Half of Spaniards feel trapped in their jobs due to the current economic uncertainty
The coronavirus pandemic has led to accelerating trends in different topics, such as teleworking, the evolution of leadership in companies or the need for new skills and behaviors (for example, empathy, emotional intelligence, resilience and adaptability), the search for meaning at work (purpose, belonging) and attention to the mental health and well-being of employees. Workday, a specialist in cloud-based business applications for finance and human resources, conducted a European-level study with research and strategy consultancy Yonder Consulting, where some of these trends are being explored and how the pandemic has affected different aspects of the world of work and workers.
The impact of the pandemic on the workplace
European workers are worried about the impact of the pandemic on their careers, according to study data. For some, the sudden change in jobs due to COVID-19, in particular the switch to telework for a large part of European employees, has lost opportunities when it comes to acquiring new responsibilities but also to develop new skills. ‘other skills. This reality particularly affects workers aged 18 to 34, 47% of whom consider that their opportunities to acquire new responsibilities and skills were reduced in 2020, this percentage being even higher in our country, where 54% of young people employment opportunities have been reduced.
However, according to the study, the end of the pandemic is unlikely to result in increased staff turnover in Spain. Half of those surveyed say they feel trapped in their current job due to economic uncertainty. 27% of the working population surveyed say they will look for a new job in the next twelve months, of which 80% say they will look for a new job, whether or not the pandemic situation ends. At European level, almost a quarter of those polled say they have missed opportunities to develop their careers in 2020, and like the situation in Spain, one in four employees intends to seek a new job in the next twelve months.
The main reasons that motivate the search for new opportunities for Europeans are centered on better professional development, a more interesting job and a better salary. In fact, a competitive salary is the most motivating factor when looking for a new position in any market, with 54% of them stating that they would not be willing to cut their salary due to job conditions. more flexible work. For Spaniards, the main motivation is a competitive salary, followed by finding a job with growth opportunities and flexible hours. However, young people (between 18 and 34) are more motivated by a position that offers opportunities for training and development.
Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, three in ten European workers believe they will receive a pay rise next year, although Spaniards and Italians are the least optimistic, with only 23% and 18%, respectively, believe that they will receive a pay rise next year. ‘they are going to receive a raise. At the opposite extreme is Sweden, where more than half of those surveyed believe their wages will increase.
New scenarios: teleworking and workforce motivation
Homework is a particularly new phenomenon in Spain, driven mainly by the state of alarm caused by COVID-19 in our country. The Workday study shows that 66% of employees worked from home in 2020, and the same proportion of those who worked from home in 2020 had never or almost never done so before. Regarding the new Royal Decree Law 28/2020 on teleworking (known colloquially as the teleworking law), seven in ten Spaniards have heard of the new legislation, although only 29% believe their company will join. to this new situation. .
Although Spanish companies have provided the information necessary to enable employees to work from home, they have not been as effective as the rest of Europe in providing the tools and support needed.
Note that 56% of Spaniards surveyed say they feel more productive in teleworking, against 17% who say the opposite, which places them in the European average. 53% also say they feel less stressed, although 42% say they feel some pressure to always be available to bosses, co-workers and clients while they telecommute.
49% of employees in Spain had motivation problems, slightly above the European average (46%). The main motivation issues relate to taking on additional responsibilities, feeling overwhelmed and feeling let down by the leadership response to the pandemic. In addition, 55% of Spaniards feel somewhat isolated when working from home.
From a European point of view, the motivation of workers is affected by factors such as:
Lack of contact and interaction with colleagues (27%) People miss their colleagues (21%) The pandemic makes work less important (23%)
Confidence in the management of the company
Most employees consider communication with managers to have remained the same or increased in 2020, especially for those working in the UK (59%) and Italy (55%). However, this figure drops considerably in France, where only 23% of employees say they have a similar level of communication.
About half of managers believe they have managed 2020 well by prioritizing employee health and safety (59%) and showing empathy (55%). Almost half of employees believe that the management of their company has handled the change well. Despite the serious concerns raised, the research paints a largely positive picture of how organizations across Europe have adapted to the drastic change in working styles required by the pandemic.
Employees are satisfied with managers
The Workday Leadership Index score ranks leaders in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland as the most valued by employees, with Spain ranking fifth.
In countries where the performance of leaders is above average (Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), employees are more likely to understand the role they will play in the future of the organization (65 %, 64%%, 63% and 62% respectively). Executives from the UK and the Netherlands were rated the most empathetic by their employees (64% and 63% respectively), while executives from Germany (53%), the Netherlands (55%) and of Switzerland (54%) were considered the best at managing change.
“The pandemic has put tremendous pressure on organizations around the world as they quickly adapted to telecommuting,” said Carolyn Horne, EMEA President at Workday. “It is extremely reassuring to see that many companies and their leaders have managed to manage this change, but it is concerning that so many people feel that they are missing out on opportunities to learn new skills and develop their careers since ‘they were forced to work from home. learning and mastering new skills virtually is essential to the continued success of an organization, as well as to the improvement of employee well-being. “