Post-Pandemic Workers: What Kind Are You?

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Photo Credits - Brusk Dede via Unsplash

The pandemic has brought significant shifts in employment, including in the segmentation of post-pandemic workers. This is echoed through new research by Henley Business School, University of Reading.

With the various pandemic restrictions on work, employees are now accustomed to work-from-home models, making it normalised in work after COVID-19. Acknowledging this change, the research was done to help business leaders identify the transformation of employee needs in this new work life. 

READ: AI More Likely to Displace Workers in High-Paying Jobs

Henley Business School on Post-Pandemic Workers

The research that surveyed 3,000 full-time UK employees established that we are now in an “Omniployment era.” This term was coined as a way to acknowledge the changing needs in employment for post-pandemic workers. 

Work-life balance is key to this new work-life. 72% of surveyed UK employees crave jobs that accommodate their hobbies and interests. Only 19% prioritise advancement over free time, a sentiment echoed by the largest segment, the “Work-life balance advocates” (39%) who dream of flexible schedules and unlimited leave.

But salary still plays a role, with “Salary-driven weekend workers” (13%) prioritising financial rewards. Values also matter. “Socially conscious workers” (15%) choose ethical companies, while “Employee advocates” (10%) value fair treatment and benefits. “Employee satisfaction enthusiasts” (10%) are swayed by positive reviews and attractive perks.

Location independence fuels the “Lone rangers” (14%), for whom remote work is a must-have. Across all segments, a toxic workplace topped the list of dealbreakers (59%), followed by safety concerns (58%) and poor work-life balance (56%). Dissatisfaction with recognition (34%), management (33%), and workload (30%) were the main reasons employees considered leaving their current jobs.

To attract and retain talent in this diverse landscape, businesses must ditch the one-size-fits-all approach and embrace bespoke HR strategies. “The Omniployment Era demands it,” says Dr. Rita Fontinha, director of Flexible Work at Henley Business School. “Ignoring diverse needs will only push talent towards more adaptable sectors.”

The “Omniployment Era” is here, and businesses that adapt to the unique needs of their six distinct worker types will thrive. Flexibility, personalisation, and a focus on employee well-being are the keys to unlocking success in this new and dynamic landscape.

The Omniployment Era

Post-pandemic workers and the Omniployment Era

The Omniployment era coined by researchers at Henley Business School can help us understand the changing needs of the workforce. 

This term was suggested as work can no longer be approached through a “one-size-fits-all” method. Now, personalisation is key for post-pandemic workers. 

The usage of the prefix “omni-”, derived from the Latin meaning “all”, highlights the need for inclusion of all workers. They’ve also encouraged employers to remember that respect and consider every individual’s values and life. 

This new era also features six different types of post-pandemic workers.

  • Socially Conscious Workers: Workers who place importance on company values and how they affect the wider public. They tend to be against companies that fall short on social and environmental issues. 
  • Employee Advocates: Workers who highly consider good business practices and social standards within a company. They are known to value employee benefits.
  • Work-Life Balance Advocates: Workers who value their ability to balance both their professional and personal commitments. Flexible working models are important to them. 
  • Salary-Driven Weekend Workers: Workers who are driven by salaries and are willing to work long hours and weekends. Usually are not concerned about ethical or social issues, location or benefits. 
  • Employee Satisfaction Enthusiasts: Workers who are motivated by benefits packages and highly concerned about employee reviews. To them, a workplace needs to have good company culture
  • Lone Rangers: Workers who want to have the freedom to work remotely and have a high salary. 

Changing Employment Landscape

These shifts are important for employers to consider when hiring and retaining talent. Standards have now changed, with a greater emphasis on flexibility and wellbeing. 

READ: Performance-Related Pay to be Removed for Teachers from September 2024

Based on the research, there are key changes that employers should consider:

  • Embracing the six worker segments: Employers should adjust their approach to employees based on the type of worker they are to better accommodate their needs. This will lead to higher appreciation and satisfaction, ultimately boosting productivity and retention. 
  • Flexibility above all: Flexibility now has become so normalised that is now expected by most candidates and employees. By being flexible and allowing the opportunity for it, employers will have an easier time attracting and retaining talent. 
  • Value individual needs: Taking the time to consider individual approaches will take you a long way in retaining talent. This will significantly boost the employee experience. 
  • Well-being matters: Employees now value their well-being. It is expected of employers to accommodate for well-being and good mental health. 

The Omniployment Era is an opportunity to rewrite the rules of work, creating a more fulfilling and productive experience for everyone. By embracing diversity, prioritising flexibility, and investing in employee well-being, businesses can not only attract and retain top talent but also unlock a workforce that thrives in this dynamic new landscape. 

In the Omniployment Era, it’s no longer about fitting employees into rigid structures; it’s about designing structures that fit them.

If you require advice or guidance on employment law matters, head to the Redmans website. To get in touch with our team of expert employment lawyers, click here.

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