To compile its new survey, the professional services network polled 1,007 full-time and part-time US employees along with 752 US executives to learn more about shifting employee priorities and how they might affect the future of work.
PwC found that knowledge workers are more likely to demand greater flexibility, higher pay and a better work/life balance from their employers as a result of their time spent working remotely during the pandemic. In fact, over a quarter (28%) of employees and executives strongly agree that they are making permanent changes to how and where work gets done based on lessons they learned last year.
PwC also believes that companies will need to continue to change the way they work if they wish to retain the top talent in their fields.
Moving to a hybrid working model
As employees and businesses prepare to return to the office, almost a fifth (19%) of respondents to PwC’s survey said they want to continue working from home permanently even after the pandemic is over. Still though, the majority of employees would prefer if their organization adopts a hybrid work model where they can be in the office some days and working from home on others.
While many executives are excited to return to a completely in-person environment at the office, this may not be possible as an all in-person workplace is no longer the norm. Of the executives surveyed by PwC, 33 percent said they will employ a mixed model where some employees work in person full time, some are hybrid and some are fully remote.
When it comes to making hybrid work successful, executives believe corporate culture is the biggest challenge they face with 36 percent saying its a major challenge and 36 percent saying it’s a moderate challenge. Some companies are also holding back from expanding remote work options due to a number of reasons including a loss of mentoring (30%), loss of innovation opportunities (26%) and potential equity issues between on-site and fully remote workers (25%).
Now that the pandemic has given the world a chance to test out remote working en masse, taking the opportunity to work from home away from employees will likely prove difficult which is why a hybrid work model that combines the best aspects of being in the office and those of remote work makes the most sense.