While working from home is no longer a default for Singapore employees this week onwards, with 75% of employees now allowed to be in the office, the Multi-ministry Taskforce on COVID-19 emphasized that employers are encouraged to support as many employees in working remotely if possible as workplaces shift to a more flexible way of working, to reduce the duration spent in the workplace.
As the trend of remote working continues in the new year, the annual Adobe State of Work report reveals four themes for employers looking to lead and drive employee engagement in this post-COVID age of digital transformation:
1. Digital workers are resilient
Digital workers gained capacity in two of the most challenging aspects of work amid the effects of the pandemic – collaborating with colleagues over geographies and dealing with work-related conflict and hard conversations.
The report also shows a rise in reliance on technology to support creativity and innovation and workers relying on technology to develop new ideas, which can be attributed to remote workers recreating the energy and inspiration of in-person brainstorming and collaboration.
2. Digital workers are even more engaged
Employee engagement is on the rise. The number of employees who reported feeling invested in their jobs grew from 79 percent to 81 percent, and the number who said doing their best work was more important than pay jumped by nearly 10 percentage points.
Paired with this desire to make a difference at work is a need that employees have to feel valued. In fact, feeling unappreciated was the top barrier to employees feeling invested in their work, highlighting the importance of employee engagement.
3. Digital workers have new expectations
Digital employees know what a good customer experience feels like, and they bring those expectations to work. This makes them more willing to walk away if technology makes their jobs harder or limits their success, and 49 percent of respondents said they would quit a job if the technology is out of date or hard to use.
By failing to invest in the right tools, companies are sending the signal that they aren’t very concerned with the quality of work or the people doing the work. Employers have to rise to the higher standards of digital workers to keep them engaged and invested in their jobs.
4. Generations are being impacted differently
Remote workers are responding differently to the changes and challenges that have emerged over the past year.
When comparing millennials, those between the ages of 25 and 40, and Gen Xers, who range in age from 41 to 56, Gen Xers showed major gains in confidence around communication, including conflict resolution and their ability to build and reinforce trust in a new environment. Millennials, meanwhile, appear to be adapting at a slower pace, particularly with regard to trust.
These trends suggest employers need to address both the technological needs and the life-situation barriers impacting individuals and teams, especially in millennials who face an uphill climb when it comes to building collective resilience and absorbing the nuances of corporate culture.
In order to take the lead, companies today must prioritize technologies that make it easy for employees to collaborate to boost productivity, direct business outcomes, and help companies attract and keep the best talent, regardless of where or how they work.
To find out more about how COVID-19 changed digital work and how companies can support their employees in today’s fast-changing workplace, read the full blog post here.
Related article: Singapore workers expect workplace changes for the better post-COVID