Wanted: Better work-life balance

Amid pandemic, 8 in 10 workers looking for improved work life in future: Survey

Wanted: Better work-life balance
Workers in retail are among those least likely to expect an improved work life in the future.

Almost half (43 per cent) of workers believe that COVID-19 marks the end of the regular nine-to-five office work schedule and eight in 10 want to better balance work and family life in the future, according to a report from ManpowerGroup.

IT and financial services workers (56 per cent) are the most likely to expect better work-life after the crisis, while those in manufacturing or retail (45 per cent) are the least likely to do so. Full-time workers (48 per cent) are also more likely to expect improvements compared with part-time workers (40 per cent).

But with economic outlooks uncertain, nine in 10 workers across sectors say simply keeping their job is most important, found the survey of more than 8,000 workers in eight countries.

This comes after a PwC survey found that a majority of CEOs globally believe that certain changes in the business model driven by the COVID-19 pandemic are here to stay.

Return to the workplace
Nearly half of men (46 per cent) feel positive about returning to the workplace, but only one-third of women (35 per cent) feel the same. Women also report feeling more concerned or nervous about the return. And women with children feel more negatively about going back to work compared with their male counterparts, increasing in concern the younger the child – 50 per cent for 18-year-olds and above, 53 per cent for children aged six to 17 and 61 per cent for children five years old and younger.

Men are also more likely to want to be in the office for visibility and promotion while women are more appreciative of the office as a means of separating work from home, according to the report.

In Canada, two-thirds of workers say they would feel more comfortable being back at the workplace if a system was deployed to monitor the body temperatures of everybody entering the building, according to a separate survey.

Workers in different age groups also have different motivations for wanting to go back to the workplace, according to the ManpowerGroup study.

Gen-Z workers (51 per cent) are most keen to return to the workplace to develop their careers and socialize, while millennials are the least eager to do so (38 per cent). Gen X workers value being in the workplace to concentrate and collaborate away from household responsibilities while boomers choose socializing and collaborating with colleagues (34 per cent) as the top reason to return.

Meanwhile, employees in the U.S. and U.K. have strong concerns about returning to the workplace, citing safety risks amid the pandemic, according to separate surveys.

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