HR Policy Global

BEERG Newsletter - Future Work: Some recent developments

The Future of Remote Work is a volume of essays, from various contributors, which looks at the shift to remote work from a trade union perspective. It says:

Debates on the future of work have taken a more fundamental turn in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Early in 2020, when large sections of the workforce were prevented from coming to their usual places of work, remote work became the only way for many to continue to perform their professions. What had been a piecemeal, at times truly sluggish, evolution towards a multilocation approach to work suddenly turned into an abrupt, radical and universal shift. It quickly became clear that the consequences of this shift were far more significant and far-reaching than simply changing the workplace’s address. They involved a series of rapid, blockbuster transformations that were going to outlast the ‘mandatory lockdown’ phase of the pandemic.”   You can download the book HERE.

poll of 42,400 full-time employees in 34 countries shows that British workers spend an average of 1.5 days a week working remotely, compared with an international average of 0.9. This means Brits work more hours from home than almost every other nationality, with only Canadian workers spending less time in the office. Employees in France work just 0.6 days a week at home, while in Italy it is 0.7 days and in Spain the average is 0.9 days of remote work. In America, workers spend 1.4 days a week at home, while in Australia the number is 1.3. In Canada, office staff spend 1.7 days a week working remotely. 

Asked how often they would like to work outside of the office, UK-based workers said they would like to work an average of 2.3 days a week from home. Mathias Dolls, of the IFO Centre for Macroeconomics and Surveys, said: “What we’re seeing is that employees really value the option to work from home. However, there’s a gap between the number of days that employees would like to work from home and the number that their employers are planning for them.” More details here. 

The biggest holdouts on the five-day office week are top-tier executives, according to research from McKinsey which shows that senior employees strongly prefer the option of working from home at least part of the time. These executives, who may be small in number, says McKinsey, nevertheless can have outsize stature inside organisations: they are top performers and competitors will poach them with the promise of remote work. 

“It’s a group of talent that has a lot of sway,” around company culture and what attendance looks like, observes Brian Vickery, a partner at McKinsey. In its survey of 13,000 office workers in six countries, McKinsey found the largest share of employees who strongly prefer to work from home were those who earn more than $150,000. That group said they were likely to quit their jobs if called back to the office every day and were prepared to trade more than a fifth of their compensation to work their preferred number of days at home.

Tom Hayes

Director of European Union and Global Labor Affairs, HR Policy Association

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HR Policy Global Launches Extensive Survey on European Works Councils
Employee Relations

HR Policy Global Launches Extensive Survey on European Works Councils

September 29, 2023 | News

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