Survey Finds 63 Percent of Employees Lack Confidence in Their Companys Return-to-Work Strategy Up 16 Percent From Spring 2021 OutBuro lgbtq employees networking online community

Survey Finds 63% of Employees Lack Confidence in Their Company’s Return-to-Work Strategy, Up 16% From Spring 2021

Humanyze’s second 2021 Future of Work Report reveals work’s evolution during the pandemic and workforce sentiments about the post-pandemic future of the workplace

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humanyze, a leader in workplace analytics, today released the second installment of the 2021 Future of Work Report, a holistic analysis of the evolution of work throughout the pandemic and employee sentiments about the post-pandemic future of the workplace. Nearly 2,300 survey responses were collected from individual employees and people managers, and compared to responses from the spring 2021 report, to identify key changes over the last 6 months. The findings from both surveys were then measured against data from the Humanyze Platform to compare how employees and managers feel, with how they actually work.

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“Looking at subjective workforce sentiments and how work objectively gets done within organizations gives us a holistic view of the pandemic’s impacts and what this could mean for the future of work post-COVID,” said Taemie Kim, Co-founder and Chief Scientist, Humanyze. “Measuring our own analytics against these survey responses revealed that, although employees seem to be effectively adapting to remote work as the pandemic continues, many challenges and concerns remain.” At a time when employee attrition and operational resilience are top concerns for employers, the report’s latest findings further emphasize the importance of a data-driven, people-centric approach to workplace decision-making.

Biggest Challenges & What’s At Risk

When asked about their greatest work challenge during the pandemic, the top response for employees was work-life balance, followed by the lack of informal social interactions with colleagues, managers, and leadership. Managers, on the other hand, listed employee attrition and disengagement as their main hurdle, followed by decreased productivity. “A big driver of employee engagement and productivity is the ability to seamlessly interact with coworkers, which was obviously hindered after the abrupt shift to remote work in 2020,” said Ben Waber, Co-founder and President of Humanyze. “If employees feel disconnected from the organization, it ultimately seeps into disengagement with the work itself.”

After the start of the pandemic, Humanyze observed a 21% decrease in collaboration with “weak ties,” peripheral colleagues that you interact with less frequently but are essential for engagement, knowledge-sharing, and innovation. While this remains the case today, not all employee collaboration has suffered. Compared to pre-pandemic, Humanyze data shows meaningful increases in cross-level, cross-team collaboration, and communication between employees and their immediate colleagues and managers. “Interestingly, our data shows employees are changing how they work, and doing so in ways that can actually help address many of the challenges mentioned in the surveys,” said Waber. “Remote work undeniably comes with its challenges, but it’s also showing us that employees can adapt over time.”

Shaping the Post-Pandemic Future of Work

Although employees and managers seem to be adapting to remote work and collaborating more effectively since the start of the pandemic, one of the more concerning recent takeaways is an increased lack of employee confidence in their company’s future of work. Of those surveyed, 63% lack full confidence in their company’s post-pandemic workplace strategy being the right decision for employees, compared to 46% in April 2021.

Survey findings demonstrate a need for better communication and transparency from executive leadership, with over 50% of employees reporting they do not feel fully informed about their company’s post-COVID plans or how decisions get made. Around 20% of managers cited having absolutely no involvement or say, showing leaders have significant work ahead of them to achieve a more inclusive, transparent culture.

Although more than half of managers cited the use of employee surveys to understand employee preferences, 70% reported their company is not leveraging any other data or workplace technologies to inform strategies. This shows that, even in the digital age, objective data is still not a driving force for informing critical business and people decisions.

“Without effective communication or the necessary supporting data to inspire confidence in the company’s strategy, it makes perfect sense employees have these concerns and doubts,” added Waber. “As we see from our own data, employees have proven their resiliency in times of change, but leadership must establish trust in order to retain and support their people.”

What Managers and Employees Want

One key takeaway from the fall survey is that employees want continued flexibility, but still value the benefits of working with colleagues in-person. Although the majority of employees remain open to going back to the office in some capacity and listed in-person collaboration with colleagues and leaders as their top reason for doing so, 37% continue to agree they’d prefer to not go in at all.

