HP’s first global study that tracks people’s relationships with their work found that nearly 40 per cent of Canadians are unhappy with their hybrid work processes and do not feel like they have the right tools and equipment to be successful.
The research, conducted between June 9 and July 10, 2023 in 12 countries, including Canada, surveyed knowledge workers (12,012), IT decision makers (3,612) and business leaders (1,204).
Over 70 per cent of Canadian knowledge workers think it’s important that a company’s office have all the equipment, technology and space for them to be successful, but only 26 per cent consistently experience this type of environment.
Further, the report finds that 73 per cent knowledge workers not only want a voice in how the right technology is chosen, but also seek access to technology that allows them to be seen and heard wherever they are.
The right work environment, according to the knowledge workers surveyed, is also one that allows them to have autonomy, flexibility and offers ease of use.
In fact, over 80 per cent workers, especially in emerging countries like India, Mexico, Indonesia, and Brazil, are willing to even take a salary cut to work where and when they want.
But 63 per cent of workers also say that it’s important that the environment they work in makes it easy and seamless for them to transition between multiple work locations. Sixty-four per cent, in fact, want the option of working in a company-provided office, or remotely based, or what makes sense for them on a given day.
Employees are increasingly seeking that flexibility, especially as an increasing number of big companies including Meta, Zoom, Amazon, IBM, Google, and TikTok, tighten their office return policies. Social networking app for LGBTQ people, Grindr, for instance, recently saw 45 per cent of its employees quit after it mandated a return to office.
Interestingly, the report notes that 70 per cent of those who whose companies allow hybrid work or who are able to seamlessly transition across multiple work locations have a healthy work relationship. But only 26 per cent of knowledge workers globally have that flexibility.
This gap in hybrid work processes, among other reasons, is fomenting an unhealthy relationship with work for many globally. In Canada, only 23 per cent have a healthy relationship with work.
Besides providing access to the right tools and workspace, HP points to the following four core drivers that lead to a healthy relationship with work:
- Fulfillment – whether work gives someone a sense of purpose, keeps them connected, helps them enjoy life, whether the work is meaningful and more. HP found that voice and agency are critical to employees’ fulfillment.
- Leadership – The role of the leader needs to evolve to enable more empathy and emotional connection to employees, especially in a hybrid world. Workers, for instance, say that leaders need to acknowledge when they make mistakes, be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, communicate transparently about difficult topics like layoffs and let their guard down to show their true emotions
- People-centricity – Knowledge workers say it’s important that people are encouraged to prioritize their physical and mental health above work throughout the day. Employees should be treated as valued and respected beings instead of just an employee number. Organizations should enable them to feel safe and their authentic self
- Skills – Encourage employees to learn new skills to boost their confidence and enthusiasm.
Canada was below average (in the HP work relationship index score) in all these drivers except for people-centricity, for which it was average. Emerging markets like India, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico received above average scores.
See the full report here.