Evolving Workplace: Return to Work May Signal New “War for Talent,” Study Says

April 16, 2021

Despite the global pandemic, 1 in 5 workers changed their line of work in the past year while a quarter (26%) say they will look to switch employers once the pandemic is over, according to a March study by Prudential and Morning Consult.  The “Pulse of the American Worker” special report found that 87% of workers want to continue to work remotely at least one day a week, and a third would not want to work for an employer that required full-time onsite work.

Plans for a new job:  Of the workers interviewed who plan to look for new jobs after the pandemic threat is reduced, about 80% are concerned about their career growth and nearly three-quarters said the pandemic caused them to rethink their skillsets.  Unsurprisingly, workers looking to leave their jobs were less impressed with their employer’s efforts to maintain a good culture than those not looking. 

Challenges of remote work:  Connecting with colleagues continues to be the biggest challenge for remote workers, and almost half (45%) of remote workers report feeling disconnected despite the majority (70%) of workers overall giving high marks to their employers on preserving culture.  About 41% of workers would not want to work 100% remotely, consistent with other surveys and reports finding a hybrid approach is most popular.

Feeling safe at work:  The number one concern reported by nervous remote workers is ensuring that they and their co-workers are vaccinated (55%), followed by strong worksite cleaning procedures (44%) and overall reduction of COVID cases in the area (37%).  This may prove a challenge for companies, many of whom are struggling with vaccination requirements, and tracking and safety protocols (see our recent survey for more detail).