2021 has raised some issues about how the pandemic has altered the way most of us work. Thanks to the massive rollout of Covid-19 vaccine, global active cases keep falling consistently. As countries are on the path to recovery, businesses are gearing up to ask their workers back to the office and adopt the hybrid model. Now that organizations are adjusting to the new normal, some workplace issues emerge and are left unresolved during the process.
Here are some of the trending workplace issues that every HR leader needs to pay attention to.
1 . Working Less Hours = Achieving More?
Long hours at the work, as well as meetings that extend into the evening, can be exhausting. It also means that workers spend less quality time with their family or loved ones. Those who are working from home have to deal with house chores, extended workdays, and personal responsibilities all at once. This becomes a noteworthy issue of the year. During the pandemic, more than 60 percent of workers worked more than 40 hours each week according to a survey by Adecco Group. However, this group of people also believe they could actually complete their tasks in less than 40 hours. This explains why the majority of respondents (72%) urge companies to reconsider the duration of the workweek.
Reduced workweek hours might offer a wide range of social, environmental, personal, and economic benefits. As employees ponder in redefining their new normal – without sacrificing salary – the pandemic has rekindled discussion about the likelihood of a four-day workweek. For example, Unilever is halfway through a 12-month trial of a reduced workweek in New Zealand.
2 . Feeling Stressed Out Upon Returning to the Office
After staying at home for so long, one evident issue is emerging when employees have to return to the office: stress and anxiety. According to Adecco research, 49% of leaders and 42% of non-managers have experienced or are experiencing anxiety on returning to work. Moreover, it is shown that 48% of employees who worked in a shared office space during the pandemic had moderate to high levels of stress.
Migraines, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, weariness, disengagement, and other symptoms might develop, according to Janice Litvin, creator of the Banish Burnout Toolkit. All of these stress responses result in decreased productivity, a rise in health insurance claims, and many individuals eventually abandoning their employment. Employees might suffer from a variety of physiological, mental, and emotional difficulties as a result of stress, and companies that want to maintain their employees’ health should be aware of this.
Read Also: HR Tips: When Employees Refuse to Return to Work
3 . Parenting Becomes More Desirable Than Work
Workers have been longing for more control over their working lives as parents for years, and the pandemic actually offered the chance to do it. This is also powered by the fact that childbirth has been increasing during the pandemic. Having a new experience as mothers, it is not uncommon to find female employees finding their motherhood more desirable than a fulltime job. While some are benefitted as they can keep their job while looking after their kids at home, some choose to resign and opt for full time parenting. The fact that parenting becomes more desirable than work poses a serious issue for HR leaders because they have to find suitable replacement or successor.
Flexible and remote working options are no longer considered “nice to have” perks over the last 18 months; instead, these are expected. Nevertheless, it seems clear that the physical office will continue to play an essential role in the workplace of the future. According to WEF research, after the pandemic, 53% of employees wish to have a schedule where they spend more than half of their time working remotely. Younger generations, on the other hand, choose to spend more time at work. The research also reveals that parents with children desire to spend more time working from home (51%) than those without children (42%).
4 . Questioning the Importance of Cover Letter
Other than issues at day-to-day workplace activities, the recruitment area also faces an issue; questions about the importance of a cover letter fueled by “The Great Resignation” phenomenon. For many employees, the job application process is a worthwhile endeavor, but it may be tiresome. Individuals submit applications, prepare for interviews, and write thank-you emails, but one aspect of the process stands out: the cover letter. Some recruiters argue that the cover letter is a candidate’s chance to stand out – and demonstrate what your CV cannot. Writing a cover letter may be difficult, especially if you are not a natural writer. Regardless of how tempted the job seekers may be to skip this step, experts believe it is more vital than ever to include a cover letter if they want to stand out among other candidates.
With the pandemic has yet to end, these issues are most likely here to stay for a while. While finding the best solutions to address issues, HR leaders should see these challenges as opportunities to make better changes to the company policy. Once you are on the lookout for the latest trending issues at your workplace, it can help in the process of adjusting to the new normal.