3 Things You Need to Know about the Modern Workplace

American workers are not happy. 

Recent research found that over 63% of companies had more trouble retaining employees than they did finding new hires.

Add to that discovery, only 21% of employees rate themselves as “very engaged” in their jobs and it all starts to make sense. People feel disconnected at work, and it makes them look for a job elsewhere.

For employers, this widespread disengagement and plummeting morale translates into as much as $550 billion in losses every year. 

By learning more about what employees want from employers and what they expect from the modern workplace, companies can find better ways to connect with their teams and keep individuals engaged, motivated and — most importantly — on the payroll where they belong.

A quick look at the modern workplace

There have been some major shifts in workplace dynamics over the last decade. Everything from the growing awareness about self-care to the Me Too movement has affected how companies set up shop and how employees interact in everyday situations. 

Even something as simple as lower unemployment rates means the advantage has swayed from employers to employees — while in the past employers may have had their pick of talented applicants, today candidates get to be extra selective in who they choose to work for.

Remote work: brief shift or here to stay?

One of the biggest changes in the workplace is the huge surge in remote work. Six months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to transition employees to remote work in early 2020, a whopping 41.8% of Americans were still doing their jobs away from their traditional workplaces. Compare that to the mere 3.6% of American workers who worked remotely in 2018. 

Though some of those COVID-era workers would eventually go back to the office, others may never see the inside of a cubicle again.

Many companies were surprised to find how easy it was to run operations remotely. Once they got tech infrastructures in place and figured out the logistics of things like team communication and project management, businesses were able to give employees three things they’d craved for years: 

  • Flexibility
  • Freedom 
  • Autonomy

Now dozens of companies including: 

  • Nationwide
  • Twitter
  • Upwork
  • Quora
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Microsoft 

Are going either partially or completely remote for good and experts expect other organizations to follow suit.

What do modern employees want from their employers?

In short, modern employees want respect and they want options. 

Some 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they felt more appreciated, while others:

  1.  Need to feel engaged at work
  2. Want to be allowed to express their ideas
  3. Need to know that there is potential for advancement and professional growth. 

Whether instituting an employee recognition program or giving employees the option to work from home or on non-traditional schedules, companies have the opportunity to improve morale and their own bottom line at the same time.

Interested in keeping up with the latest trends and keeping employees happy at the same time? Check out KeepWOL and see what our talent development tool can do firsthand.