COVID-19 has tested our ability to flex how and where we work. Employers’ next challenge is to design flexible working strategies that are inclusive to all employees at all life stages, and harness the many different forms flexibility can take.
Many employers say they will increase flexible working at a grander scale than before the coronavirus pandemic to deliver value — such as sustained engagement, productivity increases and greater access to expanded talent pools. One in three companies — compared to one in 30 previously — anticipate making half or more of their workforce remote post-COVID-19.
Still, remote-first strategies bring new challenges. New hires may struggle to learn a new culture and build internal relationships if disconnected from an office on day one. Supervising a blended workforce with differing employee experiences will also challenge managers and teams — and will affect everything from hiring to learning and development.
Leading companies are fusing together the best of the pre-COVID era (personalization, global outreach, outcome-led actions) with the new remote, flexible and digital models that are redefining work today, and rethink not only how different jobs can flex but also how to offer more life-stage flexibility to their people.
Given the devastating investment outcomes for pensions and savings accelerated by the economic fallout of COVID-19, coupled with demographic trends (77% of employees expect to continue working post-retirement), redesigning traditional approaches to retirement will be crucial to ensure people can transition flexibly and thrive in later life. Organizations will need solutions that recognize people’s financial, health and career aspirations. Now, more than ever, flexibility is key to ensuring people can live healthier lives, be financially strong and stay active in the workforce longer.
What flexibility is possible?
Assess jobs across the five dimensions of flexible work
What flexibility is desirable?
Understand leader and employee attitudes and preferences
What flexibility is sustainable?
Assess need to change policies, programs and infrastructure
Mercer helps clients adapt and thrive through change every day. At times of uncertainty, we remain a trusted advisor and we are here to support you. Contact us below: