What we expect from our employers has changed over the last few years. Half of Australians expect more from their employer this year than they did before the COVID outbreak, research for SEEK reveals. Employees are keenly aware of whether businesses are truly committed to offering flexibility and work-life balance, or whether they’re just spouting empty words.
How workplace expectations have changed
According to research conducted by Seek, 65% of people say that what matters to them in workplaces now has changed since the start of the pandemic. This is mainly due to people thinking about what they want in life and what work-life balance means to them. With higher job availability, people are searching for roles and employers that align with their goals and expectations.
What people expect now:
- Work/life balance: This is the top must-have for many people, with 48% saying it’s more important to them now than before the pandemic. Be explicit about how work/life balance is measured in your organisation, says SEEK’s Resident Psychologist Sabina Read. “People used to be grateful to be able to do a school drop-off once a week. That doesn’t hold the weight that it used to.”
- Flexible hours/schedule: 50% of respondents have said flexibility was important to them. Employers defining what flexibility they offer and understanding what work-life balance meant to their people will ultimately lead to higher employee satisfaction.
- Salary & compensation: Financial benefits are still most important for two in five people. They are expecting salary increases and offering fair and reasonable pay will attract and retain talent in a time where employees have a greater opportunity than ever to find the right role for them.
- Job security: Over two in five people say that job security is more important to them now than before COVID, yet just 34% of employers currently provide it. People have higher expectations than during early COVID and want more clarity around job security.
- Option to work from home: Over a third of Australians, want the option to work from home some of the time, but only 26% of employers provide this. Be clear in your job description about what options are available, Read says. “It’s better to have this conversation at the interview stage than 6 months later when you discover you’re a mismatch.”
- Working conditions/environment: Many people now know they can be productive and make a meaningful contribution working from home, so the physical working space needs to provide a complementary offering on top of that, Read says. This could include plenty of natural light, an even temperature, spaces to connect with colleagues and clients, and get-away hubs for quiet work or solitude.
- Good working relationships: Many employers now face the challenge of how to keep workplace culture and engagement in a hybrid working space. Help people understand the culture of a workplace and how they can keep connected with their peers within the hybrid work model.
- Mental health support: The last two years have left most people mentally fatigued from the challenges they’ve faced. Employers need to understand the impact this has on their workforce and implement ways to build resilience within the workforce and offer wellness initiatives to support their team.