An employee perspective on working in the near future

Research seeks to understand key drivers of the future of work.

The mass shift to remote work has changed more than meets the eye. On the one hand, many employees who previously scorned the idea have now acquired a taste for it. On the other hand, many companies forced to adapt their work processes have realized the benefits of the approach and are considering making it a permanent option. Such a shift could hardly fail to have an impact on the labor market and on work procedures, including security. Therefore, our colleagues decided to research what company employees think about the future.

They asked independent research firm Censuswide to conduct a global study of how employees’ habits have changed, how they imagine the ideal workplace might function, and their view of new remote-working technologies. The company interviewed more than 8,000 people at small and medium-size businesses (with no more than 250 employees). The survey was conducted in Brazil, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the US.

The results show that most employees want change. When asked which established processes they don’t want to go back to, only a quarter of respondents said they were generally satisfied with how everything was before. Others want more flexibility: no more fixed hours or five-day work week, options to work remotely, and so on. They want to tailor their working hours to their personal needs — without sacrificing performance.

To gain more control over their lives and work, more than one-third of those surveyed plan to change jobs within the next 12 months, despite the rather unstable situation in the labor market at present. It seems companies that want to retain key staff will have to make concessions and adapt to new realities. In particular, it means making further improvements to remote working and, just as important, to the protection of remote workplaces. It will probably require switching to security solutions designed, not merely adjusted, for the protection of remote workers.

To learn more about what’s on modern employees’ minds, as well as what exactly they expect from modern employers, see the full version of the report (PDF). In addition, the report includes expert tips for staying safe in the new world, for both employees and employers.