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    COVID-19 ‘a tipping point for workplace transformation’

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact upon organisations in the UK, with many making redundancies and placing employees on furlough.

    That’s according to a study from ManpowerGroup, which encompasses talent management experts Right Management, which found that the pandemic has also led to many employees rethinking the relationship with their employer and reprioritising what they define as important at work.

    The study, which questioned 1,000 UK employees, found that learning opportunities are increasingly important in a post-pandemic world, with 82% highlighting this to be the case. Employees want more career coaching (52%) and more of an opportunity to develop skills (70%). The need for consistent communication for leadership has become more important as a result of the pandemic, with almost three quarters (74%) wanting regular communications.

    The relationship between employees and the office has also changed, with three quarters of respondents (75%) wanting increased remote working options and 54% wanting the opportunity to work virtually for an organisation based anywhere. Almost half (47%) of respondents went as far as to say that the pandemic marks the end of full-time work in the office, with 48% of believers feeling happy about this. The main benefits that employees see from remote working include not having to commute (56%), spending more time with family (39%) and being able to work at a convenient time (38%).

    Bernadette Hampton, Principal Consultant at Right Management, said: “It is no surprise to see that the pandemic has had such a profound impact on British employees’ relationship with both work and their employer. With many employees being placed on furlough during the pandemic, there is a clear appetite to be given the opportunity to learn new skills, to help prepare them for the modern world. Helping individuals strengthen their ability to manage in a fast-changing global economy requires a culture of learnability and a nimble mentoring approach. Encouraging coaching culture is crucial. It may be tempting to think that talent management is a luxury that can wait until after the crisis has passed, however the reality is that the shift to remote working has escalated the need for employee development training.

    “As a result of the lockdown, businesses have been forced to implement remote working overnight and this has accelerated changes in how work is conducted and how workforces are engaged. Now the digital genie is out of the bottle, it will be impossible to put it back. Remote working looks here to stay. The traditional working day has been fading away for some time now – but the pandemic has really accelerated change. With many employees balancing work with childcare and education duties, we are seeing a shift towards output based working practises. This means employees have more freedom to work when they can, rather than in a dedicated timeframe. Businesses must adapt to the changing needs of their employers or else they risk losing talent to competitors.”

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien