News - 杰艾智库丨我们想要的工作已经有所变化,但其价值还没有


The work we want has changed — but its value hasn’t.
Ningbo, 02/07/2024

近期,世界就业联合会(WEC)公布了其最新的战略研究项目The Work We Want的成果。该项目是WEC携手FT Longitude,以及招聘和雇佣行业的主要商业领袖合作进行的,而我们杰艾控股就是项目组的重要成员之一。该项目成果分为三个篇章,以下是最后一个篇章的最后一篇推文,杰艾控股持续翻译转载,与大家一起分享探讨。

The work we want has changed — but its value hasn’t


COVID-19 brought many changes and accelerated several long-term mega trends that characterise the changing world work. One of the most significant has been to the way we work. At the height of the pandemic, huge numbers of people rapidly switched to remote working. Others had their roles disrupted by new regulations. Amid such upheaval, many felt the need to reassess their personal priorities.



Now, people in many regions seem to be spending less time working. Research by the ADP Research Institute found that the average working week in 2023 was the shortest in five years. The largest fall in hours worked was among the highest-paid quartile, suggesting that at least some of the shift is down to choice, rather than internal restructuring or lack of demand. Prominent among the groups working less were female and younger workers, adding to evidence of a substantial shift in attitudes. But other demographics are also part of this trend: US workforce data, for example, indicates that older workers have been quitting the workforce at record rates, with a growth in early retirement.


As part of their search for a new work-life balance, employees may seek part-time roles or opt for flexible contracts that allow for weekly variation. Barry Asin, chief analyst at global staffing and workforce solutions research and advisory firm Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), says that in healthcare, for example, an approach that incorporates variable working hours has become increasingly common. “Many of those healthcare professionals are deciding that traditional jobs are not their ‘thing’ anymore,” explains Asin. “They’d much rather work on a temporary basis — work for three months and then take three months off and recover.”

作为寻求工作与生活平衡的新构成,员工还可能会去找兼职工作,或选择允许每周变动的灵活合同。全球人员配置和劳动力解决方案研究与咨询机构(SIA)的首席分析师Barry Asin表示,例如在医疗保健领域,包含灵活工作时间的办公方式变得越来越为普遍。“许多医疗保健专业人员决定,传统的工作不再是他们的‘正职’。”Asin解释说,“他们更愿意被临时雇佣——工作三个月,然后休息三个月调整状态。”


Besides the time spent on work, there is also the question of where work is done. “Candidates now always ask for flexibility around home working,” says Verónica Rodríguez Largacha, human resources director for Spain and Portugal at Bosch Group. Like many other companies, Bosch is striving to accommodate employees’ evolving preferences without neglecting business needs. But the bottom line is clear, says Largacha: “It’s best for the business to have happy people, because happy people are high-performing people.”

除了花在工作上的时间,还有一个问题是工作在哪里做。“候选人现在经常要求有在家工作的灵活性,”博世集团西班牙和葡萄牙人力资源总监Verónica Rodríguez Largacha说。与许多其他公司一样,博世集团努力在满足业务需求的情况下适应员工不断变化的偏好。但Largacha也表示底线是明确的:“企业最好的状况就是工作的人都很快乐,因为只有快乐的人工作才能都是高绩效的。”

The case for work


While many are rebalancing their priorities, and perhaps putting in fewer hours, work is still fundamentally important to our society. “It goes back to Abraham Maslow’s classic hierarchy of needs,” suggests Viktorija Proskurovska, labour market intelligence manager at the World Employment Confederation (WEC). “Work serves us at the basic level of safety, giving us a way to secure financial resources.”

尽管许多人正在重新平衡他们的优先事项,或者也许会减少工作时间,但工作对社会仍然至关重要。“这可以追溯到亚伯拉罕·马斯洛的经典需求层次,”世界就业联合会(WEC)劳动力市场情报经理Viktorija Proskurovska表示,“工作提供了安全的基本水平,给我们提供了一种获得财政资源的途径。”


But, once we have met those basic security needs, we view work as more than just a source of income. “It can enhance our sense of identity, give us purpose and direction, build confidence and provide social connection,” adds Proskurovska. By the same token, the negative repercussions of unemployment for mental health can be severe.


While attitudes to work are shifting in every part of the world, they are not always doing so in the same direction. The World Values Survey 2023 found that, while just 73% of UK workers and 80% of US workers rated work as a very or rather important aspect of their lives, other nations record far higher numbers, with the Philippines and Indonesia recording scores as high as 99%. An obvious reason for this is that workers in developing economies may not have the luxury of moving away from work, as some may in the developed world.



