions might concern some organisations. The big question is when will they leave and are these key people in the organisation. It is unclear from the survey what demographic is looking to leave because they are forced to work from the office.
What organisations should note is that 59% of Gen Z and Millenials said they would consider leaving a role due to an organisation’s remote work policy. This data point was not available to Enterprise Times to validate, but it indicates that firms must consider future policies carefully. They risk alienating the next generation of workers before they recruit them, which could lead to issues in the future.
This is important as it raises potential discriminatory issues. Also, with the technology now available to organisations and the rise of remote worker job applications.
Hybrid is the new normal
Most employees work around three days in the UK and US offices (37%). Only 24% of UK workers work two days (32% of the US). 18% of US workers work four days, and 8% work five or more days in the office, compared to 8% and 2% of UK workers.
Lucy Gilmore, Head of People EMEA at Lattice, commented, “Having choice and being in control of your work set-up clearly has a hugely positive impact on general wellbeing, sense of belonging and engagement. Whether people prefer in-office or fully remote environments, having the flexibility and trust to make decisions about what works best for them is an obvious value add for any employee.”
Interestingly 20% of US workers are fully remote, and only 12% in the UK work remotely. The reason may be because the UK respondents prefer (53% vs 48%) to work in the office. This is because is they cannot work at home (18% UK, vs 10% US). The challenge with quantitative surveys is that they do not delve into why people cannot work from home. Is it because there is no space? Do they share the house with others? Or is it something else? Employees also want to work alongside colleagues.
Gilmore added, “Despite the flexibility that work-from-home offers, it doesn’t outweigh the need for in-person connection in many cases. Even for younger generations who have been largely brought up online, the key driver to go into the office was the relationship building and in-person communication that office life brings.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
There are several important points that organisations can draw from these statistics. First is the importance of employee listening. Lattice provides employee engagement solutions to help business leaders discover their feelings about their working situation and other factors.
With remote working and the shift to hybrid working, organisations also need to ensure that staff are treated fairly and that their performance is measurable. Dictating that employees must work in the office on set days does help organisations build culture. However, it is noticeable that a sizable proportion (20% US, 13% UK) do not comply and skip the required in-office days.
The question is, why do they skip these mandatory days? The majority are willing to comply. It may mean that organisations need to personalise their HR approach and consider personal circumstances in new ways. This cannot be accomplished using spreadsheets. What it needs is modern HR tools to ensure compliance does not alienate valuable staff members who are hard to replace.
The survey results are interesting. However, Lattice could have brought in a qualitative element to produce a report that would have been more insightful.
Source: Enterprise Times