Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A global study involving employees of small and medium enterprises sampled from countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, United Arab Emirates and the US has found that the majority of people want flexible working structure post-COVID-19 where they continue to mostly work from home but also visit the office regularly.
These accounted for 37% of the 8,000 respondents interviewed who were asked questions ranging from plans on the job, what they missed most during the lockdown about the traditional workplace and what positive things have come out of the pandemic that they would like to keep among others.
At 35%, accounting for over a third of respondents said they were considering a career change within the next 12 months, mostly seeking higher pay.
The research commissioned by global tech company Kaspersky in October reveals that three quarters (74%) of employees never want to return at least to some of yesterday’s workplace dynamics. Almost two in five (39%) of employees are ready to escape the tradition 9am to 5pm work structure, just over a third (34%) no longer want to work at a fixed office desk, and nearly a third (32%) want to rethink the five-day working schedule.
In a statement shared alongside the report on Wednesday, Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky said the lockdown turned out to be a two-way street for people whose job allows them to work from home. On the one hand, she says employees got a chance to change the work atmosphere but on the other they faced many challenges when struggling to remain productive, reorganizing their workspace and developing new habits.
“When you work from home, your privacy is put at greater risk making it vital that you remember to take care of your digital security,” she said recommending that people who continue to work from home should secure their Wifi.
“Most routers have a default username and password, your router default credentials could be easily found on the internet. We recommend setting a new password and update the router’s firmware”.
At the top of the benefits employees are looking to keep is spending more time with their family (47%), followed by saving money (41%), and being able to work from anywhere (32%) whereas 7% of people see no positive effects from the new normal.
When it comes to what they missed, the majority at 34% missed seeing colleagues face to face, followed by getting full pay at 30% whereby the majority revealed having their pay cut.
They were also asked what skills are most critical for the future of their career whereby 49% mentioned technology skills, followed by communication skills at 40%, followed by critical thinking at 39% and creativity at 37%.