The year 2024 continues to drive the importance of fostering a healthy work relationship and is an integral part of an individual's well-being and the success of a company. As employees continue to balance out both with working from home and returning to the offices, 2024 is the year when they will consciously cultivate the kind of relationship they desire at work.
HP released a first-of-its-kind Work Relationship Index, comparing employees' relationships with work around the world. The findings unveiled a stark reality – while each country's working culture is different. The study, surveyed more than 15,600 respondents across various industries in 12 countries, reveals the world's relationship with work is at a breaking point – and its effects are pervasive.
There is ample opportunity for CEOs to continue to understand and help strengthen the world's relationships with work in ways that are both good for people and good for business. Five key findings from HP's Work Relationship Index provide compelling insight into the reality of the relationship between employees and their work.
Employees Want to be Equipped With The Right Tools and Technology for Their Job
Only 1 in 5 knowledge workers feel confident that their company will implement the right tools to support employees with things such as hybrid work. Today's workers want a say in the technology and tools their employer provides – and want that technology to be inclusive. No longer just a utility, the technology portfolio is emerging as an important driver of employee engagement as well as connection and enablement. To help employees at HP be more efficient, we have been using the Poly Lens Room App for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows, which is a new software solution designed to streamline device management for Microsoft Teams Rooms. With insights into video, voice, and HP computing for Microsoft Teams Rooms devices, The Poly Lens Room App is an example of the way the right technology can create a more positive workplace experience. 74% of employees say it is important they work for an organization that selects and provides technology and tools based on the employee's needs and feedback, making it more important than ever that we prioritise the appropriate use of technology in the workplace.
Employees Value the Freedom to Choose Where They Work
Australian knowledge workers value flexibility in the workspace and haven't seen the benefits of returning to the office as much as the global average. 62% of knowledge workers said that an easy and seamless transition between multiple work locations is important to them. Facilitating effective hybrid workspaces and investing the time and effort into ensuring all staff are well equipped with certain tools will be pivotal in demonstrating trust and fostering a positive work experience. 66% of knowledge workers say it's important they can choose where they work, given what makes sense each day. Post pandemic, hybrid working is the new normal, yet only 1 in 5 employees felt confident that their company can implement the right tools to support hybrid work. Autonomy, flexibility, and ease of use are key when it comes to the space in which the world works.
Only One in Five Knowledge Workers Have a Healthy Relationship with Work
Australian knowledge workers' relationship with their work isn't how they want it to be, and the negative effects are being felt across multiple aspects of their lives. 69% of knowledge workers say their relationship with work negatively affects their physical health, and 64% say it negatively impacts their mental well-being. This negative relationship manifests itself through things such as poor sleep, decline in self-esteem, low energy, and a lack of motivation, both personally and professionally. This severely impacts employee retention – 88% of people with a positive relationship with their work said they could see themselves working at the company in two years' time, compared to only 32% of those who had a negative relationship with their work.
The Future of Work is Built on Emotional Connection
65% of Australian knowledge workers want to be encouraged to communicate their emotions, a motivation that is backed by 78% of business leaders who believe that it is important to demonstrate empathy. A people-centric approach to leadership allows people to feel heard and understood by senior leadership, causing them to feel happier at work. However, 2 in 5 knowledge workers expressed that the emotional intelligence of their companies' leaders had not met their expectations. It is more important now than ever that senior staff lean into emotional leadership, particularly when 2 in 3 knowledge workers say they are more aware of their emotional connection to work now than they were 2-3 years ago.
81% of People Are Willing to Earn Less if it Means Loving Work More
Knowledge workers would give up 7% of their salary to work somewhere with emotionally intelligent leadership. For an average salary of $75 000, this means giving up $5,250 a year. There is no question that a positive relationship between an employee and their workplace is priceless.
This research clearly tells us that there is great value in fostering a positive relationship between employees and their workplace. Taking time and care in ensuring the right tools and technology exist within your workplace, as well as prioritizing a seamless hybrid work structure are valuable when building a positive relationship between employees and their workplace. Additionally, leading with empathy and emotional intelligence builds trust, allowing employees to feel heard by their work and thus improving their overall work experience.