When asked about their preferences in a hybrid work scenario, employees and managers both expressed a desire for thoughtfully-planned coordination. Forty percent of employees would want a fixed return-to-office schedule where they see the same people each time, while 45% of managers also ranked a fixed schedule as their top preference.

“Companies must realize, every team is different,” said Kim. “While a universally equal policy from the top down might sound best, and may be easiest, it impacts groups differently. Where it works for some, it fails for others. Therefore, manager input and employee surveys combined with leveraging available data and tools are critical to correctly identifying individual teams’ best working styles for post-pandemic planning.”

Behind the Survey & Data

In October 2021, Humanyze collected responses from nearly 1,000 managers and 1,265 employees through a third-party provider and compared these findings to results from the first 2021 Future of Work installment released in April. In spring 2021, only employees were surveyed, whereas the fall survey included both employees and people managers.

Survey findings were then measured against data from the Humanyze Platform, which leverages decades of MIT Research and billions of anonymous workplace interactions from large global companies to measure how, where, and with whom work gets done.

To learn about the report findings and hear from industry experts as they discuss the Future of Work, join Humanyze alongside thought leaders from Nike and Co3 for a webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 17th. To attend, register here.

To download the complete Fall 2021 Future of Work Report, visit humanyze.com/report-2021-fall-future-of-work/.

About Humanyze

Humanyze is a leading global provider of workplace analytics solutions, helping business leaders improve organizational effectiveness, a critical driver of financial performance. Enterprises use the Humanyze Platform’s data-driven benchmarks, indicators, and metrics within the categories of employee engagement, team productivity, and organizational adaptability, to inform and accelerate better management, HR, and workplace decisions. Founded in 2011 out of the MIT Media Lab, we offer an award-winning, patented AI platform with varying solutions that address today’s most pressing business challenges. These science-backed insights empower companies to confidently make decisions and continuously measure their impacts for ongoing improvements in the areas of Workplace Strategy and Organizational Health. Humanyze is committed to core values of data privacy for all employees and ensures 100% anonymity by design. We have a global presence spanning the US, Europe, and Asia and are on a mission to improve the Future of Work.

Contacts

Media Contact:
Giuliana Sannella

Matter Communications for Humanyze

humanyze@matternow.com

With Employers and Employees Battling Over Remote Work Policies, Leading AI Provider Introduces Program With Fair, Equitable Solution Based on Data, Not Opinion

enaible Equalizer yields insights on working from the home, the office or adopting a hybrid model

enaible reports that companies spent $43,765 annualized per employee for emails, meetings and other communications activities during the pandemic

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AI–With so many employers struggling to develop fair and equitable remote or hybrid workplaces, and with employees striving to prove they are productive when not working in the office, enaible Inc., a leading artificial intelligence provider, introduced enaible Equalizer. The new solution will help employers develop and implement fair and equitable policies for employees on where and how they work. This solution also provides employees with the ability to demonstrate their productivity wherever they are working and over a set period of time

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enaible’s artificial intelligence uses companies’ data to help employees and employers work smarter and better. It provides both employees and employers with a powerful approach to develop “where you can work” policies. This is an effective business intelligence solution for companies to make key work-life decisions based on facts and not opinions.

With more U.S. workers quitting their jobs than at any time in the last 20 years, and with job openings hitting their highest levels in decades, workers are using their market advantage to press for post-pandemic perks such as workplace flexibility. enaible Equalizer can facilitate remote work while helping employees to improve their productivity in and out of the office, giving employers an attractive selling point for recruitment and retention.

