The pandemic has shifted the dial considerably in terms of what many people want and expect from their employer.
For many, being forced to work from home has been a game-changer, and lots of people have discovered they really like the better work-life balance it has given them.
The pandemic has also placed a renewed focus on health and safety for those who continue to go to the office or simply can’t work from home, as they want and expect their employer to take reasonable Covid precautions.
But a new study suggests that while the issue of keeping home-workers satisfied is high on the agenda for both bosses and members of staff, the same can’t be said for health and safety matters.
Research by Sapio for WorkNest HR found that senior leaders believe there are three key business challenges resulting from the pandemic. These are keeping staff happy (14.5%), increasing staff turnover (12.7%) and involving home-based members of staff (11.2%).
Employees agreed that involving home workers was important, with 13% saying this was a challenge for the future, while 12.5% cited keeping staff happy as a big issue.
But interestingly, 11.6% of workers cited protecting health and safety as one of the top three issues for businesses in a post-pandemic world.
It’s clear that as employers start pushing for members of staff to return to their premises, even on a hybrid rather than full-time basis, many members of staff will be seeking reassurances that their premises are as Covid-safe as possible.
Yet the findings suggest that this depth of feeling isn’t something that many bosses are either aware of or doing anything about.
This could have a big impact when it comes to staff retention, as again, employers and employees are split on the issue of whether firms reacted to the pandemic well.
Some 64% of bosses said they believe staff have become more loyal because of how their company responded to the Covid outbreak.
But only 45% of workers said they feel their firm has handled the pandemic well, and 23% feel less loyal because of their Covid response.
It’s good to see that many employers are thinking of homeworkers and aware of the importance of keeping them happy and involved at work.
However, some may be running the risk of not considering the needs of those who can’t work from home or are expected to go back to the office after 18 months of working remotely.
A company’s health and safety record, and its Covid policy in particular, could become a big issue that affects its reputation as an employer and its ability to attract and retain talent.