The workplace has looked considerably different for workers since the pandemic hit. Work-from-home regulations have left employees distanced from their traditional office settings and open to new approaches. The psychological implications of 2020 have also led to some re-evaluating their priorities and sense of worth. Employees want far more from their employers than a steady income. In fact, a survey by Robert Walters shows that 62% of those asked said that their expectations had changed. So, what should companies reconsider once the world gets back to "normal"?

1) Flexible working hours.

37.7% of survey participants said that flexible work arrangements were now more important to them. The switch to remote working has shown many that the old-fashioned 9-5 schedule just doesn't work for everyone. Those with more flexibility to adapt their hours can find a better work-life balance as they don't have to worry about the commute or missing important appointments or family time.

2) What it means to be successful.

This ties into the idea of flexible hours. There are too many companies that would rather have everyone in an office for 8 hours than prioritise outcomes. There is merit in rewarding employees for their quality of work and productivity over time spent in an office. Great work achieved in 5 hours has to be better than mediocre work over 8 hours.

3) Greater benefits for the well-being of workers.

We've all been through a lot lately and it will benefit everyone concerned to continue to show compassion and understanding in the workplace. A study by Gartner in 2020 showed a 23% increase in reports of improved mental health from employees in companies with support in place. Healthcare benefits need to go beyond basic sick pay. For those who need a bit of advice, you can use this employee benefits portal to administer your company benefits schemes. A great platform like this can be used by HR teams in businesses of any size. Not only does an employee benefits platform help companies to provide greater benefits to their staff, it also reduces the workload on other members of staff. What’s not to love?

4) Their stance on social and political issues.

As employees have taken the time to reassess their situation and the state of the world around them, many have grown concerned about the views of their company. Some have even quit to go and work for a company more in line with their ideals. This could relate to policies on race, gender, and sexuality. It could mean looking for a company with a greener conscience. Companies that see employees leave on their grounds should consider where they are going wrong.

5) How much employees are paid.

Finally, there is the age-old issue of money. Employees are increasingly aware of their worth. They thrived during the pandemic, appreciated their strength, and often picked up new skills. Now, they want a pay rise that can reflect that. That Walters survey shows 33% of employees expecting a pay rise. There is also the expectation that the gender gap will continue to decrease.

Employees are keen for a change in 2021 and beyond.

The last year has opened the eyes and minds of employees and helped them see beyond their role in a company. They see their potential and worth, as well as the potential changes and benefits that they can receive to reflect that. Now, the ball is in the court of the employers to turn those desires into realities.