“Employers are struggling with workforce location policies, and enaible Equalizer, which is backed by real data and comprehensive analytics rather than opinions, will help make those decisions fairly and equitably,” said Dr. Tommy Weir, founder and CEO of enaible. “For employees, enaible provides them with the ability to privately track their progress and demonstrate their productivity credibly whether they are working at the office, at home or in a hybrid arrangement.”

enaible pioneered the next generation of Human Activity Recognition machine learning that takes a holistic approach in providing a more thorough and fair analysis of work habits to benefit both employers and employees. Recognizing that every job and every person is different, it identifies these distinctions with millions of data points that are converted into digestible and actionable insights for employers as well as employees as they navigate their options.

enaible has been providing this solution to select Fortune 500 companies but, because of increased demand, enaible extended and broadened the offering so more employers, those with 5,000 or more employees, could take advantage of it. Cost for the program is $48 per month per employee.

“If you are focusing only on where your employees will work – office, home or hybrid – then you are significantly underestimating the pandemic’s impact on the workplace,” said Dr. Weir, who holds a doctorate in strategic leadership and is a pioneer in advancing productivity solutions in both academic and corporate circles. “This is a once-in-a-century chance to rethink how we work and how to make working a more productive and better experience.”

How It Works

Instead of evaluating hundreds of KPIs, metrics and circumstances in isolation, enaible intelligently learns what employees are working on, when they are working on it and intelligently determines what really matters from the standpoints of productivity and outcomes. These discoveries can enable employers to bring out the best in their employees whether they are working at the office, at home or in a hybrid model. Employees and employers can compare the effectiveness of their work for the days they are in the office and the days they are not.

Benefits to Employees

This artificial intelligence solution provides employees with the best ways to optimize how they work and gives them a foundation of insights based on real data. The program offers employees highly customized, highly personalized insights into how they can create better work habits and become more productive. It also offers guidance and inducements so that employees do not leave work feeling exhausted. Employees are provided the ability to privately track their progress and demonstrate productivity credibly no matter where they are working.

“Whether employees are at the office or at home or working from another offsite location, enaible provides them with valuable insights into work habits that could be affecting their productivity,” added Dr. Weir.

War on Talent

As many employers take a wait-and-see attitude with regard to who returns to the office, studies show that market demand for top-tier talent is at an all-time high. “Employers cannot delay accommodating employees who want to work from home at least some of the time while still being productive,” says Dr. Weir. “If they do, those employees will go elsewhere.”

Underscoring the risks of inaction to employers, a new study by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago found that 42 percent of employees currently working from home either would leave their jobs if compelled to return to the office or would look for new jobs with the opportunity to work remotely.

“Although employees like work-from-home and hybrid plans, such arrangements are doomed if managers either do not know or are uncertain how productive their employees are when they are not in plain sight,” says Dr. Weir. enaible Equalizer helps managers better understand what works best for their workers, guiding policy decisions while improving productivity and competitiveness.

Lessons from the Pandemic

According to enaible’s own data from a sample of 50,000 users, managers need to recognize other key facts changing the workplace:

  • Since the start of the pandemic, enaible reports 53 percent of employees who are working from home are spending more time in meetings, significantly reducing the amount of time devoted to focused, uninterrupted work.
  • During the pandemic, enaible reports that companies spent $43,765 annualized per employee for emails, meetings and other communications and coordination activities during the pandemic.
  • enaible reports that productivity among remote workers fell by an average of 7 percent because of added time spent in meetings and responding to email. That decline reached a whopping 20 percent at some companies.
  • Although remote workers may have saved as much as 4.5 hours weekly in commuting, (according to U.S. Census Bureau data), enaible reports that remote workers spent an average of 4.6 additional hours weekly on the job, resulting in no net time savings.

Companies that are deploying enaible Equalizer are obtaining a fairer and more accurate assessment of individual employees’ productivity at home, at the office or in a hybrid work model. Executives are using this information to ensure employees have the right support and guidance depending upon where and how they work.

“The decisions executives will be making in the coming weeks can have long-term effects. Whatever model they choose, the productivity of their employees will determine how investors react as they examine productivity as a profitability driver,” said Dr. Weir. “Hybrid isn’t just a new way to work, it’s literally a rewiring of how things get done. It is the biggest shift in work in a century, and artificial intelligence empowering employee productivity is the key to making hybrid and remote work succeed.”

