The coronavirus has transformed the lives of workers in an unquestionable way. If with the confinement millions of people were forced to turn their homes into an improvised office, that transformation went beyond a real estate redesign, or balancing the agenda to make the work day compatible with family obligations. Today, two and a half years after the arrival of the virus, two out of three workers give almost the same value to the salary that a company can offer them as to the facilities to reconcile that they have. And that change of priorities has come to stay.
According to a study carried out by Randstad, 65% of workers consider the possibilities of reconciling work and personal life offered by a company as the second most important factor when deciding to join it. Although salary continues to be the fundamental premise when deciding definitively (68%), the difference between the first two motivations with respect to the 2021 records has been cut by one point (previously it was 70% and 66%, respectively ). In addition, in the community comparison, conciliation weighs four points more in Spain than with the rest of European countries (61%).
the annual report Randstad Employer Brand Research 2022, which is compiled from 10,000 surveys in Spain and more than 163,000 in 31 countries, also distinguishes between the preferences of the different groups of workers. Thus, for example, it details that it is office employees who give greater importance to conciliation (65%), above those who work in industry. For these, despite also being the second most significant aspect after salary, its weight is somewhat lower (63%).
In the same way, it is paradigmatic to observe how the list of preferences varies substantially in the comparison by gender. For women, professional and personal reconciliation is only one point below salary in their priority scheme (70% and 69%), while for men the distance seems greater (66% and 60%). Similarly, it is much more important for women (46%) than for men (39%) that the company offers its employees the possibility of working from home.
Although the pandemic questioned the priorities of many people, the Randstad study specifies that for 35% of the Spanish active population the importance of work in their lives has grown – to be well above the European average of 26% -, and only 19% have decided to give it less importance after the events of 2021.
However, the demand for mechanisms that facilitate a more equal relationship between the personal and work spheres does not seem to have strengthened the implementation of its greatest exponent, teleworking, a tool that was essential for companies to be able to maintain their activity during difficult times. hardest of the pandemic. Remote work has gone from being a possibility for 49% of workers in 2021, to only 33% being able to use it in 2022, five points less than in the rest of Europe (38%). In fact, for 24% of Spanish workers, it is impossible or not allowed to work from home, and among those who do have this possibility, they hope to continue doing so in the future.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Telecommuting is included in the catalog of formulas that address the labor flexibility of employees. Even so, the Randstad study details what other measures employees demand from their companies to facilitate a meeting between their personal and professional lives. Among the main demands, in addition to the aforementioned labor flexibility (45%), are the offer of benefits to employees (34%) and salary protection and fair compensation for their work (32%). Family or childcare support ranks sixth (26%), with similar importance to well-being and mental health resourcing (26%).
Both in the cases in which different ways of altering the working day were allowed, and in those in which they were not, a relevant part of the workers surveyed acknowledge having made different decisions on their own to improve conciliation, among which three stand out: a 22% resorted to flexible hours, the same percentage worked remotely and 14% reduced the number of overtime hours they had been doing.