Future of the office – the human-centric approach
Many organizations are asking: what does the future of the office look like? How do we keep employees happy and productive in the new hybrid work models? The Gallup paper ‘State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report’ shed some light on these questions from the worker’s perspective.
The challenges presented by post-pandemic hybrid working models, worker’s reluctance to return to the office, as well as an increasing number of resignations, show employees are increasingly unhappy at work.
Gallup found that 60% of people are emotionally detached at work and 19% are miserable. Further only 33% said to be thriving in their overall wellbeing. As the report points out: “Overall wellbeing influences life at work. Employees who are engaged at work but not thriving have a 61% higher likelihood of ongoing burnout than those who are engaged and thriving.” (Gallup, 2022)
There is a general effort to recognize this, with employers investing in new ways to attain a work-life-balance, through flexible working hours to fully remote offices, or even four-day weeks. However, it is becoming clear that it’s what’s happening at work that is affecting their well-being; not the amount of time they spend in the office versus at home.
Employers need to recognize and influence the person’s wellbeing as a whole, not just as a worker. When people are engaged and thriving in their overall wellbeing they experience less stress and thrive at work. In turn they work more productively and sustainably, helping organizations thrive.
Key takeaways across the world
- According to Gallup’s research the U.S. and Canada are the most engaged employees in the world, while being the most stressed and worried in the world. At the same time their job market recovered the fastest post pandemic.
- Europe and South Asia were hit particularly hard by the pandemic. According to Gallup the two regions dropped 5% in overall wellbeing in the past year.
- Australia and New Zealand had the highest percentage of employees thriving and had the second lowest level of worry.
What is the human-centric approach?
Human-centric approach puts the people in the office at the heart of decision making about the workplace strategy and wider HR initiatives. Organizations need to think about the whole person – individuals with friends and families who are part of communities – not just the worker. What happens at work affects their personal life, which in turn has consequences for their general engagement and productivity at work.
Employees who are dealing with the shift from remote to hybrid work need to be supported in the transitions, especially those who began their working-life during the pandemic. Workers need to be involved in the creation of the workplace strategy, and become active participants in shaping it.
The most important factor, however, is good leadership. Managers need to learn how to become better listeners, coaches and colleagues. They need to help individuals on their teams grow, offering them a purpose and ability to grow in their role. This will result in engaged workers, who feel appreciated and motivated to be productive.
- State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report, THE VOICE OF THE WORLD’S EMPLOYEES