About Dr. Tommy Weir

Dr. Tommy Weir spent two decades coaching CEOs and conducting cutting-edge leadership research which allowed him to see how flat productivity creates unnecessary margin pressure. Dr. Weir built the world’s first Leadership AI Lab, where data scientists and leadership experts combine real-time data with employee behavior to predict future action and recommend actions for a company’s leaders. Combining his rich leadership experience with breakthrough data science methodologies as founder and CEO of enaible Inc., he now focuses on applying AI to help employees Get Better | Work Smarter | Achieve More. Dr. Weir holds a doctorate in strategic leadership from Regent University. He is a prolific author, sought-after speaker and former visiting scientist at MIT Media Lab. Follow Dr. Weir on Twitter @tommyweir.

About enaible

enaible Inc. pioneered the next generation of Human Activity Recognition so employers and employees can get better, work smarter and achieve more. By using customers’ existing systems data, enaible’s AI-empowered platform learns how employees work and uses that understanding to optimize workforce productivity through hyper-personalized, actionable recommendations that help employees excel while driving better business competitiveness. enaible is headquartered in Boston. To learn more, please visit https://enaible.io. Connect with us on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter.

Contacts

Loretta Healy

The Hubbell Group, Inc.

Cell 1-781-718-1117

Email lhealy@hubbellgroup.com

Erin Daigle

The Hubbell Group, Inc.

Cell 781-815-2827

Email: edaigle@hubbellgroup.com

Delta Variant Emerges As Big Inhibitor of Employee Return to the Workplace

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Safety concerns, feeling overwhelmed and child care challenges are complicating a return to the workplace for many employees. According to the latest ComPsych™ Tell It Now℠ poll, released by ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of comprehensive behavioral health and wellbeing solutions, worries about the Delta variant and getting sick are of greatest concern.

As employers continue plans to reopen offices and make clear expectations to return to the office this summer and fall, there are new mask orders in parts of the country and a rise of Delta variant cases.

ComPsych asked employees what is your biggest concern?

10% said “child care challenges and difficulty finding options”

50% said “I’m worried about the new Delta variant and getting sick”

33% said “I’m feeling overwhelmed at the thought of changes to my family routine”

3% said “Pet care challenges, I might have to give up my pet if I can’t find support”

3% said “I relocated during the pandemic and will have to return home”

“To the extent employers are able to offer support to manage both the feelings and logistics, this can go a long way to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce,” said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych. “It’s going to be a big adjustment for employees and the anxiety as a result of uncertainty and change is significant. The leaders we partner with understand the increasingly important role they play in helping employees and their families identify and address anxiety and other mental health and wellbeing challenges.”

About ComPsych

ComPsych® Corporation is the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs (EAP) and is the pioneer and worldwide leader of fully integrated EAP, behavioral health, wellness, work-life, HR, FMLA and absence management services under its GuidanceResources® brand. ComPsych provides services to more than 56,000 organizations covering more than 127 million individuals throughout the U.S. and 190 countries. By creating “Build-to-Suit” programs, ComPsych helps employers attract and retain employees, increase employee productivity and improve overall health and well-being. For more information, visit www.compsych.com.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jamie Stein

ComPsych Corporation

312-451-7160

jstein@compsych.com

Amidst evolving workplace and rising employee expectations, CFOs must get creative

Finance leaders see tech, talent and security investments as key to success in post-pandemic work

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CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to a new survey by Grant Thornton LLP, chief financial officers (CFOs) are navigating a new and different kind of war for talent — one in which employees have higher expectations and greater leverage than before the pandemic. Whether they win or lose this “war” may depend on how creative CFOs get while attracting talent and managing investments.

The 2021 Q2 CFO Survey — which polled 239 CFOs and senior finance executives at companies with annual revenues ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion — revealed a few common threads, each of which has major implications for the future of post-pandemic work. For example, nearly two-thirds (64%) of CFOs said they’re worried talent shortages could impair their ability to meet short-term strategies.

