Feeling a bit blah about work at the moment? We’re not surprised — and you’re definitely not alone. Recent Gallup figures showed that U.S. employee engagement dropped two percentage points in early 2022 down to 32%. It’s a year-on-year decline from 2020 of 2% each year and it is measured on a number of elements including employees’ level of agreement around clarity of expectations, their opportunities for career development and how they feel their opinions count at work.
It’s not hard to see how this is the case after two years of working from home for many formerly office-based workers. While many workers found their productivity increased around their actual workloads, other aspects of their roles became muddier.
For lots of people, meeting fatigue crept in as every interaction that previously would have been a phone call or a quick face-to-face chat became a Teams or Zoom call. Management expectations, access to resources and equipment, proper mentoring support, poor overall business-wide communication and that fundamental connection to the mission or purpose of their organization were also lost for many workers.
Now, as companies put policies in place to get their teams back into offices — whether that’s exclusively on-site, or a hybrid mix of some days at home and some days in the office — new sentiments are emerging. Hybrid and remote workers are reporting that they are more engaged than on-site workers, with a 37% engagement level in both groups. That compares to a 29% engagement rate with those who are exclusively onsite.
Furthermore, employee engagement is higher within organizations which have a focus on culture and wellbeing. Defined as the overall mental, physical, emotional and economic health of employees, for many people, these days their work and home life has blended. They are asking themselves questions they never did before around work/life balance — and also questioning how happy they are to go back to the way things were.
Excessive and expensive commutes, additional childcare costs and family, hobby and leisure time lost to travel are all factors keeping satisfaction levels down, and compelling people to want to do their work at home — without all the other things that their jobs were once wrapped up in.
Clever companies know that the right strategy is to do things differently, according to Gallup. Its Exceptional Workplace Award winners averaged 70% employee engagement, even during 2021. Offering flexible work environments is key as is considering how work and life are blended for employees, and how resources can be provided to respond to that. Other helpful factors around communication and management styles are also important.
If your current employer isn’t quite cutting it when it comes to your requirements for the way you want to work, then you’ll likely look elsewhere. Pew Research Center figures found that of the workers who quit their jobs in 2021, 57% did so because they felt disrespected. 45% said a lack of flexibility to choose when they put in their hours was their reason for leaving.
The good news is that not all employers are blind to employee concerns. Recently, Airbnb announced that its staff can choose to work where they are the “most productive”.
“The response internally was great, but even more impressive [was] the response externally because our career page was visited 800,000 times after that announcement,” says Airbnb CEO and founder Brian Chesky.
Additionally, the company has said there won’t be a loss in compensation if staffers work in their home country and its employees can work for up to 90 days a year overseas. Chesky has the right idea, retaining his current staff and attracting the right people going forward. “I don’t think this is a temporary phenomenon. I think that the genie’s out of the bottle, and flexibility is here to stay,” he says.
Make a move
If remote or hybrid working is your preference for the way you want to work, plenty of companies now support that. The VentureBeat Job Board has thousands of open roles and companies with great employee policies to browse. Check out Robinhood, the app that has pioneered commission-free trades of stocks, exchange-traded funds and cryptocurrencies.
Or, you could consider Crowdstrike, the Austin-based cybersecurity technology company providing cloud workload and endpoint security, threat intelligence and cyber attack response services. Moneygram is a money transfer app that offers an easier way to send money from the United States, pay bills and more — you can check out available roles on the Job Board. Or take a look at Shopify, the top ecommerce platform, trusted by millions of businesses globally. Its open roles are available here. Are you ready to make a move to a company that values your wellbeing? Then take your first steps by checking out thousands of open roles on our Job Board