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Commitment, motivation and job satisfaction have declined to levels below the 2008 financial crisis, a new report has found.
Over a third (35%) of workers said the current situation of remote working during the coronavirus pandemic is leading them to be less productive, despite 44% stating their workload is lighter compared to normal, according to the report by consumer intelligence firms Harris Interactive and Toluna.
Over half (57%) of the 607 UK employees surveyed felt either enthusiastic or relieved about the thought of returning to their normal work situations.
In order to keep employees working efficiently during the pandemic, companies must improve engagement by increasing communication and teamwork, warned the report.
More than half of employees asked for regular team meetings and 44% wanted work distributed evenly across their team.
“Employee engagement has taken a major hit as a result of the pandemic, even more so than the financial crisis of 2008,” said Vijay Mistry, head of employee experience research, Harris Interactive and Toluna.
“It could be some time before organisations see employee engagement bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. It’s critical for organisations to keep an ear to the ground and understand shifting sentiment so they can swiftly take action to support their workforce.
“Engagement enhances business performance and competitive advantage, so rallying employees is paramount to survival today and success in the future as the landscape begins to normalise.”
Around half (51%) of employees thought that working from home arrangements would improve after the coronavirus lockdown ends, prompted by the increased use of online collaboration tools.
“Businesses have made excuses for years to limit people from working remotely, despite increasing employee calls for flexibility. The excuse of impossibility will no longer hold up,” said Mistry.
“Increased flexibility will be an inevitable expectation that employers will have to manage when work-life starts to return to normal”.