“There are clear indications that CFOs are concerned about the looming war for talent,” said Tim Glowa, principal and leader of Grant Thornton’s employee listening and human capital services offerings. “Yet there are also conflicting messages on taking steps to actually fix it. Many organizations are saying people are expected to be back in the office, but that’s inconsistent with the data on what employees actually want.”

Staying competitive in a rapidly evolving labor market

The survey results and recent news indicate a sea change in the labor market. Specifically, employees are reluctant to surrender the increased flexibility they gained during the COVID-19 pandemic, while widespread talent scarcities have given them increased leverage as they consider their employment options.

The data detailed in the Q2 survey showed that CFOs are aware of this scarcity: 68% agreed that organizations will see a possible shortage of human talent in the next 12 months, while 56% of finance leaders said attracting and retaining key talent will be their most important human capital priority for the next 12 months. Yet achieving retention goals may also be a challenge: A third (33%) of CFOs said people are expected to be back in the office.

“When you have a widening gulf between what employers expect and what employees want, evaluating the benefits you offer becomes even more important to your business,” noted Glowa. The data concur: 67% of CFOs surveyed agreed that employee benefits are a major expense the finance function needs to control. Predictably, the benefit that garnered the strongest reaction was healthcare coverage: 72% agreed healthcare costs need to be controlled.

As costs such as healthcare continue to rise, Glowa believes a CFO’s creativity may be more important than ever. “CFOs have always played a pivotal role in shaping their organizations’ futures,” he added, “and now they have an incredible opportunity to shape post-pandemic work. By finding ways to enhance benefits and more effectively spend money allocated to benefits programs — and it’s certainly possible to do both — you can attract and retain the kind of top talent your company needs.”

Time to get creative

For CFOs, creativity is often directly linked to investments. According to the Grant Thornton Q2 CFO Survey, finance leaders are focusing on three key investment areas: real estate, technology and cybersecurity.

Expecting a rise in fraud activity, more than half (54%) of CFOs said their cyber risk and security costs will increase during the next year. Furthermore, survey data indicate many CFOs are emerging from the pandemic with a desire to enhance their technological capabilities. Forty-seven percent of the finance leaders said they plan to invest in technology that solves urgent business issues, while 53% said they plan to invest in technology infrastructure that will help equip, enhance and protect their company in the future. And while nearly one-fourth (24%) of the CFOs surveyed expect real estate costs to drop, 32% expect that cost to rise.

Support for American Jobs Plan

Finally, when asked about the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan, senior finance leaders thought the legislation is good for jobs and the economy. Fifty-one percent said the legislation would have a positive impact on workforce hiring, while 45% believed it would have a positive impact on corporate taxation. And just over half (51%) of CFOs said the American Jobs Plan would have a positive impact on corporate growth.

“CFOs seem to view the administration’s investment policies favorably,” said Bill Marx, national managing partner of the Tax Reporting and Advisory practice at Grant Thornton. “The generally positive views on tax policy indicate they may be willing to pay for the government investment in the economy.”

When comparing private versus public company views on tax policy, Marx explained some core differences: “Positive feelings toward both investment and the tax policy are more strongly felt by private businesses and smaller middle-market enterprises. Publicly traded and larger businesses are more evenly split on proposed policy and tax changes, as they would be most affected by the proposed tax increases.”

Ultimately, this Q2 survey unveiled ample insights into the way CFOs are preparing for a post-pandemic business environment.

“In many ways, our new business environment will be more expensive than it was before the pandemic,” concluded Glowa. “We’re heading into uncharted territory, and how CFOs and other executives respond to this war for talent and a new administration in Washington will be key for every company’s success.”

To see additional findings from Grant Thornton’s Q2 CFO survey, visit www.grantthornton.com/2021Q2CFOSurvey.

About Grant Thornton LLP

Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues of $1.92 billion and operates more than 50 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.

“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions. Please see grantthornton.com for further details.

Contacts

Adam Bond

T +1 312 602 8332

E adam.bond@us.gt.com
S twitter.com/grantthorntonus
linkd.in/grantthorntonus