New research by Aon, a provider of retirement and health solutions, has found that 97% of employees’ expectations about their working conditions are changing.
Top priorities are flexible working hours, agile working and mental health issues. Employees are also concerned about diversity, inclusion and the provision of parental leave.
The Aon ‘Benefits and Trend Survey’ is the result of interviewing employees of 200 small to large companies that operate across a wide range of business sectors.
Around 98% of respondents said that they expect working conditions to be flexible and 89% want the option of working at least part of the time from home.
This is the ninth year in which Aon has conducted research on worker expectations, and the latest survey has shown a marked increase in interest in agile and flexible working. Advances in technology have made flexible working much more practical; for example, Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 have made collaboration between team members easier and not dependent on members being in the same physical space.
Around 79% of respondents were concerned about mental health issues. Technology has increased productivity but can also cause stress. Some employers expect workers to be available to respond to emails at all times of the day, whether at work or not. Project management applications can closely monitor tasks and set deadlines, and this can result in stressful working conditions.
To counteract stress, some businesses have relaxation areas, gym spaces and yoga classes, such as Google, which offers mindfulness training to help workers to deal with stress.
Better approaches to diversity are wanted by 65% of those surveyed. Access to financial education is thought to be beneficial by 54% of respondents, and improved maternity and parental leave policies are important to 63% of respondents.
The survey highlights the pace at which the modern workplace is changing. Richard Morgan from Aon said that as only 29.5% of respondents said they did not expect any changes in their workplace in the next five years, it shows that we are going through an especially fast-changing time, with technology at the centre of the evolution of workplaces.
These changes have impacted the role of employees and the types of people who fill these positions. Many businesses are competing for new employees and may need to change their working practices and benefits to attract the best talent, perhaps introducing more collaborative software.
The Baby Boomer generation born after World War II were concerned about final salary pensions and owning their own homes. Today’s 25 to 34-year-olds are less likely to be homeowners, especially in London, and see the need to save for retirement because final salary pensions are rare.
At WM Reply, we can advise you on the best use of technology to make it easier to introduce the agile and flexible working options many employees expect. Microsoft has a number of tools to increase employee production irrespective of their location.Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more.