Strikingly, despite workers’ changing priorities, global data reveals that workforce participation has, in fact, increased in recent years. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), global unemployment has fallen quickly since spiking at the beginning of the pandemic, reaching 5.3% in 2022, below 2019 levels. Work remains relevant and highly valued for the vast majority of people.


The implications for business


WEC research suggests that senior executives recognise the significance of these changing priorities. In our recent global survey, 83% said that workers now value flexibility as much as factors such as pay, while 82% said the idea of a person following one career path in their lifetime has gone for good as workers seek greater variety.



There are several implications for businesses. One is the requirement to accept that talent will come to the workplace with a variety of attitudes and expectations. Consequently, providing a wide range of both opportunities and options for workers will be important in expanding the talent pool. One aspect of this may be making greater use of agency personnel on fixed-term contracts and offering more part-time roles.


Temporary or project-based fixed-term contracts can not only fulfil some people’s desire for variety and autonomy, but also contribute to a thriving skills ecosystem. Dr Anna Gurun, associate director at UK research institute HSM Advisory, points out that this is why many people with in-demand digital skills work on contracts. “If you have tech skills, you learn by the projects you’re on,” she explains. Depending on the company, a variety of projects cannot always be offered in a permanent role. And crucially, Gurun points out, “The exchange of knowledge goes both ways.” Organisations benefit from bringing new personnel in as much as those individuals benefit in terms of their own development.

临时或基于项目的定期合同不仅可以满足一些人对多样性和自主性的渴望,而且有助于蓬勃发展的技能生态系统。英国研究机构HSM Advisory的副主任Anna Gurun博士指出,这就是为什么许多拥有需求旺盛的数字技能人才都在签订项目合同。她解释道:“如果你有相关技术技能,就可以通过你正在进行的项目来学习。”根据公司的需求,各种项目不可能总是由固定的那几个员工推进。更重要的是,Gurun指出:“知识交流是双向的。”组织从引进新员工中受益,就像这些人也能从中受益于自身发展一样。


Bosch’s Rodríguez Largacha says the desire for varied work is particularly strong among younger workers: “With the new generations of workers, after they spend two years – or even a few months –doing the same thing, they start to look for something new,” she says. Businesses should not misconstrue this as making it inevitable that they will lose workers, however; rather, they can help workers to access learning opportunities and prepare them to take on new roles within the organisation.

博世的Rodríguez Largacha表示,年轻员工对多样化工作的渴望尤其强烈。她说:“随着新一代员工上线,我们发现他们在花两年或仅仅几个月的时间做同样的事情后,就开始觉得厌倦,然后想要去寻找新的东西了。”然而,企业不应将其误解为,这意味着不可避免地会失去员工;相反,他们可以帮助员工获得学习机会,并为他们在组织中承担新角色做好准备。

Increasingly, the emphasis is on self-directed development, giving employees more control over their learning. “We used to map out career plans for employees. Now, they make their own path,” says Rodríguez Largacha. Bosch has created an internal skills hub where employees can create profiles displaying their skills, allowing the HR team to match them with vacant roles or project-based opportunities. “Our message is, ‘You can grow with us. You can choose your own development path’,” explains Rodríguez Largacha.

渐渐地,自主发展越来越被重视,员工对自己的学习也有了更多的控制权。“我们过去常常为员工制定职业计划。现在,他们在自己走自己的路。”Rodríguez Largacha说。博世创建了一个内部技能中心,员工可以在这里创建并展示其技能档案,以便于人力资源团队将其与空缺职位或基于项目的机会相匹配。Rodríguez Largacha解释道:“我们想传达信息是,‘你可以和我们一起成长,你可以选择自己的发展道路’。”


As well as internal career coaching, many companies may find it valuable to partner with an external career support services provider. Working with external advisors can still build internal mobility, but some employees may be more open about their career goals with someone who they don’t normally work with.


It is undeniable that many people have decided they want to adjust how they work.



Yet the fundamental importance of work as a source of income and of personal confidence and dignity has not changed.



A one-size-fits-all approach to accommodating the range of new requirements from employees won’t be effective for employers. If businesses want to remain competitive in the ongoing battle to attract and retain talent, they need to be increasingly flexible and responsive, listening closely when candidates explain how they want to work.



These three chapters are all our sharing about “The Work We Want” research project. Thank you for your continued attention. We are searching for more interesting and meaningful content, looking forward to our next series!


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